Better the second time, a true and final Reassembly

My high-school English teacher Ms. Linda Johnson wrote a college recommendation letter, and, being very shrewd, she let me read it. It said something very close to this:

“Derek didn’t like Hemingway at first, but had the intellectual curiosity to come back and read his other works with an open mind.”

Let’s say that was an extremely generous description. But that’s the shrewd part: It made me earnestly *want to become* that person. (Damn, teachers are smart. See, it’s still stuck in my head 30 years later.)

Yesterday I was listening to Lorde’s new song Green Light. I had a mixed reaction. Listened again, listened again, it grew on me.

Told my 16 y.o. I was listening to it, and she said “Yeah, it grew on me.”

Which reminded me of Queens of the Stone Age and the album Like Clockwork. Disappointed at first, but it got better and better. Dense. Textured. Deep. Eventually amazing.

Which reminded me of Ms. Johnson’s letter, but I guess (eureka) it’s not about the intellectual curiosity of the consumer. Maybe it’s the simplest mark of powerful art or great work in any form. Better the second time, and better still after that.

Hope you’re discovering those books and songs and movies and cards and… friends. Who unfold before you over time, revealing something deeper and more connective each time you listen.