Finding order in your scenes: Just wait

Eudora Welty, American writer best known for her 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Optimist’s Daughter, was a woman of huge intellect and daring. (Her application letter to the New Yorker in 1933 is worth a Google search – as a sample, this is how it starts: Gentlemen, I suppose you’d be more interested in even a sleight-o’-hand trick than you’d be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can’t have the thing you want most.)

In short, Welty was a brilliant creative practitioner whose ideas inspired us to think about life’s infinite possibilities and evolving scenes – unsettling as they sometimes can be. She pushed the boundaries of how we confront (and analyze) our potential; and in 1980 she became the first woman to receive the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom in literature.

And so, in the spirt of possibility and individual understanding, I present this great Welty quote:

“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily — perhaps not possibly — chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”

Events and experiences – moments! – this is why I am so fascinated by storytelling and the pursuit of story. We wake up and explore something…but that exploration, those observations, might not make sense until years later. We never shelve the good stuff forever…we just temporarily store it away until it’s the right time to pull it out again. We will know it when we get there! A very exciting time indeed!

All of us live lives of daily pursuits – work, family, social, society. The day starts, the day ends. Repeat. As the clock ticks, take note of the smallest things you see and think about – make them as important as the biggest things.  Applying Ms. Welty’s brilliance…a “continues thread of revelation” awaits you if you do. The possibilities are endless when you know – correction: when you trust – that the learnings will appear when you need them most. At the very least, it will help us get through the more stressful periods when we “think” we don’t have a solution.  Something will appear – eventually. Now that is the spirit of possibility that Welty would celebrate – no sleight-o’-hand trick necessary!


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