Head Toward the Kindness

by tjbeitelman

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This from a 2005 interview in The Believer with fiction writer Lorrie Moore:

BLVR: Did you ever consider or participate in the other arts? Music or visual art? Drama? Your characters are often singing — Benna, for example, in Anagramsand Sils and Berie in Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Do you sing?

LM: My love of the other arts, when I was young, was greater than my love of writing. I took fairly serious ballet — until I had to drop it (cramps in my legs and no useful determination; plus too tall). I loved music — played the piano and sang in the shower (a piano in the shower! this will be an excellent interview!) — and was just at a karaoke bar last night with my graduate students, who all love to sing, too. Who doesn’t? I went to college thinking I might be a painter and within weeks realized I knew nothing about working the paint, getting it to do interesting things. In other words, in so many things I loved I was sadly insufficiently gifted and driven. But writing I could plod along with — and no one discouraged me. People were much kinder. I headed toward the kindness.

And that our kindnesses can — and should — be gifts that drive embolden others to plod along with the things they love.