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"One key to successfully assimilating into any new year lies in finding yourself already in it."

The PureSchmaltz Facebook Group attracted five hundred and forty unique page views over the six days following my last summary of the prior week, which produced seven hundred and forty-two unique page views, an absolute measure of an incomprehensible metric; but hey, if it's the only number I have, it's the one I'll use. Had I expected this group to amplify my brand or promote my business, I might feel panicky over the one quarter reduction in what's euphemistically referred to as 'traffic' in the internet world, but I don't consider the members of this group to be traffic or click bait or potential commercial targets. This group and my PureSchmaltz Blog, to me, represents the way our internet was supposed to work. Please do not mistake me for a commercial entity, for I have much more riding on this endeavor than mere financial success. I've dedicated my little stories to cataloguing life as I live it here, in hopes that some day, one day, my progeny might use them to experience a few tastes of what life felt like for me while living forward from here, absent history's blurring lenses and mythology's inevitable Comedic/Tragic glorification, and also for the enjoyment of a select cadre of self-selected 'fans,' the only group for which I've volunteered to be a member.

My prior week represented a return to familiar territory, an experience I'm referring to as Actnying, action infused with denial.
My new year celebrates something equivalent to its seventh birthday today, this last day of January, which makes it just about as old and sophisticated as our kittens Max and Molly. I also seem to exhibit a certain curiosity, not having nearly figured out how to live in this strange new world, actively pouncing on promising discoveries, yet still somewhat denying the nature of this place. Like the kittens, I seem to be a sincere sucker for strings surprisingly cast within my view. I cannot seem to help myself from pouncing, chewing, and further exciting myself. Also like the kittens, I spend large parts of my day recovering from brief excursions into adventurous territory. I'm not nearly as active as my devastation trail might lead anyone to conclude.

I started the week a day late, having somehow missed my usual Friday morning recount, with
PreConstruction, a recognition that I'd been engaged in the kind of work properly undertaken before definite work begins, an essential milling around period. I then took a slight side trip to describe TheStranger, a self-description which several found personally familiar. We might all be strangers here, but we might become better strangers than we've been. Denial dominated the following day, and I chose to recycle a piece from almost two years ago, Irrelevance, one of the circles denial seems to nudge any dedicated seeker into. The following day, I finally found the words for what I'd failed to pounce on the day before with IrrelevanceRevisited, a bargaining piece. If whatever we do seems destined to eventually produce irrelevance, how does one manage to continue moving forward? By Actnying, perhaps. I next challenged the notion that only new will do with a paean to reuse, CastOffs. I finished the week with an act of acceptance with Nesting. How perfect that I ended my churning, pouncing week, with a declaration of acceptance.

Denial never completely leaves me. When I move forward—even when I move backward—denial might not be in the driver's seat, but she's riding shotgun, crumpled roadmap in her lap. The notion that one really should purge all disconfirming questions before committing to any action seems like a curiously inhuman idea. We might more productively, more satisfyingly, nurture the ability to hold what might well disqualify forward momentum while launching forward anyway, troubling questions unresolved and perhaps never needing resolution. Action dilutes much dissent and we never seem to completely understand until we're more firmly committed to a specific context. Theory is no more action than query. At some ultimately indiscernible point, one must simply start to move. Direction might not matter; the inescapable nattering a mildly annoying clattering from beneath the undercarriage. The vehicle moves forward to find something, anyway.

I might never grow to find this new year familiar to any of my prior expectations or experiences. It was advertised, after all, as a
new, not an even-more-of-whatever-I'd-already-grown-used-to year. And I should not need know as a precondition to engagement whether the damned butler or the chauffeur was going to commit the murder. It's a mystery and it might turn out to be that nobody gets murdered in this story. I'm probably just a bit player, anyway, what they call in the trades an Atmosphere Character, hardly critical to the plot but subtly necessary to properly set the background context for the story: old man in grey fedora reading newspaper on bus. Hey! That's me up there on the silver screen! One key to successfully assimilating into any new year lies in finding yourself already in it.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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