Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Their Own Right

"If you practice an art, be proud of it and make it proud of you.  
It may break your heart, but it will fill your heart before it breaks it; it will make you a person in your own right."  
                    Maxwell Anderson 15 Dec, 1888 ~ 28 Feb, 1959

     So, this splendid Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, of Key Largo and Anne of the Thousand Days, among many others, began his bumptious life on this day in history, but I suppose what I like best about him is the above quote, now copied into my little book. Because I'll be pondering today how one would make one's art proud. Heaven knows, my art + luck and labor made 'me a person in my own right,' thanks be to all that's holy. Would that more people - no make that everyone - would that everyone have his or her art and the disposition to find pride and personhood there.

Betty Smith 15 Dec 1896 ~ 17 Jan, 1972

      Anyway, M.A. [oh - you know what else he wrote? he adapted a novel by Wm. March into the fabulous, creepy play > turned into a movie The Bad Seed] shared a birthday w/ another author, one who wrote one of the greatest, most life-filled, satisfactory novels ever written. That'd be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. She came into her hardscrabble world, into noisy, crowded Brooklyn, NY, in 1896, when future-writer Maxwell was off somewhere celebrating his 8th birthday; about 3 years after Charles Duryea [b. 15 Dec, 1861] and his brother, Frank, first road-tested their "motor wagon," the 1st gasoline-powered automobile.  And this trio of December babies sure leave me wondering what that young man in Connecticut would have, could have done with his life, what his victims might have gone on to do with theirs, if only he'd been blessed with an art, with health, with whatever combination of nature/nurture hoohah that leads to decent personhood in his own right.

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