Most days, with respect to where my innate talents meet my passions, I'm reconciled to my spot on the bell curve. That is, I work at getting better at my passions knowing I'm not exceptional. And from the inception of this blog, I've tried to speak of my place on the bell curve - and the quirks, flaws, and limitations that many of us share - in an attempt to build simpatico with others on the curve. More pertinently to today's reflection, I've tried to be genuine here without too much whining. So, forgive me Father, for I am about to sin. Try treating my confession as the antidote to Facebook walls that show unfailingly perfect lives unmarred by unmet expectations.
The one-two punch delivering a temporarily immobilizing blow to my self-image as a writer and a musician began on Thursday as I finished The Tortilla Curtain (1995) by TC Boyle. Then, on Friday night I saw guitarist Mike Stern in concert. Aside from a nice walk at the Manasquan reservoir and breakfast with my wife and daughter in the morning, yesterday went steadily downhill from there. Only a little more, I promise.
The blog post I began early yesterday afternoon was so sour and self-pitying I abandoned it. Boyle's total control of his craft wouldn't leave me alone. OK, I thought, pick up the guitar. But the moment Stern's prodigious technique began replaying in my brain, the only remaining option for me was a long nap.
I was so relieved my wife and I had dinner plans last night. I don't expect readers to put themselves out there and describe a similar bell curve experience. But it would sure be nice to know something like this has happened to someone out there sometime. I'll keep your secret, I promise.