Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wow, I just got rebutted

Out of pure chance, I picked up this book, Triggering Town", and in just a few short sentences, both of my last two posts were devastatingly rebutted. Of course, I subscribe to the tenant that two contradictory views can both be true, so while I stand behind my posts, I also have to say, I absolutely believe these statements to be 100% true. For context, the book is from lectures on writing poetry:

The Case for Thinking Small:

"The starting point is fixed to give the mind an operating base, and the mind expands from there. Often, if the triggering subject is big (love, death, faith) rather than localized and finite, the mind tends to shrink. Sir Alexander Fleming observed some mold, and a few years later we had a cure for gonorrhea. But what if the British government had told him to find a cure for gonorrhea? He might have worried so much he would not have noticed the mold. Think small. If you have a big mind, that will show itself. If you can't think small, try philosophy or social criticism."

By the way the poem, the author is describing is worth publishing here:


I found him sleepy in the heat
And dust of of a gopher burrow,
Coiled in loose folds upon silence
In a pit of the noonday hillside.
I saw the wedged bulge
Of the head hard as a fist.
I remembered his delicate ways:
The mouth of a cat's mouth yawning.
I crushed him deep in dust,
And heard the loud seethe of life
In the dead beads of the tail
Fade, as wind fades
From the wild grain of the hill.

And finally, why you should not argue:

"In a sense, I hope I don't teach you how to write but how to teach yourself how to write. At all times keep your crap detector on. If I say something that helps, good. If what I say is of no help, let it go. Don't start arguments. They are futile and take us away from our purpose. As Yeats noted, your important argments are with yourself. If you don't agree with me, don't listen. Think about something else."

Yep, the most important arguments are with yourself. Life is a personal journey. We can throw out our own nuggets to others, but at the end of the day, its up to each of us to sort through the nonsense to find out what works for us...

Hmmm... how much time do I waste on arguments that are "futile and take us away from our purpose".


Rachel said...

love the last quote, i want to save it, but I think there's a typo in the first sentence, will you tell me if so?

tempe turley said...

Rachel, fixed it, thanks for being my editor :-)...

H said...

Can't you think big and small at the same time? Say we have a dream to spread the gospel to the whole world. That's thinking big. Now, say you teach your neighbor about the restoration, lead a good life, set a good example, and teach your children to follow the Savior. Isn't that thinking small? Even baby steps lead us somewhere.

As far as arguing goes, that quote was a good one. I think sometimes however, we create an argument to flesh out our own ideas and make sure we know what we are grounded in. It's good to know that I can disregard other people's "crap" when I want to though :)

tempe turley said...


You're right! There's no rules...

I guess with the poetry example, sometimes we get hung up thinking big, we end up sabotaging ourselves... His point is start small (in your poetry writing) and let the language and the music oganically lead you to something bigger...

How that applies to other areas of your life, I have no idea...

But you're right, kind of like that bummper sticker... Think globally act locally (or something like that)...

Yeah, definitely keep your "crap" filter on high while reading my blog definitely...