Monday, April 10, 2006

A Heartless Moment

I did an awful thing yesterday. I wrote to someone to tell him that recent work he did was "terrible." There are myriad difficulties with his work, and it needs attentive criticism, but that's not what I gave him. I regret my cruelty, which was the expression of anger on my part (which I wasn't acknowledging to myself) at not only this man, but others whom I feel are guilty of certain artistic 'sins.'

My aesthetic judgment may or may not have been good in this case, but I certainly forgot that I was talking to a real human being. I regret it. I'm also mystified at myself for it. Where did my heart go?



Anonymous said...

I've noticed how many times in your blog you say "I suck". We all project onto others, perhaps this may attribute to a bit of the intensity with this man?

Just a thought

Cindy said...

"And anyway it's the same old story--
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world."

from Mary Oliver's "Dogfish"

That line break after the second "kind" always catches at me. There are none of us who are truly kind, I think. Which is all the more reason to keep struggling toward it, perhaps.

David said...

"Anonymous" has a telling point, which was made by the man I sinsulted, and which took me a full 36 hours or so to finally admit. I did indeed project my own shortcomings on to him. In my apology to him--or more precisely, in my attempt to atone--I spelled out at some length exactly what I think I was projecting and owned up to why. I did not lard my apology with potentially passive aggressive asides such as "I suck"--I tried not to whine--to make clear that I was trying to understand--and take responsibility for--my own actions, rather than solicit his forgiveness, which I think would have been a lot to ask, at least not yet.

This very public airing of my own process, victories, epiphanies and missteps continues to be fruitfull to me. I hope it's has something more than sheer entertainment value to you, too.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.