Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brain Worms

A further counsel bear in mind: 
If that thy roof be made of glass, 
It shows small wit to pick up stones 
To pelt the people as they pass.

Don Quixote 1605 (by Miguel de Cervantes)

Criticism can live in a mind like a worm. Sometimes I try to squish it with another kind of brain worm, a tune that won't leave. You know what those are like, maybe some jingle or popular song that repeats itself all afternoon. I've heard of people that suffered for days. I haven't had that problem, but sometimes a brain worm simply accompanies criticism for a long while, or the critic wins out and I must take another approach. Om. Om.

As my wrinkles deepen, I try harder (yes, often fruitlessly, some of you know) to keep the criticism locked up, unsaid. Keeping quiet is hardest in the face of someone else's inability to do the same.

My membership in several environmental organizations brought me the bantering among letters to the editor. Folks of the same flock criticizing each other for not living the talk reminds me of glass houses. Sell that old Volvo; it's a gas guzzler. Does it make sense to junk it in a landfill and buy another car? And by the way, you in your hybrid, couldn't you bike to work? Or walk, then you wouldn't have to buy tires and repair brakes? Or work out of your home? And grow your own food so you don't have to shop every week? It's endless.

I've heard that if it's worth doing it's worth doing badly the first time. We're trying here at Elk Cliff Farm. Some things we don't do so well. I like to think we do them better the next time. When animals die, we cry (it's part of life, some people like to say). Over all, I think we do a better job than the factories that raised the animals we used to eat when we bought meat at grocery stores. I'll half-bite my tongue and not ask whether you've found an alternative source, too.

"Unfair," says Virginia. "I thought you weren't going to criticize."

I guess it's all in the mind, you know.

1 comment: