The Third of May by Francisco Goya, 1814
"the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention". Kenneth Clark

"The world changed. I haven't completely kept up."

Acceptance of the NowHere seems a first step, not a final one, for any fresh acceptance will likely appear clumsy, more of an Accschleptance than a flawless integration. This seems a cruel joke, for once surviving the denial, anger, and bargaining before achieving a point where acceptance might prove possible, the cycle seems to simply start all over again with acceptance. An exhausted acquiescence might best characterize the first taste of this sort of success, more surrender than embrace. However such changes occur, they're unlikely to show anyone performing at their best. You'll be several songs into the new set before the sound check's really completed, and until then, any early audience should properly feel initially disappointed. Later some mastery might emerge. Maybe.

This first week of Summer included the tail end of Spring, a transition for both seasons and my blogging themes.
The dedicated reader (aka Repeat Offender) will remember that I had been fully engaged in WhatNow? Stories since before the snow stopped falling. I noticed very near the end of that stream a certain coloring injected by the very medium I had been engaging with, perhaps explaining an underlying, what I called Commtroversy. I then deftly, via another in a long series of RaggedEndings, skipped into a different phase on the first day of Summer, one I labeled NowHere. From there, I entered into my first few tunes in this new set, masterfully if pre-consciously demonstrating Accschleptance. I noticed in Irrevocableution that evolution seems at work even within my own experience and not just theoretically. With Procrastidestination, I copped to a certain sluggishness in some of my responses. I hosted fond memories of past breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in Gruel before finishing my writing week with a rambling prose pean to my predawn practices with EasingInto.

Accschleptance seems to describe the over-arching theme of this admittedly ragged beginning week. I might explain that I'm as yet uncertain who I am supposed to be this time, after growing perhaps overly familiar with who I'd become before. I'd clearly imprinted on that now past instantiation of myself and rightly felt disoriented displaying another facet, however similar it might appear. It feels clearly different in here. While I threw my writing world into turmoil, the world out there seemed to be lock-step mirroring my own experience, or perhaps that world was infecting me. Our damned pandemic seemed to become more permanent fixture than passing plague, as each new day brought fresh, initially disappointing revelations. Our heart-felt hopes for an early cessation of hostilities seemed to daily fade further away, leaving increasing space to consider the recently unthinkable. What if no technological white knight's coming to deliver us? What if what we've got turns out to actually be what we've got, with no lottery likely to intercede? What if, indeed!

What could I do but resist these notions? What choice could I make when confronted with such forced choices, alternatives which seemed dedicated to leaching out any possibility for making any personally pleasing choice? My preferences matter far less than I'd prefer, but I choose anyway. Acceptance comes as a direct result of considerable dedicated foot-dragging, for I'd much prefer to maintain magical thinking as my signature superpower. I can still readily imagine seamless salvation, though my heart sinks in bitter recognition that I know better than to believe in it. If I'm going to be saved from this scourge, it will likely be at first by my own hand, and not from any super hero's kindly intervention. Helping myself seems at best inconvenient, but under my now ancient insistence that the most important things happen at the least convenient times, I'm enjoined to pay closer attention, however clumsily I might perform. I find myself reluctantly entering my own personal Accschleptance stage. Hold your applause.

This sort of acceptance seems no different from cynical resignation, though it might lack adequate grudge to fully qualify as cynical. I see my fellows labeling as stupid those still engaging in magical thinking, and this seems to me to be a fine example of recursive human response. We accept at different rates and acknowledge at differing paces, and some of us never find even a ragged Accschleptance. I, too, strongly prefer to hold onto my pasts, especially when it finally becomes clear to me that they're irrecoverably past. The longing losing leaves behind could fuel any delusion I'd care to concoct, and render it Absolute Truth believable. This utterly human reaction to overwhelming change renders everyone stupid sometimes, though never uniquely so. I'm going through a thousand changes at any time, the vast bulk of them cowering in some back corner of my mind, not prominent all the freaking time. The few that rise into my awareness clamor for my attention and create noisy contradictions, each insisting upon some acceptance. It's a wonder any of them ever get their message through, and it seems an absolute miracle when I can muster even Accschleptance in response. The world changed. I haven't completely kept up. Between the ragged ending and the ragged beginning, Accschleptance stands supreme.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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