Saturday, January 23, 2010

If at first you don't succeed

This has to be the best advice ever. When I discovered my fortune yesterday, I had another cookie at hand; it had a reassuring but far less striking message. This "fortune" put me in mind of our conversations about trying too hard—or painfully sticking at something when it's just never going to be right. Sometimes it's as simple as picking another fortune cookie. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.

On a sort of related note, today I was tidying up and skimming-before-jettisoning ancient copies of The New Yorker. One article about Frank Gehry (Calvin Tompkins in the July 7, 1997 issue) talked about how at some point in the 1950s, Gehry went East to the Harvard Graduate School of Design and enrolled in the City Planning department. Tompkins wrote:
It was a mistake. City planning seemed to consist of endless group discussions, out of which came an endless flow of paperwork and not much else. He quit, and spent the rest of the year auditing all the Harvard courses that interested him. . . .
Another turning point was at the time Gehry had built his own house in Santa Monica and was working on Santa Monica Place,
"a fifty-million-dollar shopping center whose developer, the Rouse Company, was his most important commercial client . . . . Not lot after the shopping center was finished, the Rouse Company's president, Mathias DeVito, came to the Gehry's new house for dinner . . . "He sat there and looked around and didn't understand it at all," Gehry recalls. "He said, "You really like this? I said, 'Matt, this is the best thing I've ever done.'He said, "Well, if you like this, then you don't like that —pointing to the plan for the shopping center—so why do it?' I told him I didn't really want to, and he said in that case I shouldn't, and I agreed, and we shook hands and said we weren't going to work together anymore."
Picking another fortune cookie sure worked for Gehry.

1 comment:

Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

Yes, that house looks nothing like a shopping center! What a wonderful fortune for you to get for 2010.

The best fortune I ever got in a cookie was "Smile...when you are ready". I got tha one at a time when I often felt peer-pressured to like things I didn't, or I felt I was being pressured to behave in way that felt false to me. What a good cookie!

Dearest's best cookie? "Come back later...I a sleeping. (yes, cookies need their sleep, too)