Reading, writing... and collaborating

Having never read The Great Gatsby in high school I have had a sort of felt-obligation lately to read it due to the “classic” status it has achieved. I was on a plane when I started and finished it (different planes, for the record), and was able to sink into the story while all other distractions were drowned out by the white noise of the roaring engines. Having ample time to reflect upon what I had just read (and do a little work, too) is a rare and fleeting occasion, so I took it.

The seemingly effortless lyricism F. Scott Fitzgerald employs in his writing reminds me of how good at writing I wish I was, and never will be (exhibit A--what you’re reading now; exhibit B--the line he closes the book with below). Yet I suspect I am not alone, and that many of us share a solidarity in our skill sets, or lack thereof.

This recognition reminds me that what is important is the awareness of our own abilities, especially in the context of others’ abilities, because that is when real, meaningful collaboration happens. Come to think of it, that’s what we get to do with the organizations we partner with.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… and one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
— The Great Gatsby