Begendings


"I believe I'll next focus my attention upon my beliefs …"

Had I intended to arrive somewhere by now, I should properly feel disappointed, but I intended no forward progress. I set out to slide sideways for a season and I seem to have accomplished that modest objective. I did not start with the ending in mind, but with an enquiring mind. I wondered what might happen if rather than plot my moves, I expected that my moves might coalesce into some semblance of a plot. I expected to sometimes veer off topic, temporarily stumped over my next move. I hoped that I might stumble into some interesting territory, that I might gain insight rather than more complete understanding. I might have ended up more clueless than I began, but what could I have to hide? I believed that I'd lost some appreciation for the fundamentally circular nature of life. Altogether too forward-looking and therefore less tolerant of the potentially enlivening lateral slide. I'd likewise split sideways into notional sides, too, left and right, right and wrong, the ups and downs of an orthogonal plane. Maybe direction need not matter.

I intended to investigate space, to stumble upon something or even nothing at all.
Such space might become its own reward, purpose perhaps an inevitably emergent property best mustered after pursuit. Objectives easily blind one to the territory one traverses, obscuring opportunity, co-opting synchronicity, encouraging one to avoid circling back upon one's path; straight and narrow rather than meandering and fat. What's the usefulness in that? The ending is also a beginning, the beginning also an end. Begending begets better adventures, I suspect (without understanding how to prove this point.) A Begending begs for its meaning, with ample alternatives from which to choose. Perhaps each ending should first confuse its meaning as a means for more properly choosing.

Maybe FallingSideways, the whole series, has been more journal than anything else, reflections accumulated through time rather than projections intended to encapsulate time. I played the primary character, owning my role as principle observer rather than cleverly passing off that responsibility to some fictional third person. The other characters were real, or as real as I could maintain through writing, though they might disagree, perhaps vehemently. I remain convinced that the extraordinary stands in plain sight, not necessarily hiding on the other side of extended long, dark nights of anyone's soul but indistinguishable from the absolutely ordinary in passing. I must linger to distinguish any difference. I have to notice then describe to decode my life.

I spent the day trying not to finish this piece because finishing it will bring this small body of work to a close which will necessarily open up all the difficulties associated with another new beginning. I labeled this ramble FallingSideways. I'm considering calling the follow-on Reconsidering because I've been noticing that I've been reconsidering lately. I spent the early parts of my life constructing houses of cards and the middle part strengthening and defending those delicate constructions. Now seems to be the season for reconsidering those fabrications, to check to see if they still suit me or if I've outgrown their cover. I consider myself to be a man of convictions and convictions can age poorly. Few outcomes seem more sorry than firmly held convictions that have outlived their usefulness. Once well-suited rules of engagement can turn stale through disuse and become a misuse over time. I wonder if I've outgrown my temperament or my temperament might have outgrown me. I believe I'll next focus my attention upon my beliefs and see where that Reconsideration might lead.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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