I’m reading “Mountains beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, a book about a man whose life’s calling was to cure the third world of infectious diseases. That’s not my life calling, as it were, but:
“I imagine that many people would like to construct a life like his, to wake up knowing what they ought to do and feeling that they were doing it.“
Sunday morning, I woke up feeling like that. Feeling like this nebulous idea I have for a future could maybe converge into a career—or even, was already converging. Into something tangible, something I could hold in my hands.
Today, in the Times mailroom, I stared forlornly at a wall of mailboxes. I was going cross-eyed after an hour of scanning the tiny labels, stuffing packages into slots. I sighed, looked at the name on the package in my hand, and tried once again to find the coresponding mailbox.
“You look lost,” said an editor or writer checking for his mail, who had perhaps heard my hurumphing. “Who you looking for?” he asked. I told him. He pointed to the large mailbox right below my left knee. Duh.
“Thanks. I guess it’s that mid-afternoon blindness setting in,” I said.
He asked me what I did, to which I gestured to the mountain of mail to my left, to which he, understandably, responded by asking if I was an intern. Not quite. He asked what brought me to the Times.”Well… I want to write.”
“Yeah? Had any luck?”
“Yeah! Actually, my first peice came out in Travel yesterday.”
“Cool. Read that section. Which one?”
“It’s about hiking a volcano in Nicaragua.”
He nodded. “Yup. Liked it.” He paused. “Yeah, that was a really nice piece.”
How’s that for a Monday.