How We Kill Geniuses
February 6, 2009 2:41 PM Subscribe
How We Kill Geniuses.
"[Elizabeth Gilbert recalls] a story that musician Tom Waits told her years ago. One day he was driving on a Los Angeles freeway when a fragment of a melody popped into his head. He looked around for something to capture the tune -- a pencil or pen -- but had nothing to record it. He started to panic that he'd lose the melody and be haunted by it forever and his talent would be gone. In the midst of this anxiety attack, he suddenly stopped, looked at the sky, and said to whatever force it was that was trying to create itself through the melody, 'Excuse me. Can you not see I'm driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment ... otherwise go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen.'" Gilbert explores the idea that we might stifle genius by demanding that creative people be somehow larger than life and something more than human.
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