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POETRY THURSDAY
Joshilyn Jackson had an interesting post and subsequent comments discussion not too long ago about people who were good at one thing versus people who were good at several. It was fascinating to hear how people described themselves as one or the other, and why. She based the post on a television commercial featuring a crab (good at one thing: pinching) and a Honda Element (good at everything). As I have not seen the ad, I can't comment on its veracity, but I, too, think that people generally tend to fall into the one vs. the many when it comes to tasking.

I don't know whether it is better to be really good at only one thing or pretty good (or even just middling) at several, being one of the ones who is pretty good at several (and even great at 1 or 2 of them). My husband is also really good at several things, but he's only good at them ONE AT A TIME, whereas I am better at multi-tasking. And strangely enough, the several things that my husband and I are good at are totally different! I don't think we overlap at all, actually, except in the arena of zinger comebacks. We both excel there. But otherwise, I think we make a pretty good team, and our talents and deficiencies are complemented and covered for by each other.

When I was young, I never knew how to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I had so many different things that I liked to do: reading, writing, painting, drawing, singing, organizing; that I couldn't imagine being able to choose just one. I sort of envied my friends who had already decided, who knew instinctively the course their lives would take, at least when it came to what they would DO during it. But eventually I realized that I liked having my options open, that it gave me a freedom to continually redefine myself and play with my own boundaries and my own ideas of what I could accomplish. I am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, and that's quite okay with me. The poem below was written by someone whom you might not associate with the title "poet" but it resonated with me not only because I was surprised at how good it was, but because like the woman who wrote it, I can try my hand at many different things and, perhaps, be good at them all.

I Have Something For You
by Carrie Fisher


I have something for you.
I don't know what it is, but it knows itself and it knows you.
It waits for you. It is yours, I think.
I noticed it soon after I noticed you.
It fought its way across my life and lay in waiting for some
way you are, some thing you say, a heat you have.
This thing knows you, it names you, it longs to be near you.
Oh, I tried to give it a piece of my mind,
but it ate that piece and smiled.
It has me and it wants you.
I drive it around, try to lull it to sleep, but it refuses
to listen to the strange music of reason.
Instead, it sings your praises, looks for you in other people's faces.
Recalls you, involves me.
It's all very distressing.

I have something for you.
A big corny thing with me inside it,
stunned, waiting for the shoe to drop.
A thing for you that has taken me
hostage and asked for you in ransom.
It made me write this note.

***

More excellent Poetry Thursday goodies!

HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY Wishes to my favorite Hula Bunny!
 chipper
mood: chipper
music: my children who keep talking and NOT SLEEPING


Comments

Well, Carrie Fisher did write some nice scripts and screenplays after cleaning up from the drugs in the wake of Princess Leia, and Postcards from the Edge was a bestseller, although I never read it.

i'd forgotten all about that carrie fisher poem, thank you! it's perfect.
i love fisher's books, most of them, her humor and wit.
i identify with what you say here about not having a ready answer
to that silly question.

you're good at a lot of things, and living the way in which we choose
is the most important of all.

(Anonymous)
RE: I Have Something For You

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First of all, Carrie Fisher...one of my sheroes...and I'd never seen this, but love it--so thank you. Secondly, I, too, envied those who could pick just ONE path...but then I think how bored I might have been if I done just one thing for very long. I imagine I'll be sitting in my rocker at 90 saying, "I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up..." :)

Nice one, Liz. I too am one of those people who is good at several things, and multi-tasking is actually fun for me. I love being over my head. This was a very nice ramble through that thought. I hope i'm still your friend. I'm finally able to read my Friends List. Internet at home does that!

Of course you are still my friend!! I have been following your adventures when I have the chance, although houseguests have kept us on the run :)

(Anonymous)

I loved that discussion on Joss's blog too. And I'm also an Element married to another Element with an entirely different skill set, just like you and your hubby.

Very cool poem! I didn't know CF wrote poetry, although I've read a couple of her novels. Fascinating!

(Anonymous)

Um, yeah, that last comment was me. I NEVER remember I have to sign LJ comments so I always end up doing THIS. Obviously one of the things this Element is NOT good at is remembering to sign comments. :-)

DebR

(Anonymous)

I'm good at lots of things. Unfortunately, maintaining interest and focus are not among them, which in turn means I often stop doing things I'm good at. Sigh.

~Sprigs

Lovely poem -- I normally associate Carrie with a biting wit (in a good way, I mean), so this was an interesting alterate facet of her work.

I am sort of stuck in Petrova mode*: not spectacularly talented at one particular skill, but compenent at several, and above average at a few others. Sometimes I think this is just because I haven't found the right thing to excel at, yet. I never really knew, as a child, what I wanted to be when I grew up; I landed in my current profession by happenstance, and would never have predicted it beforehand. What I really want, more than anything else, is just to be good at living.

* the middle child in Streatfeld's Ballet Shoes.

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