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"Living suddenly amounts to observing the passionate play and finding myself in it."

An average of a hundred and twenty-five unique page views passed through the PureSchmaltz Facebook Group each day last week. I find myself struggling to maintain my reputation as a loner and outsider with such crowds observing me. I've long identified with the old Five of Pentangles Tarot Card, where two street urchins pass by a warmly lit church window in the snow. The Muse always asks why I don't just go inside where it's warm. I usually respond that I do not know why. Perhaps I felt myself in the middle of my metaphorical forty days wandering through wilderness or had not dressed myself properly for entering a church, but I'd insist that I felt as though I could not belong, regardless of how warm of a welcome I might receive there. I'd continue trudging. Trudging can become habit-forming, a genuine addiction, and I might have grown to serve as its poster boy, for I have nurtured my trudge and grown accustomed to my place in society, but trudgers require a certain anonymity if they are to maintain their lowly social status. Surrounded by appreciative throngs, even a champion trudger seems a tragic parody.

I CameIn over the last week, an act almost entirely but not completely the opposite of Coming Out.
I had no deep secret to hide and feared no instant retribution. I had not been living in dread of being found out. I was simply a largely invisible trudger, hanging along a perpetual periphery, observing. My observations leaked—or did I deliberately leak them? Whichever, they got out. Then I was challenged with a critical choice. Would I stay out or Come In?

My week started with me sipping a Black IPA in a cordial Tucson brewpub in
Cordiality, then continued to find me reflecting not on my proliferation of old friends, but of my staggering wealth of Timelessnesses. (Thanks, Marin, for insisting that you aren't an old friend, but a timeless one.) I next reported my deepening frustration with how difficult to impossible it seems to stay connected in WhyFidelity. Why would any dedicated outsider complain about difficulties connecting if he wasn't pining to connect? I then actually followed a friend's advice and picked up the damned phone in Reconnection, to find a long-separated friend actually overjoyed to hear from me. The Muse, The Otter, and I then stopped by and experienced a wash of warmth and good cheer, dislocated years disappearing. The Muse and I actually entered a church at just after seven one cold February morning where we sat near the back to witness an authentic communion service in Redemption. We tried to return to Colorado in ColoradoWelcome, rediscovering eternal barriers to entry, but persistence provided passage anyway. Finally arriving back home, we found the place fairly devoid of us and needing resettlement after our absence in ReEntries. Such was the week that was last week.

The week followed the mythic pattern of experiential realization. No painstaking study produced the result, but serial experience. I noticed what transpired around me and accepted actual experience as adequate evidence. Cordially greeted, I found myself accepting cordiality as an actual thing, something experienced trudgers rarely do. Reflecting on past associations, I stumbled into the company of timelessness and accepted where I was. Whining about my absent wi-fi connection, I realized that I might actually prefer connection over its alternatives. I suppose it could seem inevitable, then, that I might almost accidentally trudge into reconnection. A fundamentally undeniable redemption might inevitably result from simply accepting experience rather than denying the possibility of it. ComingIn's no free lunch and should rightly require passing a daunting dedication test, and that warm church, once entered, might not yet seem nearly as welcoming as our transforming trudger might have hoped or imagined. He'll have to create his life there rather than expecting to have it simply handed to him ready to wear.

ComingIn marks the beginning of fresh adventure, not simply the end of an aging one. It's renewal with clutter and baggage included. Stepping through a threshold transforms nothing. The transformation might have been started before entering but should properly never finish. I might remember this past week as a turning point but most certainly not a journey's end, and even a one degree difference in trajectory maintained over time should eventually nudge me through really different territory. Early days of any course change produce a flurry of activity. There's that annoying crutch to dispose of and that injured foot to attend to. Long acceptance excuses nothing and ultimately complicates correction. I'll be needing a new suit of clothes. All life seems well-suited to interpretation as extended metaphor. The literal interpreters might miss deeper, more personal meanings as they describe scenes without catching the underlying plot. The plot always, always, always includes you regardless of the distance you might feel. Living suddenly amounts to observing the passionate play and finding myself in it.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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