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Saturday, April 09, 2005


Viva Las Vegas

In a book I read last year that changed my life, called The Artist's Way, the author, Julia Cameron, argues that sometimes it is by trying something we resist, or doing something we'd "never" do, that we unlock our true or best selves. A woman I know had a deathly fear of dogs, but decided she was going to try to like them, and now has a soulmate in the form of one standard poodle named Hilary. Sometimes, this same woman advised me, we can trick ourselves -- "oh," the chronically untidy can say, "I just have to have things in a certain order." The more we do this the more we find ourselves open to things that otherwise might just have passed us by.

I am reminding myself of all this since I fly to Vegas tomorrow for a conference. I've never been, but I assume it is the opposite of my ideal environment -- offensively commercial, noisy, crowded, stamping out the natural landscape. But despite all this, I know it's a place worth seeing, an experience worth having. My mom told me that my grandfather used to stay at the hotel I'll be at, so when the sights and sounds get overwhelming, I'll think of him, however many years back, eating his prime rib and soaking it all in.
The point about [Las Vegas], which both its critics and its admirers overlook, is that it's wonderful and awful simultaneously. So one loves it and detests it at the same time.
--David Spanier, Welcome to the Pleasure Dome: Inside Las Vegas
I'll let you know how it goes.

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