Maybe it’s the fact that it’s not even February and we’re already being hit by the 237th snow storm of the season and I have reached that state of crabbiness peppered with despair that only a month of uninterrupted sunny, balmy weather would dispel. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m typing this while wearing fingerless gloves because my charming attic of an office is approximating the temperature of a meat locker. Maybe it’s the New Year letdown—we always have such high hopes for it only to find that it’s the same old, same old, except colder.
No, I’m not trying to bring you all into the abyss with me, just attempting to communicate my general mood when I came upon this delightful article about Japan’s newest bestselling sensation, a 99-year-old grandma who took up writing when she was 92. I’m not a fan of schmaltzy, inspirational poetry (or prose for that matter) and it may be that Ms. Shibata’s writings veer a bit in that direction—not knowing a word of Japanese, I’ve no way of ascertaining this except for the brief quotes offered in the article—but I’m ridiculously tickled by the fact that this venerable lady didn’t think that she was too old to embark upon a new career and hone a new craft and that the results have been so overwhelmingly positive.
Aside from bringing some much needed cheer to an otherwise miserable day—seriously, we don’t need any more snow; we’ve got nowhere to put it—this story reminds me that we’re never too old to explore new worlds. One of the great things about being a writer is the absolute freedom from physical constraints. As long as you can dream it, think it, and make yourself sit down and write it (or dictate it), you’re a writer—maybe not a bestselling one like this beguiling Japanese grandma, but a writer nonetheless.