The Hidden Pain Of Others

A few years ago, as I walked down the street that I live on in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park, toward my home and my waiting family, past a row of restaurants and coffee shops with their happy and contented consumers, I spied a pair of friends and neighbors of ours. They were sitting outside a localContinue reading “The Hidden Pain Of Others”

On Not Recommending One’s Choices

Recently, all too often, I catch myself saying something like the following, “I took decision X, and I have my fair share of regrets and self-congratulation about it but I would not recommend X to anyone” or “In all honesty, I couldn’t recommend that you take decision X as I did.” Or something like that:Continue reading “On Not Recommending One’s Choices”

On Not ‘Interfering’ With Others’ Self-Conceptions

Sometimes, when I talk to friends, I hear them say things that to my ears sound like diminishments of themselves: “I don’t have the–intellectual or emotional or moral–quality X” or “I am not as good as Y when it comes to X.” They sound resigned to this self-description, this self-understanding. I think I see thingsContinue reading “On Not ‘Interfering’ With Others’ Self-Conceptions”

Shyness, Introverts, And Receding To Older Personas

A few days ago, I wrote on my occasional avoidance of company and/or conversation–with friends, acquaintances, and implicitly, of course, with strangers. In concluding, I wrote: On those occasions when I do carry out such deft evasions, I am reminded that despite writing in public spaces and despite taking up a career that requires meContinue reading “Shyness, Introverts, And Receding To Older Personas”

Laurence Olivier on the Indispensability of Personas

In his autobiography,┬áConfessions of an Actor (Penguin, 1982), Laurence Olivier writes of an unforgettable mentor, and reveals a great deal about acting: [Miss Fogerty] gave me one unforgettable, very special word of advice, which has been imprinted forever in my memory. I can’t think of when, if ever, I had heard or known such aContinue reading “Laurence Olivier on the Indispensability of Personas”