Sunday, March 1, 2015

A rising tide lifts all boats

I have been struck by this unfortunate pattern: when I become very absorbed in an endeavor I become more critical of others in that endeavor. 

I was once a painter. During those many years I found it hard to enjoy painting and other forms of visual art done especially by living people. I didn't tacitly think there was only so much painting love to go around, I just acted that way.

The other day I was in the library break room telling Marcus the teen librarian about yet another book. "It was great, but then she put this crappy paragraph in near the end. It ruined it for me." One paragraph! I have become a gigantically dissatisfied reader. One adjective can tip me over the edge, the awkward movement of a character, a glint in their eye, a plot flaw the size of a dime. God, writing is hard! How about a little pity?

Wait, no, writing isn't actually hard. It's like tumbling down a hill. You get weeds in your hair. It's a lark. Everything is a lark. Art is not a fierce and noble mission. We just want to make a little magic. There is plenty of love to go around. Rejoice writers, painters, musicians, dancers and poets and potters and drawers. We are all in this together.

So let us band together and fight our only enemy.


  1. Is there any way to find out if you've replied to one of my well thought out and brilliantly written comments? Or do I have to skulk around, trying to remember what I wrote about which? I'm over 50 now and I rarely remember what I want to remember.

    1. No, certainly you shouldn't have to skulk around here. There's so little to do between supernovas. My understanding is that if you click on the little box in the lower corner of the white comment area, the one that says "Notify me", then any further comments, such as one like this, will get sent posthaste to your email address.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.