Masters of Golf, and Art

One much younger, at 26, than the other who at 86, died at his home in Manhattan. The young man is Charl Schwartzel, an unknown to most of us until yesterday when he climbed Mount Olympus, the green slopes of Augusta National and as Masters Champion reigns supreme. The other, older Master, was a film director, Sidney Lumet, who late in life received an Oscar. One of those “honorary” ones, the kind given after numerous nominations when those deciding begin to feel guilty. Known for films of “conscience,” as the New York Times put it, “12 Angry Men, “Serpico,”Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Verdict” and “Network.” Also reported by the online Times was a interview with Mr. Lumet in 2005. What struck me was what he said at the very beginning: “If I’m moved by a scene, a situation, a character, and if I see it, hear it, in my head, my heart, I have to believe its going to work before an audience.”

Two very different men who through their respective sensibilities, created something. In the case of the young golfer, the soaring drives to a fairway, the arching approaches to a green, the truly rolled putts.  Not always works of art. In trying situations the South African had heart, but he also use his mind. As the film director did so well for so long. And as we writers must while facing our desktops, and try to see, if we can, in our minds a scene, a situation, a character that will, one day, move an audience.