Welcome to the club, small but rewarding. I have no doubt you will continue to regale us with your fine, skillful writing—there is a world of ideas to cover that do not require you to gag on forced opinion. You have already shown you know about that world (love your books). Some years ago I felt the weight of not just opinions in themselves, but the requirement to have one, when one doesn’t always. Straddling the fence was seen as mushy, wimpy (granted there are instances where that is the case.) Your column reminds me of a friend who has been telling me how she laments being judgmental. It behooved me to tell her about this adage among 12 steppers, how resentment is like drinking the poison and hoping it will kill someone else. Might we not extrapolate a similar burden to the consummate (forced) holder of opinions, resentment being an extreme, toxic form of judgment? Of course one can have happy uplifting opinions but still they are isolating, invariably fencing one off from other. The Buddhist contend that all suffering emanates from our simple human tendency to have preferences to pick and choose, to be adamantly judgmental, to stew in our opinions of what is good/bad, right/wrong, you know the dialectic. We are not talking about times when it is absolutely necessary to take a stand. I’m glad you will put your muse to better use. A devoted fan.

Author(ity) in/on San Francisco. Novel, essay, memoir. Teaches tango. Travel, outdoors, culture. Former editor at VIA Mag.

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