Sunday, June 22, 2008


In the same manner of prudence you employ by checking the batteries in a fire alarm, you attempt equipoise or equanimity with your temper and are thus able to be positive about most non-social meetings you need to attend. In the same manner of prudence you employ by avoiding places that depress you such as The Farmer Boy's Restaurant at the corner of State and Ontare in upper Santa Barbara, you try to avoid any venue where your suspicion of landscape or population will bring you gloom leading to depression.

Accordingly you were on what you judged to be good behavior during the first sixty or seventy percent of the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference, but the buffet barbecue dinner put you in the seat next to a faculty member whose views should by now have caused you to stop immediately what you are doing and set forth with the sun screen equivalent of prudence. You did not. As he proceeded with one of his pronouncements you threw over all reason and restraint, summoned your most stentorian, projected voice and denounced him as being so far out of date that he could apply for World War II gas ration stamps.

Not a good way to begin.

But shortly thereafter, when your workshop began, two individuals read short stories of such magnitude that you were able to endure for the rest of the evening with an enormous calm and grateful heart.


Wild Iris said...

I would have loved to have been there for that, and what a fantastic analogy. I began laughing when I read it.

Anonymous said...

Shelly - thank you for enabling me to vicariously indulge my present sour disposition - and to extirpate it (with a smile) - without making a fool of myself. Especially since I'm in no position to use my own stentorian voice. Just wish I'd been at that table, too....
- Karen

x said...

I can't picture it, you using a stentorian voice. But I can imagine you enjoying the students' short stories. Nice that life allows room to shift from one bad moment to the next good one.