Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"There's no accounting for it" as the old saying goes. But when I was young, I thought there was. I thought everyone had my taste and either just didn't know it yet or weren't admitting it.

How could others not love the things I loved? If that's a youthful phase, it lasts for some of us a lot longer. The compulsive list making that went on in my brain and my writing before my relatively recent brain surgery (coming up on a year and seven months next Monday) was often all about that.

I took enormous pleasure from making complicated lists expressing my taste in movies and books and art and poetry etc. Fortunately my taste is broad so there was always plenty to choose from. And I'm now old enough to know that we aren't all alike inside, as I believed when I was young. We certainly all have much in common, but my recovery from and continuing post-brain-surgery ways of thinking, including my taste, has gone through such unexpected alternations that it's even clearer to me now that taste is a matter of brain wiring as much as environment and education and exposure.

So now I'm not surprised or disappointed when others don't share my taste. I still like to try and convince them that my perspective is valid and that maybe they should try it for themselves. But I get enough feedback from comments on this blog and emails and conversations in person and on the phone to know that not everyone thinks BARNEY'S VERSION was the best movie of last year—or was even that good at all to them (but f you don't like MIDNIGHT IN PARIS there's something wrong with you, just kidding)—or that some of the books I've recommended recently on this blog are as great to others as they are to me (though obviously a lot of folks agree with my rave of Terence Winch's collection of poems, FALLING OUT OF BED IN A ROOM WITH NO FLOOR, as it has just hit number one on the small press bestseller list).

I appreciate those of you who give my taste a try and let me know where you differ. And of course, over time, your taste might end up agreeing with mine, as mine has changed so that I now agree with people I used to argue passionately with.


harryn said...

Funny how age, experience, and tolerance modify opinion ...

I think it helps me realize we're all just 'peoples' following the path and nature of long-forgotten seeds that were nurtured in ways we can hardly conceive.
Thank goodness for the storytellers that keep it alive and palpable.

I believe it was you that said 'our differences are what help us understand how much we are the same' - (the Healing Poem) ...

I remember adamantly fighting to convince people to follow my path where somehow I knew inside that I'd probably leave it if it were too traveled ...

I guess there's a reason why things grow where they grow - and agreement is less important than understanding and appreciating.

One of the big problems I'm seeing today is peoples' unknowing resistance to being monotone - it's contrary to the precepts of individualism. That coupled with pop culture's illusions of achievement and the notion that self worth equals net worth is really demoralizing.
No wonder it's a jungle out there.

Thanks for the heart-felt post Michael.

Anyone see Hertzog's "Caves of Forgotten Dreams"


Lally said...

Thanks for the kind words brother, and for the link to Herzog's cave film, which I totally want to see, along with Terence Malick's TREE OF LIFE. Both on my agenda for the near future.