At The Age Of Thirty-Nine

Last week was the 40th anniversary of MLK Jr’s assassination.  Until I heard it on the radio,  I hadn’t realized he was thirty-nine years old when he was killed.  I think of his presence, his power, his is-ness—he was thirty-four years old when he gave the I Have a Dream speech during the 1963 March on Washington. Thirty-four!

It seems some people have a lot to accomplish in their time on this earth and they accomplish a lot young perhaps because they’re not going to be here long. They’re going to do what they’re going to do and get it done early because otherwise it won’t get done at all.  I’m not saying this is conscious, but it happens.

I’m reading Flannery O’Connor’s letters, and she is another such young-achiever. It seems she knew she was a writer from the beginning and never wavered. In 1946, at the age of twenty-one, she was accepted into the Iowa Writers Workshop and never looked back, continuously writing short stories and two novels until her death in 1964, at the age of thirty-nine.

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5 Comments

Filed under books, lifestuff

5 responses to “At The Age Of Thirty-Nine

  1. I like your interpretation a lot, because instead of making me feel like an underachiever at 40, it makes me believe that I have a long life ahead of me, and that’s why I’m in no rush!

    I didn’t realize MLK was only 39 when he was shot. Wow.

  2. 39 is young, but it shows that he realized what was important in this life, and his purpose, much earlier than the average Joe.

  3. Hey hon, are you still there?

  4. Yeah, I’m kinda here. Put up a post at gartenfische today.

    I’m starting to maybe crawl out from under my rock. . . .

  5. oh, guess that was yesterday. . .

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