Barry Smith: Irrelativity | AspenTimes.com

Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry Smith
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Jordan Curet The Aspen Times

Dear Bad Guru,

How big should my tomato starts be before I transplant them to my garden?

Signed, Midwest Gardener

Dear Mid,

Since this is a spiritual advice column and not a gardening advice column, I have to assume you are cloaking your actual question in a garden metaphor. This is understandable, as sometimes our biggest issues are the hardest to face, and it helps to think of them in terms that aren’t overwhelming to us.

You’re correct – your “tomato starts,” as you are choosing to call your deepest fears, anxieties and insecurities, cannot stay in their little “planters” forever. They have to be brought to the light. This is a seemingly terrifying proposition, as you’ll be facing some unpleasant things. Things which, at the risk of shocking you, I’ll simply call “frost,” “drought” and “mealworms.”

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At some point, though, you have to get them out in the open, in the “garden” and let them grow and flourish. And with proper “watering” and “pruning,” your little plant will blossom into a beautiful, “tomato-bearing” you.

Happy “gardening.”

Dear Bad Guru,

I’m looking for a new portable table saw, and I can’t decide between the Bosch GTS 1031 and the DeWalt DW 745. In all the reviews I’ve read, they seem so closely matched in performance, features and price. Which would you recommend?

Signed, Phil the Shopgeek

Dear Phil,

Interesting question. Though it reads like a letter to Popular Mechanics, I have to believe that since it found its way to me it’s actually a deeply couched cry for spiritual help. Admittedly I’m not all that familiar with power tools (gurus tend to hire out such work), I’ll do my best to speak to what’s at the root of your question in a language you can understand.

So often our choices in life aren’t as clear-cut as we think they should be. The perceived similarities between truth and illusion can bind us. The spinning blade is seen as the Wheel of Life, ready to either serve or destroy. But if we keep our senses sharp and aligned, then we can be sure that our decisions will be free from fraying and chatter and that we’ll continue to progress towards, uh … a 15-amp universal motor and a 25-inch rip capacity. Which is good, of course. Very good.

Remember; meditate twice, chant once.

Dear Bad Guru,

I just got the new retina display iPad, and it rules! It’s also kinda hot, in a heat way. I can’t even put it on my lap for very long. Please help.

Signed, Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Dear Foxtrot,

Oh, I see … your “iPad” is too “hot” for your “lap,” eh?

Well, perhaps you should consider getting a “smart cover.” Or even investing in an “external” keyboard. At some point we all come face-to-face with our need for a “VGA adapter.” These are all part of the spiritual journey. Rest assured, there’s an “app” for all of this, lifetime after lifetime.

Dear Bad Guru,

My scalp is itchy. Why?

Signed, Dry Climate

Dear Dry,

Really? Your scalp is itchy? That’s the best you can do?

OK then – your scalp is your guilt, and the itchiness is your desire to resolve it. Or it could be that your scalp is your feeling of unworthiness, and it itches because you don’t deserve to be scratched. Maybe the itching is your mother, your scalp is your father. Or vice versa.

Or maybe, just maybe, your scalp represents humankind’s inability to ask a straight question, instead having to hide behind gardening and computer and power tool and dermatology questions. Yeah, I think that’s exactly what your “scalp” is.

The reason it itches is because you keep picking at it.