"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." -- Frank A. Clark
In some cases that may be true, but I think it really depends on what kind of plant you are and I like to consider myself a sturdy, resilient, and lasting Bristlecone Pine.
First things first! Wouldn't it be crazy if you happened upon the San Diego Reader and read MY COLUMN this week and said, "Wait a minute... WE just moved into a two-story condo and WE have a cat, and I wear a white robe every morning... This crazy chick is watching US!" I get a sick thrill from picturing that moment, that Being John Malkovich-esque weirdness of happening across a random article in which you recognize yourself. These are the things that please me.
Other things that please me! I just picked up Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty, the true story of the author and her best friend, Lucy Grealy. In one of Lucy's letters, she expressed an idea that made complete sense to me and I realize, without having been able to form the words to express it, this is how I too feel, in many ways, about New Age stuff.
She wrote: "I'm all for the roots of new-age and all that, but it seems to me too often confused with psychology and emotional happiness and self-awareness by certain types of people who are very sensitive and needy, yet not able to find what they want and need via art or more traditional (and far more demanding and harder) philosophies and/or religions.
I'm sure I've more to say on the subject, but I woke up with a BITCH of a pinched nerve in my right trapezoid this morning and I don't think I can type for much longer. My workout was excruciating (yeah, I went anyway and did what I could in an attempt to convince myself how hard core I am, how much I can suck it up, but then, standing in the hot shower and waiting for the muscles to loosen, even a bit, I whimpered and wailed like a child deprived of candy).
Now I need to sit back and pout until the anti-inflammatories kick in. Oh yeah, she's a tough one. Some Bristlecone Pine I'd make. But hey, just because they last and bounce back and are the oldest trees on the planet doesn't mean they didn't suffer a little in the process, eh? EH?
Alright, time to retire to my comfy chair and ponder all the people I know who are caught up in New Age stuff, and wonder whether or not my neighbors will break down and buy blinds.