Sunday, April 20, 2014
Today, as before, I return to former American Poet Laureate Billy Collins' off-hand -- or was it a carefully crafted? -- remark that "meeting your favorite author is one of life's most reliable disappointments."
Whether he thought the remark was as obvious as saying "honey is sweet" or whether he hoped to puncture the grasping ignorance of lovingly-inflated balloons hardly seems to matter. What's true is true irrespective of self-serving intent.
In my mind today, the remark is like a pebble dropped into some still pond, with ripples spreading outward in perfectly round, perfectly smooth echoes. There is no messing with such perfection. Is that beautiful or what?!
"Meeting your favorite author is one of life's most reliable disappointments." The ripples moving outward in my mind suggest removing the word "author."
"Meeting your favorite __________ is one of life's most reliable disappointments."
Favorite philosophy or religion.
The deft and determined may swiftly deduce that eradicating favorites is the most sensible course when trying to sidestep disappointment. Religions and philosophies may require endless hours in such a fruitless quest... and in the meantime, the one attempting the feat exudes a kind of dour and gloomy serenity that smells more like skunk cabbage than it does like serenity. How could anyone possibly enjoy things when they were so busy making sure they did not enjoy anything for fear of the resulting disappointment? Assholes and facile pessimists adore this realm and church donations mount up.
The only key I can see to the lock that disappointment can be is attention. No one ever escaped hell by damning it any more than anyone ever attained heaven by praising it.
Favorites are favorites: Attention.
Disappointments are disappointments: Attention.
When it comes to enjoying the life that anyone might rightly wish to enjoy, I simply cannot think of another workable option. It may take some effort and it may seem unbearably slow in yielding results, but still I cannot see another option.
No more distances: When dancing, dance; when weeping, weep: God, I do love it so! God, it is unbearably disappointing!
No more distances.
No more disappointments.
My favorite disappointment.