Rendered Fat Content


William Merritt Chase:
Portrait of Dora Wheeler (1882–83)

"I'm still dabbling."

The picky details stall me. I don't understand the underlying patterns governing the effort. I cannot find what I need when I need it. Her organization baffles me. My organization has yet to emerge, and might never. I've forgotten how to sort a spreadsheet if I ever knew how. I cannot access her Google Drive. I have to take a photo of her QR Code, attach that to an email, then retrieve and edit it into a graphic for use in the document I'm creating. I haven't heard half the rumors governing the effort. I just learned about some gatherings I thought I was supposed to be scheduling. Just creating a simple invitation freezes me. I suddenly do not know what to say to anybody. She produced a handout using the free software that came with some stationery? I can't reuse any of that content, so I use my two-and-a-half typing fingers to transcribe it. She uses a font I do not have and don't want. I'm supposed to call somebody about something, but I've forgotten who and what.

Campaigns are supposed to start naive and full of hope.
From there, they might come to learn better, but usually only by doing worse and catching themselves at it. Dig the hole, then fill in that sucker! Each campaign probably holds a rhythm if only it can find it. The initial volunteers, filled with good cheer, will witness the transformation. The candidate will exhibit the usual mix of insight and forgetfulness. The staff will meander, trying to find some trail. The scent will seem elusive at first and should. The focus will waver. Early enthusiasm is supposed to degrade into growing confusion. Order will come after adequate humiliation. Coordination will prove impossible before it ever becomes evident. These things happen even in presidential races. Look at Ron DeSantis.

It will be a miracle if we ever wrangle this campaign into anything manageable. Our initiating good ideas have either thrived or festered. We're still struggling to understand which is which. Some of the good ideas will never work. We will figure out which, or we will likely not make it. Fortunately, the opposition probably suffers from even more confusion. They do not have half the candidate or a quarter of the earned goodwill. It won't be until after the first candidate forum that either camp will be able to objectively assess their chances. We know that they're plugged into a nefarious network. We understand that we must work like outsiders to gain adequate support. Our candidate talks to people and raises money. Their's seems mute. We seem to be excelling at milling around.

As the designated campaign manager, I remain hopeful that I might one day find a metaphor for describing what I'm supposed to be doing. It has escaped me so far. It's not about knowing for sure, I'm almost certain of that, but more about developing a feel for whatever it is I'm doing. I'm not the captain. Maybe a steward or servant. I do not know who I am now, nor do I understand how I might come to meaningfully frame my responsibilities. I'm still dabbling, stooping to pick up the odd loose end. I am still determining to what end. I cannot see any end to my confusion, so I'm transcribing copy from a document I cannot access to reuse in another context, hoping that might help. I was supposed to order stickers. Who was ordering the yard signs, and from where? Have we got the approved invitation wording yet?

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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