I clearly struck a chord with my last post, Treading the Line Between Peter Pan Syndrome and George Darling Syndrome, because it appears from careful study of the WordPress stats that all seven of you read it. And a couple of you must’ve read it twice.
But after I posted it, it occurred to me that I made an important oversight. I’m not saying it was an oversight in the magnitude of what the 12 teams did who picked somebody else ahead of a high school kid named Kobe Bryant at No. 13 in 1996. But it was maybe an oversight in the realm of what the No. 13 team (Charlotte Hornets) did after drafting him (traded him for Vlade Divac).
As you may recall, the gist of the Peter Darling principle, as I tried to explain it, was that given the effort to inch along a project we love (tapping into our inner child, Peter Pan) while taking care of familial responsibilities (a la responsible poppa George Darling), it’s a miracle whenever such a project finally does see the light of day.
What I failed to point out in the post was that the work of a Peter Darling project is likely to be infused with qualities that our hopelessly youthful Peter Pan-selves would be unlikely to achieve.
3 peter darling things
For one thing, there are more rings in a Peter Darling’s tree. There’s a certain depth and perspective that can come from seeing a few more winters come and go that can’t be gotten other than by going through them, as much as they sometimes suck.
For another thing, the creation of a Peter Darling project is typically less rushed. There’s not an urgency to finish it so we can get it sold for mid-six figures against low-seven figures in time to make next month’s car payment. Its existence may be inched along, but that means there is mulling time between the inches. Mulling time can be a good thing.
And for a final thing, Peter Darlings seem to be more comfortable in their own skin, creating less for what they hope others want and more for what speaks to them. Laura Ingalls Wilder (first published at age 65), Raymond Chandler (51), Alex Haley (44) — the list of later-to-the-game first-timers is long and legit. But there’s an even longer and legiter list of players whose best work came later than sooner in their body of work.
So there’s that. Speaking of inching along, there’s a project I must return to. So enough jabbering on about this Peter Darling fellow. Time to put his depth and gravitas to work!
Now, about this giant meatball…