I’ve begun to notice how impressionable I am in the moods that come over me as I begin my day. For instance, I often look forward to reading the “Food” section of the NYTimes on Wednesdays and the “Home” section on Thursday mornings while eating my breakfast.
“the worst”: This morning, I read a very long article about a woman who wanted to open a Yaddo-like cultural retreat at her beautiful stone dwelling in North Stamford, CT. The trouble is, the writer of the article, Penelope Green, was so disdainful of her subject and her topic that her descriptions were sarcastic and demeaning throughout the piece. I had a rare reaction, one almost of disgust at the lack of objectivity and writing integrity that I have come to expect from this newspaper which is my daily bread. There was such a heavy, dispiriting tone throughout the entire spread that I wrote to PG as well as to the NYTimes Editorial comment section asking why they would think we readers might be enlightened by such presumptuous writing.
In a bad mood, I cast about for a way to start my real day of wanting to make some progress here at home and was reminded of a cookery book soon to be published this Fall in October by Mimi Thorissen. I looked up her blog to catch up on what was going on and was surprised to learn she had recently given birth to a daughter named Audrey and also had found a new/old house of her dreams which they would move into and also turn into a small bistro restaurant which she had always wanted to run.
“the best”: Her blog, Manger, is filled with incredibly sumptuous photographs of cooking, house and home, her children and the countryside. What a welcome antidote to the poison of the cynical and smug Penelope Green article earlier in the day!
So, there you have it in two extremes: the very worst in human nature, making fun of someone who’s naive intentions are held up as the ultimate in pretentiousness and across the world, someone who is so beautiful (even post-partum) and creative (e.g., stuffing potatoes with beef and tying them back together with string!) whose passions inspire us to reach for what’s best in ourselves rather than settling for the worst.
Which will it be?