If your mind isn’t open…

Aug 21, 2022 | 0 comments

Today I find myself considering the words of wisdom I ran across in Sue Grafton’s M Is For Malice.  I’m sure I read them back in 1996 when that book came out — plunk in the middle of her Alphabet series which ended with Y Is For Yesterday in 2017.  Although she planned to finish with Z is for Zero in 2019, she died before even beginning to write it and, as her family and fans said at the time, “For us, the alphabet ends with Y.”

Since it’s been a full quarter century since I’ve read her M book, I’m more than hazy on the details.  And, even at the time, I’m sure I wasn’t reading these “down and dirty murder mysteries” (as Nyel called all paperback series of that ilk) for any wise words to live by.  But no sooner had I settled into this one than I read (on page 92):  “If your mind isn’t open, keep your mouth shut, too.”

Boy oh boy, do I wish I’d paid attention to those ten words way back when!  How many useless arguments or how much unnecessary angst would I have saved myself?  When I think about it, I am probably the Queen of Closed Minds.  “The way we’ve always done it…” or ” but it’s a tradition!”… or “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” are all phrases that come out of my mouth probably all too often.

I’d like to say that the closed mind part comes with age, but I’m not so sure that’s true.  I know lots of elders who are always up for new experiences and new adventures.  I am, too, until it comes to being the gatekeeper of history.  That’s when the second part of Grafton’s adage (well… it should be an adage) comes into play.  I do believe I need to work on that mouth part.  Beginning now.

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