Friday, August 19, 2011

Seeking Failure

This is my next goal: I want to fail. A lot. Frequently. To challenge, court, invite, and risk failure.

When one exercises one's muscles with heavy weights, one learns to work to failure to test how far the body can go to learn how to become stronger. Failure is the inability to do even one more repetition, even if offered a million dollars as a reward. When you know where failure is, you have a sense of where to begin and where your goals lie—how progress can and should be measured.

I hate failing. I avoid failure. I avoid doing anything I cannot do extremely well. I avoid anything that I know makes me look imperfect (and I worry over all the things that make me look imperfect that I do not see).

Still, I know that avoiding failure is itself failure. I avoid doing things I do not do well so that other people will think more highly of me. By avoiding these things, I make it impossible for other people to connect with me in any but the most superficial ways and so I fail in worse ways than I had feared.

So I am going to hunt down failure. I am going to learn to delight in failure. I already hate failure. I will develop a taste for it, as though it were a particularly fine cheese, or a strongly flavored liquor. I will become drunk with the success of failure. And then it will take more failure and more failure before I can fail. And I will grow stronger, and failure will become strength.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

books I have read recently

The Subversive Copyeditor
Listening Below the Noise
I Don't Know How She Does it
What Alice Forgot
A selection of Seneca's letters
The Rule of St. Benedict
The Blue Fairy Book

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I was wrong

In Shakespeare's telling, Cressida is false. I still don't find Troilus particularly true, but Cressida is indeed false.