Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Hour Closer

Years ago I read a courtroom/whodunnit called, Degree of Guilt.  I think it was my mother who recommended it and I am glad she did. I can't remember the details but I do recall liking it a lot.  Time well spent reading the book, trying to figure out who did it, and admiring the craft of the author.

Yesterday I noticed an article in the Boston paper about the author. He has published a new novel--his umpteenth--and will be speaking about it in the city tomorrow.  The author, Richard North Patterson, lives on Martha's Vineyard and, if the photo of him in the paper is recent, looks terrific for a man 66.

It was a long article and I read it through impressed by how, through his writings, the author has made a difference.  He had been a lawyer and part time novelist until Degree of Guilt was published and sold very well.  He quit his law practice and became a full time writer sometime after the book's success.

As much as the novel was impressive, there was a comment made in the interview which will have a more lasting effect on my thinking.  Patterson was talking about how he prefers private dinners to cocktail parties which are a regular occurrence during the summer on Martha's Vineyard.  And, given his status, the author is often invited to these parties.

The comment was that when he leaves these parties he tends to say to himself,   "Another hour closer to death, and for what."

Parties can be fun and not always a waste a time, at least I have enjoyed them now and again. But the point is not about parties. The point is about how we spend our time and the undeniable reality that after whatever time we spend doing whatever we do, we are an hour closer.  I am not always as efficient about using time as I should be. Recalling this comment may be helpful.

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