ChickenLittle

chickenlittle
" …that old reliable sky keeps falling."

Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling. His observation was not particularly insightful, for he merely stated what might well have been obvious to any observer had they been paying attention and willing to speak their "truth." That he was later shown, to the satisfaction of his neighbors, to be a fool, merely demonstrates the iffy nature of sharing one's particular "truth" and failing to follow the party line. It had become, then as now, the overwhelmingly popular misconception that the sky was not, indeed, falling, but Master Little must have not received the memo, for it's difficult for even someone as studiously cynical as myself to believe that Little performed an overt act of dissent. He was not, by all accounts, that sort of bird.

So he spoke an obvious truth, but one that almost everyone knew polite people never publicly declare.
I'm reasonably certain that every flying bird well understood the inescapable fact that flying is not, as non-flying creatures widely believe, a matter of swimming through the sky, but more a matter of the sky falling through our flying feathered friends. More than mounting the air currents, flying creatures are clever at evading the falling heavens, leveraging its own gravity-infused insistence to slip between the denser parts, thereby appearing to fly, while actually cleverly standing still, essentially riding. This "fact" might embarrass those creatures who survive solely upon their ability to deceive themselves into believing that they alone are the smartest and most talented. They are willing to use force to maintain their grander delusions.

It's no surprise, or shouldn't be, that some popular idea turns out to be scientifically unsupportable. Much of what passes for culture neatly fits into this niche. Innocent young ones like Chicken Little tend to see through these cultural imperatives. Their elders work tirelessly to coerce a sense of shame into those, even the innocently ignorant, who violate their more self-important insistences. We learn as we grow, understanding which statements seem more likely to induce shaming. Amoeba-like, we swim toward apparent light, avoiding learned darkness, believing that the sky is not, in fact, falling while it most certainly is ceaselessly falling.

The threat of rain yesterday encouraged me to rush freshly painted house parts into the dark, already overstuffed garage. I checked a weather app and the map there made clear that heavy weather was moving in. By the time I'd stuffed my last week's partially finished work safely away, the sky seemed to clear. I felt like I'd Chicken Littled myself, chickening out on completing my work. I poked around painting some exterior window trim nail pops, preparing for refitting freshly refinished windows back into their frames, but I felt as though I was letting down the remodeling work effort, marking time. I later sat on my empty cat litter box tool kit top and shined brass door trim, staring out at my abandoned paint shop, waiting for a sky fall that simply refused to come.

We got some piddling sprinkles overnight, certainly no Niagara. Today's forecast to bring more substantial falling from this fitful Springtime sky. I have plenty else to do, I suppose, none of it on my terms, not a shred of it what I'd prefer to be doing, but that's simply the way it is. The sky will be falling between eight and ten this morning, no ChickenLittle needed to report this fact, only me left to react to it. I remain capable of speaking about what's not supposed to be spoken about. I consider ChickenLittle's announcement an example of an under-appreciated superpower at work. Banishment sometimes results, but the older status quos quiver at least a little whenever an unspeakable enters this world. I like to think they quiver in warm anticipation of something better approaching. Either way, that old reliable sky keeps falling.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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