Sunday, April 13, 2008

Defending my inner flibbertigibbet























Like all the perfume crowd, I was sorry to read that Leopoldo has decided to put away his blogging pen, at least for a while. He writes brilliant, funny riffs on all things scented, and anything else that takes his fancy. I’ll miss his Wednesday posts, but I feel complete sympathy with his need to move away from a pursuit that has lost its excitement. There’s nothing worse than slogging on at something that has come to seem trivial.

Still, I find it’s tough to leave a passion behind, even temporarily. Like most people, I have a notion that life should be linear in all its aspects. Our goal is to get it right, find the perfect spouse, job, hobby, political stance, etc. Any change of heart screws up the narrative. It’s an admission of failure. I look around my house at the remnants of past enthusiasms—antique porcelain, books in Greek and Russian, a boatload of herbs, tinctures and texts from my herbal medicine phase—and I can’t help thinking, “Loser.” Metamorphosis is painful. That’s why I hold onto relics. Chucking them means renouncing a dream.

I’m trying to get over that idiotic idea. Isn't it okay to have a restless mind (or heart) that roams over a lot of territory in the brief span of a life? Dilettantes may get less accomplished than more single-minded folk, but we keep things lively.




Photo of dragonfly metamorphosis from Wikipedia.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, how else would we know we don't want to devote the rest of our lifes to it if we don't try it ?:)
Veronica

Bozo said...

Wendell Berry has a poem about the unexpected liberation and energy that comes from having a house burn down, clearing out old things mindlessly clung to and opening the way to renewed life. I hope my house never burns down, but I do enjoy cleaning out my closet.

(Love the picture!)

Perfumeshrine said...

I wouldn't know. I am someone who also holds on to relics, because "Chucking them means renouncing a dream". I think it's just my profoundly passionate and conservative nature, though. The things (and people of course) I love, I love for life and I'd feel disloyal if I veered off their track. That's why I am also obstibately opposed to change in personal matters. That or laziness (to be completely honest, "that and laziness too", should have been the correct turn of phrase).

But of course life intervenes with our best intentions, people need to move on and I will sorely miss Leo's writing as well: a voice in perfume blogging that was never formulaic :-(

Margaret said...

I think there's a name for single-minded folk. They're commonly called "bores."

Renee said...

If the goal is to get it right, you sure achieved it in that blog post. Beautiful!

BitterGrace said...

Of course you're right, Veronica--can I assume you've got some trace of the the flibbertigibbet within? ;-)

Bozo, I have fantasies about my house burning down, I really do. For a long time we seemed to move every 3 years, which meant jettisoning all the unnecessaries. What a pleasure that was. We've been here for over a decade now, and it's all piling up!

Helg, I can't tell you how much I admire your focus. If you approach everything as you do your blog, well, I'm in awe. I wish I had just a smidgen of your stamina.

Margaret, that cracked me up. Alas, dilettantes can be bores, too. I've put the glaze in a few eyes in my day. Of course, we're always boring new people...

Thanks, Renee ;-)

leopoldo said...

Didn't Arnie once say (much admired Californian somebody...) 'I'll be back'?

BitterGrace said...

Well, Leo, personally I wish Arnie would go and stay gone, but your return I await with heart aflutter. Come back soon.

leopoldo said...

I didn't mean I admire him, but I guess you know that.

BitterGrace said...

No, Arnie definitely doesn't seem your type, Leo. He has turned away from Bush in the past couple of years, which is at least one good thing we can say about him.