Wednesday, March 30, 2011
My favourite story this is week is Jacob Barnett
His story is everywhere today.
I've always been fascinated by people who come to something they love and can do amazingly well so young.
Writers often tell you that they knew as soon as they could talk that they wanted to write. Dancers often say they danced before they could walk. Yo Yo Ma began his cello studies when he was 4. The Dalai Lama was 2 years old when he was recognized as the 13th Dalai Lama.
Jacob Barnett, obviously, knew that his love was in the stars.
He's only 12 and he's at work on a theory that challenges the Big Bang. For those of us who aren't scientifically minded (see me raise both hands), this is more than unusual, it's astonishing. And kinda scary. Scary in a good way - because if I were a science fiction writer I'd write about this boy and others like him. I'd write about the way human beings' brains are developing. I'd write about a new type of human being, one who might change the world and do it before they are able to legally drive.
I'm fascinated by these people because despite being an avid reader from the first moment I can remember, I came to writing (except for the usual extremely bad teenage angst-ridden poetry) late compared to many writers. I didn't know that I wanted to write in grade school, nor in high school. I decided to write when I was almost 30. Would I have been a better writer if I'd started at 6 or 12 or 21? Who knows?
I do know that Jacob Barnett and Yo Yo Ma and the Dalai Lama are different than most of us. And good for them. And lucky for us that they're in our world.