"I came from The Never Can Say Goodbye Family …"

When my ninth great grandparents left England in 1637 for what would one day be called Connecticut, they broke communication with everyone not traveling with them. They spent weeks in total isolation from even land, then years before receiving any word from anyone they knew in their former home country, and then, that communication relied upon writing and paper or long-delayed word-of-mouth. Direct connection with home folks became indirect Commection, and would remain so for the rest of their long lives. No letters survive, and, indeed, letters might have never been sent, for no reliable postal service would emerge for more than a century. Messages might take months to move between what would eventually become colonies and their former home country, and not all ships safely made the crossing. Some messages were doubtlessly lost in transmission. Aside from their charter governing the terms of their obligations to their backers—for they were perhaps more capitalists than Pilgrims—they were truly on their own.

In those times, face-to-face communication fueled the vast proportion of human connections. They talked.
They read and discussed. They knew their neighbors more intimately than almost anyone knows their neighbors now, for we live in curious isolation, better connected with people far away than with folks next door. Human connection has seemingly changed. Online, we seem willing to proclaim almost anything, but if a neighbor's within earshot, we seem much more circumspect. Our connections have largely become Commections, interactions mediated by clever communication devices. We're very likely an utterly different species as a result.

We each maintain an audience of sorts, some more deliberately targeted and others much more casually broadcasted into. We're each known by our words and our usages, some careful, others sloppy. We might be more paranoid than any Pilgrim ever was, since our casual commentary might incite the wrath of trolls worse than Cotton Mather. Loose talk abounds, anyway, and almost any topic seems infused with controversy, or perhaps better labeled Commtroversy, for our controversies seem artifacts of our primary means of Commecting. Someone always seems ready to rebut any innocent comment. Determining what's appropriate seems increasingly futile. Our Commections enable us to read each others minds, an iffy superpower in any time, a destabilizing capability at all times, for I suspect that we, as a people, bring few antibodies to the effects of such continual casual deep disclosure. Our Commections seem determined to tear us apart.

Once insignificantly minority opinions make headlines now. Consensus seems an impossible dream. Our elders have become our most prominent targets of derision rather than dotty fonts of unlikely wisdom. And we count our audiences in much larger numbers than any but a very few of our ancestors ever did. I'm perhaps more guilty than most. A life-long introvert, I never found attraction in face-to-face communication. I'm what they call shy, but I could always better thrive when writing. Of course, I'm a different guy in writing than I am in person: less self-conscious, far less intimidated. I might complain about the Commtroversy, though I recognize that I also contribute to fueling it. I am a man of my times, not of my forebears' times.

I have for the last quarter, save one day, been daily blanketing my narrow airwaves with my own, homemade Commtroversy; sharing my perspective and opinion. As a result, I will tomorrow complete yet another book-length paper trail of my experiences, something I deeply wish my nine times forebears would have bequeathed me. They left a single headstone, recovered when the original town square cemetery was relocated, and a stream of genetic curiosities passed forward by way of progeny. I can clearly trace a few of my traits to that strain, greatly diluted now. My great-great grandmother, a more direct descendent than I, also wrote original birthday poems to her loved ones. I suspect that I inherited some instinct for writing from that bloodline.

Today's the next to last WhatNow? Story, creating this series having been my most heartfelt writing experience to date. The Damned Pandemic amplified the significance of my meager existence, providing a daily tangible foundation for my otherwise freely floating observations. This series seemed more grounded. I've enlisted my nephew Liam to start ferreting around for an interested agent or publisher, myself having proven an incompetent investigator. We're working together to discover whether another distribution channel might exist. As an investigation, it succeeds whatever the outcome, for I've been careful in crafting our charter. If our good faith search comes up dry, I'll have no spilled milk to cry over, for that outcome will just represent what we found. A mystery will resolve whatever the result. Whatever the result, I intend to continue chronicling my experiences.

Last week, 756 unique page views passed through this PureSchmaltz Commection. I feel grateful for each and every one. I started my writing week by positing that I might well be the
AsymptomaticSuperspreader I fear. The following day, I learned that test of my recent blood sample had failed to find any Covid-19 antibodies, though this finding came with enough caveats to undermine drawing any definite conclusions. Such remains the state of that art.

I next suggested that
InappropriateMetaphor might be the root of all evil, suggesting without actually recommending an improvement, that pandemic might materially misrepresent what we've been experiencing, since it hasn't seemed to encourage adequate acceptance to definitively inhibit its spread.

I next considered
Ministration, the effects of competent as well as incompetent administration, concluding that incompetent administration might well be the one politically unforgivable sin.

I next distracted myself by describing my recent lack of
ShelfControl, reporting that my pantry has somehow become a disorganized mess, perhaps in resonance to our fresh uncertainties about our future.

I next wrote about an exercise in utter futility, wherein I described attempting to dig
FourHoles in my garden, one of those clever plans that turned out to be an impossible aspiration.

I next commented on an abiding background rhythm of this endlessly continuing pandemic in
Fatigue. I've been stifling yawns.

I ended my writing week with a short rant on the subject of the now common Non Disclosure Agreement in
NDA. Curiously, as I finished this piece, The Muse announced that she would spend some of her day drafting an NDA for a new client relationship.

I have for the last two weeks been dreading the end of my WhatNow? time, for I could see the end of this line coming. As usual, I more strongly felt the impending absence than any promising fresh start. I felt only an ending drawing nearer. I remain a sucker for anything familiar. I would have made a lousy pioneer and a worse Pilgrim, for I struggle to ever say goodbye. I once posited that I came from The Never Can Say Goodbye Family, though my family history seems to be filled with generations which said irrevocable goodbyes to everything they'd formerly known. Most of those generations thrived beyond their native soil, though I always feel as though I'm digging those FourHoles again every time. Thanks for following along. WhatNow?

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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