Blue-er


"I settle for accepting this tiny overwhelming one."

The sky 'turns' blue after the snowstorm passes. During the storm, the sky disappears, moving so close to the ground that it essentially leaves. Ground and what used to be sky turn into one indistinguishable entity. Up falls down and down slowly moves up as snow accumulates. Outside loses a dimension. Even sideways takes a hit as horizon shrinks to barely across the street. I stand imbedded in a snow globe where the dimensions of the globe, of the entire world, shrink to barely arm's length. Inside, the rooms seem smaller, too. The house suddenly more homey, I feel warmly contained. The world seems almost understandable then, complexity reduced to the near absolute simplicity of accumulation. I ask myself, "How deep is it now?" Depth easily and unambiguously determined, I hold no further questions. I shovel off the latest layer completely satisfied, knowing full well that I'll need to shovel off subsequent layers before the storm passes. I seem reduced to mere observer, appreciative of the narrowing obligations. I'm out of toothpaste and try to drive out, but turn around in a preponderance of caution, relieved to return unharmed. I find my travel stash and conclude that I moved on false fears, and that maybe I could accept that my responsibilities lie right here and nowhere else for now.

Acceptance seems a terrible burden. Even grace, that most under-appreciated gift, wants nothing more complicated than acknowledgement.
One need not deserve anything other than to justify what never demands justification. Acceptance brings overwhelming presence. I do not, that first day, ever even contemplate shoveling off the deck. Earlier in our tenancy here, I dutifully cleared the deck after shoveling the driveway, though nobody ever needed to step out onto the deck during the snowfall. I'd decided that the weight of the snow might overburden the deck, though the snow always fell as light as powder and threatened no calamity. I'd drive myself out there anyway, my very drive a suggestion that I might have been engaging in wholly unnecessary effort. I felt more responsible for fulfilling this imagined obligation, as if fighting The Good Fight rather than actively deflecting simple acceptance. I later learned to acknowledge the simple futility acceptance brings. When I leave the snow where it falls on the deck, I can better gauge the accumulation and the cozy inside seems just that much more contained.

The sky 'turns' blue after the storm passes. It passes every bit as quietly as it came. One minute I'm encased, the next, utterly liberated. I do not want to be free then, for my acceptance has grown on me. The simpler world has disclosed her delights and I've lost my thirst for complexity in favor of the sublimely chaotic. I'll shove a little more snow, more than I'd realized had fallen since my last round, and sprinkle around one last layer of salt. Once the sky 'turns' blue, the driveway steams though it might only be a spare ten degrees out there. The driveway's bare and dry a few hours later, traffic slowly returning to what passes for normal with nobody any longer constraining their desires, secret stashes laid down for emergency use slink back into their hiding places. Everything's possible again, though bare possibility hardly solely justifies reentering any broader world. I felt just fine without further potential, just fine frozen in this place.

I quietly lose my re-found ability to simply observe. I find myself fiddling with things again, changing their trajectory, even fixing. I emerge from a universe seemingly especially crafted just for me into one where I remain an eternal minority, my identity stretched into anonymity again. I feel as though I'm losing my best friend, so competent on his own, to be mildly overwhelmed as the possibilities re-approach endless again. But the sky 'turns' blue as if in compensation for my loss. Blue hardly describes the hue. Cerulean might. Sacre Bleu might better. Two mottled hawks perform lazy eights while screeching in what I hear as pure joy. Everything's suddenly clearly incomprehensible. The snow's glittery now. The sunlight magnified infinitely. The glare stares right through me. Fully exposed, I feel myself falling back into myself. Now that I could choose any possibility, I settle for accepting this tiny overwhelming one.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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