|(Beautiful Bellatrix--Everybody loves a good villain.)|
J. K. Rowling was on Oprah this week for the first time, and as a loyal Harry Pothead, I tuned in. (P. S. I DVR Oprah every day but only watch about 1 out of 3 shows--Winona Judd? Martha Stewart? That shit gets erased IMMEDIATELY.) Oprah was on location in Ireland, and Ms. Rowling was extremely eloquent and gracious as always. I teared up a bit just listening to her talk about the upcoming release of Deathly Hallows (Part 1). Go ahead and snicker. I am convinced my wizarding powers are going to kick in any minute now.
Anyway, they showed a clip of her speech at Harvard University that I thought was so incredibly beautiful that I needed to put it on my blog...you know, to reach the millions of people who read this but don’t catch Oprah. She was speaking about the time of her life before HP was published. She was a recently divorced single mom, literally worried she might be homeless soon. This is what she said:
So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so, rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as not have lived at all.
So, as I continue on the path through my 1/3 life crisis, I’ve come up with another goal: start failing at things. Or at the very least, I’ve got to start doing things that could potentially end in failure. I am far from “rock bottom,” but I’m a firm believer in learning from other people’s experiences, so I want to stop living so cautiously, driven by the fear of failure. Anyone know a good piano teacher in Charleston?