Rendered Fat Content


Hans Weiditz (II) (possibly):
Het produceren van wijn en andere medicinale dranken
(Producing wine and other medicinal drinks) (1620)

"… continued Begetting regardless …"

I felt shocked when The GrandOther, sitting at our Thanksgiving table, was the one insisting that we each express our thanks for something. We're no Norman Rockwell image of any holiday family, not even piss poor Presbyterians when it comes to the iconic rituals of any holiday table, yet there was The Other, the youngest at the table, insisting that tradition be acknowledged and performed. Lord (or somebody) knew that we had plenty to feel thankful for, even though this has been a difficult year. I heard myself insist that the hardest years seem to produce the greater volume of gratitude, and not just that they're over. As a blessings generator, hard times just seem better at Begetting blessings, an apparent paradox often lost on those trudging on their knees through the harder of the hardest times. Like with all religious convictions, I guess, the blessings emerge later as reward or punishment, their eventual existence a matter of faith until they manifest.

The question comes, then, how one might reliably induce gratitudes.
It seems that simply declaring a day as expressly for Thanksgiving seems to coax out those otherwise tacit acknowledgements. When coerced by the youngest one at the table, who could deny their chance to get explicit with witnesses to attest that they actually tumbled? Even the gruffest among us seem to melt without meaningfully resisting and spill their little secrets to the assembled audience. A little goodness appears even from the terrorists at that table, and all's a little righter with our world. Other than declaring such a day, inducing gratitude might involve little more than another hard time coming. Oh, believe me, there will be ample grousing and regretting first, but after the clouds disperse, what had devolved into curse might finally seem seeded with some blessings again, and conceding thanks. In a pinch, one might claim to be grateful that they're no longer bashing their head against that brick wall. Anything might work in a pinch.

But it's usually not a pinch at all, or a stretch, or a push or even a shove to identify something seemingly descending from above to bestow good fortune upon you, even in a plague year, even in a year where The Muse got selected to play the cancer lottery. Her chances of contracting the kind of cancer she found in her neck last summer clocks in at about one percent of those carrying the virus they say "causes" it. Those are long odds, though exponentially better than any lottery's. She contracted a definite unlikely, a black swan intrusion into her retirement year, deferring her well-earned celebration in favor of a genuine ordeal. She faced her fate, belittling it as a mere plot twist, then marched herself off to thirty radiation treatments. I served as witness and so I can attest to her personal courage and apparent fearlessness. She stayed that difficult course, all the while insisting that she was getting off easier, that she was faring better than almost any other cancer patient ever has, even though even her rose garden featured adequate and prominent thorns.

None of us around that table knew a month earlier if The Muse would be capable of contributing anything to the preparation of that marvelous meal, one she still could not properly taste, yet there we were with The Grand Other insisting that we each needed to publicly declare for what we each felt thankful. As usual, we were sitting smack dab in the middle of a fucking miracle struggling a little to remember for just what precisely we should testify we were thankful. I choked out my declaration, my voice quickly abandoning me. I was grateful to be sitting on the grumpa end of our dining room table, staring down and over all the traditional dishes, each having been loving prepared by someone still untangling a serious plot twist in her life. Undaunted, she had continued Begetting regardless, rendering the rest of us in a blissful state of authentic Thanksgiving. If you want to feel truly grateful, first go through Hell.


Riding What Rainbow I've Earned
I suppose that it's best if one enters the bleaker season having expressed gratitude for something. Nothing spoils what promises to be disappointing like complaining about what's most certainly coming. The resulting dread tends to amplify the effect all out of proportion, and it promised to be bad enough without any unintended encouragement. So it seems better to enter having noticed in what ways one was blessed rather than sensing many of the ways in which you're very likely damned. Of course, we're always both, blessed as well as damned, and we always were, but if this is the case, we might just as well choose to be profligate and abuse what we have recently acknowledged that we already have in abundance rather than obsess over what we haven't yet even suffered. I'm
riding what rainbow I've earned rather than dreading what's certainly coming. The season's first serious snowfall's scheduled to visit next week. I'm grateful that I managed to rake up most of the leaves before it came.

I began my writing week engaging in what almost always constitutes the majority of any focused effort, in SurfacePrep. "The understandable desire to make immediate progress tends to be the primary force preventing real progress from occurring."

I next considered the inner work I've been performing as I have been preparing for performing my SetList of songs in Innerfacing. "The interface between out here and in there seems particularly confusing, and I suspect that it would be baffling regardless of the quality of the user interface, the Innerface. It must straddle two complete and essentially independent universes, not just different worlds, each with its own rules and traditions."

I introduced the lyrics to the tune I usually use to finish a performance with MakingTheBest. "I might focus upon moving toward my light while believing everyone else engages in exactly the same activity. We're beside each other as well as beside ourselves."

I shifted my perspective from that of my being The Grand Unknotter into one primarily engaging in creating knots in Knotting. "Freed from the burden of improving, I seem better able to endure."

The most popular posting this period, as usual, focused not upon any SetTheory topic, but on updating on The Muse's progress through her cancer therapy in *Burnishing. "She even consented to receive a single, heartfelt Poor Baby from me. That's how bad it got!"

I looked at how I go about gaining permissions to go about my work in Permitting "The creative arm wrestles with himself. He sometimes even loses."

I ended my writing week reflecting upon entering my third successive PlagueWinter. "If not a thief in the night taking us, it's a thief who preys upon those who specialize in living with their eyes firmly closed."

What precisely has this passing writing week Begotten? (Once one enters past participle territory, language reverts to bordering on the Elizabethan.) It has Begotten precisely nothing, for its purpose was never anything terribly precise, and pursuing precision within such a context would have proven much worse than foolhardy. I might have still mostly been engaging in Surface Preparation, along with some necessary preparatory work beneath the surface, Innerfacing. I was merely MakingTheBest of curious choices, as usual, Knotting rather than unknotting anything. Burnishing treasure beyond measure, Permitting myself, again, as usual, to enter into yet another PlagueWinter. Quite a week this was! Thank you for following along beside me!

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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