Wisdom of the Pinternets

alyx babyWhen we were recently in Boston, we ended up tooling through Whole Foods in search of fruit, yogurt, airplane snacks and the particular kind of entertainment that comes of briefly staring at things you would never seriously consider buying. Among these were some slogan-y fridge magnets, including one that seemed like it could be my new national anthem: Let Go or Be Dragged.

This, at first glance, seemed like a kinder-gentler revision of an attitude I sometimes find myself holding, which might be characterized as Get Out of My Way Before I Set You on Fire.

I do not like to feel impeded. Oh, I know–who does? I’m not a special snowflake in this, though I may be more than usually mulish about plowing on regardless once I’ve decided on a goal.

Anyway, we got back to the fabulous Oasis Guest House, where the WiFi was free-flowing and delicious, and I decided to pin the expression. Upon googling the phrase, I found it’s credited as being a Zen proverb. This presumably means that it doesn’t necessarily arise from the I and my flamethrower are coming through now, thanks place, as I had initially assumed.

I decided I was okay with that, and that I could hold the one reading but maybe strive for the other, and so I pinned it. And damn if Pinterest didn’t then offer up all sorts of other peace & luv bon mots. Of which I did genuinely like a few:

You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else seemed kind of pertinent to some of the things I’ve been talking about lately.
What you allow is what will continue is something I mean to think about. It’s not bad, but there may be a kernel of victim-blaming there.
Fall seven times, stand up eight, on the other hand, has that Karate Kid can-do spirit we all know and love.

What are your mantras and how well do they hold up to overly critical scrutiny?

Here’s the Boston photoset. I’m still curating, a little, but it’ll give you the general idea. https://flic.kr/s/aHskfCerFP

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About Alyx Dellamonica

After twenty-two years in Vancouver, B.C., I've recently moved to Toronto Ontario, where I make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian, a coffee snob, and I wake up at an appallingly early hour.

12 Responses to Wisdom of the Pinternets

  1. Liz says:

    “You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.”

    But then you’d at least have company while being broken…

  2. “Don’t start what you’re not prepared to finish.”

  3. Perhaps I should have explicated that saying: you can start a process of escalation, but you don’t get to say where it stops. Nor does any set of formal rules, because the other party may decide to screw the rules and blow right through them.

    The -other person- gets to say where it stops, which may well be at ‘global thermonuclear war’. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push at them; it just means you’ve got to be willing to handle the blowback.

  4. I rather like that by itself: Push if you must push, but be willing to handle the blowback.

  5. Paul Weimer says:

    My work mantra comes from Londo Mollari:

    “Don’t give away the homeworld”

  6. Paul Weimer says:

    Another, more generally applicable is “Keep calm and plod on”. I’m much less successful at this one. I plod on, but keeping calm is another matter

  7. Loren Rhoads says:

    What doesn’t kill me had better run.

  8. Annihilation: what happens when your narrative meets someone else’s anti-narrative.