OLDER PEOPLES minds are too often cluttered by informational overload or professional demands to invest energy in reviving old passions. But some longings, like playing the cello again, refuse to cease and desist.
Ari Goldmans The Late Starters Orchestra is a serious, whimsical and realistic chronicle of the Columbia University professor and former New York Times journalists return to the cello at age 60.
A speaker at Sundays JAAMM Fest, Goldman is already back in New York preparing a class at Columbia, where he heads the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual life.
I had a nice experience at the festival yesterday, he says. A lot people were really skeptical: Can you really pick up an instrument at this stage in your life? I said absolutely and gave them a lot of examples.
I joined the Late Starters Orchestra in New York, but its part of a national network of orchestras for people over 50 called New Horizons.
Although Denver doesnt have an orchestra for late bloomers, there is one in Colorado Springs.
Were living longer, Goldman says of opportunities to actualize once impossible dreams. We have more free time, especially now that the kids are out of the house. We should pursue our dreams.
For some, thats playing an instrument. For other people it might be learning a new language, planting a garden, cooking even riding a motorcycle. This book is about capturing and recapturing your passion.
Goldman and his wife Shira, who have been married for 31 years, are the parents of three adult children.
I was determined that one of my children would love the cello, he says, and Judah, our youngest, took to it.
Judah, a main character in the book, was only six when he began studying the cello. Hes now a sophomore in college and plays seven instruments, including the cello.
Hes a music major and is a very, very good musician, Goldman says proudly.
The author, now 65, is quick to admit that hes not very good at the cello because I started late. If you start early, you can do all sorts of miraculous things, but if you come to it late, theres only so much you can do.