I am having trouble of late settling into any given task or activity. The end of the year is nearing, the end of my internship is close, and I feel that too few things are in place that I am constantly considering the vast number of items yet to be accomplished; I can hardly sit still without realizing the nagging presence of unfinished business.
The other day I heard an episode of "Radio Lab," one of my very favorite radio programs (out of WNYC, you can find all of it free as an i-Tunes podcast). The episode was about geniuses, and was challenging the commonly-accepted notion that people identified as geniuses are those people who have a talent beyond what is generally considered as only "gifted." In a lot of ways, the episode was speaking to nature versus nurture, asking questions such as, "Is genius born, or can it be developed?" They then looked at people who are accepted as geniuses, noting that they spend inordinate amounts of time and are simply obsessed with their talent. So much so that their passion for it overpowers all other areas of their life.
Ah, to be a genius. To insist on spending hours a day on one experience, and to wake up the next morning and do it again. Ah, to have such passion for one thing. I do believe there is an element of nurture the development of a genius person. Certainly, to be an Olympic gymnast at the age of 14 requires more than time to grow those skills-- the mechanics and the technique need to be in place-- but that gymnast had to be allowed that space by his or her environment, too.
I am fortunate to be passionate about a number of people and projects, but I feel much too spread out. I feel that I am shoveling out quantity, and not quality. I hope for a time in which I have far fewer projects that I may spend much more time on one.