Thursday, November 29, 2007

A star to the north.

The thing I read today that killed me the most, courtesy of Michelle:
Food for thought for any fellow defeatist-perfectionists and fundamentally lazy, fear-of-failure-paralyzed all-or-nothingists, from a book I'm reading about the business of freelance writing: "If you are not failing regularly, you are living so far below your potential that you're failing anyway."
My response? "I should probably tattoo that thing about failure in mirror script on my forehead and then sit in front of a mirror all day."

A close second came in the form of some notes I wrote in my (intermittently used) planner awhile back during a sermon. They go like this, but imagine them scrawled and emphatic:
they are a confession of FAITH.
In a contract: you offer as little as possible in hope of getting as much as possible.
With a vow: you offer everything.
Sometimes I'm really glad I write things down.

PS, did anyone ever read that book, A Star to the North, by Barbara Corcoran and Bradford Angier? It's so out of print I can't even find a decent link for you. It's one of those kids surviving in the woods books I used to favor.


  1. Ohhhh I love them both. I've been in a cycle of panicked, pressured perfectionism that is almost like a compulsion now, and the results are anything but perfect. I'll have to think about that for a while.

  2. michelle/weaker vessel11/30/07, 8:09 AM

    Holy crap, where are you going to church? A philosophy of religion seminar? That is such an awesome, beautiful distinction that I just mulled it over during the entire hour I spent dropping kidlets off at various public schools. Wow. Thanks for that.

  3. I wish every pastor/priest/officiant would give engaged couples that exact definition of vows and contracts before the wedding. Perhaps it would give people more clarity about the weight of the union they're entering and the degree of commitment they're about to promise.

  4. Wow, God, the failure thing. That resonated with me like you wouldn't believe. I also love what Marigoldie said about "panicked perfectionism."

  5. Michelle, I have a church gig at a Unitarian church that is extremely right on. Sometimes it feels like a very conscientious political rally, sometimes it gets touchy-feely and therapeutic, and always it is full of things to think about. THe poems I've reprinted on the blog lately were readings I heard at church.