Last week my father-in-law told me, “Mark my words: The Artist is going to win at the Oscars and win big.”
“Isn’t that a silent film?” I asked. My father-in-law is a lover of small, quirky films. It would be like him to champion such a cause.
“A French silent film.”
“Yeah, I don’t think so.”
Twelve years ago I found my wife sick in bed watching a new TV series. “Is this that Survivor show?”
She admitted it was. I watched with her for a few minutes before I had seen enough. “Well, this is doomed to fail.”
I was in a literary agent’s office in January of 2009. He produced a small, book-sized device from his jacket pocket. “Amazon just sent me this,” he explained.
“What’s it called again? Never mind, let me have a look.”
I scrolled through Of Mice and Men. “Well, that’s pretty nice, but no way people use this instead of a book. It’s just not the same.”
It’s fun to be right, but I’m happy to be wrong about all my predictions. The last thing I want to know is the future. What a terrible curse that would be: the end of discovery. As it is, the future always arrives like the perfect ending to a story: surprising but inevitable. Why, the clues were all there, but somehow I didn’t see it coming. Maybe next time.
Though probably not. My crystal ball is cracked, reflecting back only what I believe in that moment. I stare into it all the same from time to time, thinking I might catch a glimpse, but seeing only a distortion of myself. Not so pretty viewed this way – a splintered thing, frozen in time. Better the look I catch in the darkened window as I pass, a shadow on the move, a sentence in search of its next word.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com