Years of creative output

One things that strikes me about the Inklings is that many of them led short lives by our standards. Charles Williams died at 58, before retirement age. Same with Lewis, who passed away at 63. Tolkien finally expired at 81, but even that is not so long. Nearly all my grandparents have or will likely surpass them. My grandfather Walter died at 101.

Perhaps I still have time to make an impression on the world. As I approach the age of 30, I have to switch to older models. My standard so far has been Ralph Vaughn Williams, one of my favorite composers, who, notably, didn’t write anything good until he was about 32. This is rather unusual among musicians, who typically show signs of rocking the house by their late teens or earlier. See Mozart, Brahms, etc.

Only Owen Barfield stuck around long enough to see his friend’s names become famous, to be interviewed for documentaries about…himself. He far outlived the rest of them (1898-1997).