I am always amazed by creation. I have written four children’s stories, based on a detective called Sherlock Sloth, the Three-toed Sleuth. I have been mired for almost 40 years in a short story, a part of The Diner Graveyard. I wrote a whimsical short story about the Metrognome, a gnome who perches on fare boxes on city busses and perches on dashboards of motormen’s compartments. The stories have never seen print (but I gave the Sherlock Sloth to friends; a short article titled, “Time, Space, and New Jersey Railroads” was published in the New York Times on May 22, 1983. My father scolded me that I could not get by writing, and I responded, “The New York Times paid $300 an hour [in 1983],” but they paid me for 15 minutes.)
Anyway, I am always amazed by creation. My favorite of classical music is a third movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. I hear tell that Beethoven was deaf; I can hear perfectly well (don’t tell that to my wife) and I can not compose the Sixth Symphony. I have an autographed copy of The Cider House Rules. Where did John Irving get his inspiration? Many artists whom I admire. Where do they get their inspiration? Where did Albert Einstein get his inspiration?
John Roebling designed the Brooklyn Bridge, a masterpiece of architecture. The builders of the Parthenon built the steps of the long sides of the Parthenon sloping to the middle, to ensure that steps would not recede. The tops of the columns that ringed the Parthenon were thicker than the bases, for the same reason.
There is a book about the iPhone’s design and manufacture: The One Device, by Brian Merchant. Radio, television, the airplane, the telegraph. They all are the products of creativity.
n this week’s Parashah, Bereshit, God creates the universe. What an idea! God is the most creative entity, and God endowed us with a brain that can envision music, art, building, inventions. God endowed us with a brain that can solve the riddles of the universe. I look forward to many books, paintings, musical compositions, inventions, solutions to the riddles of the universe.