Cusp

cusp
" … I feel another cusp approaching, one that will pass without me even noticing until later."

Monday night's scant inch of snow had melted off the back deck by Friday morning, just in time for a fresh band of weather to slide down from the Northwest. Springtime along the Colorado Front Range is a season seemingly perpetually on the cusp of Springtime, toes stretched across the equinox with heels still firmly dug into Winter. Shirtsleeve days slip back into bundled up ones. The snowdrift beneath the back deck will likely hold on into mid-May. The whiteflies have started colonizing on the overwintered deck plants, taking their cue from the angle of the sun, I suppose, rather than the weather outside, which dances between delightful and frightful, and will continue like this until sometime in June, leaving just in time for Summer, which will likewise vacillate between Spring and Fall until Autumn slowly starts to dominate, sometime in late August.

I seem to endlessly live on cusps, those points of convergence neither true to their past nor to their future.
They hold remnants of their former and whispered hints of their future, but remain true, under the even casual scrutiny, to neither. I seem stuck somewhere between done-ish and newly beginning, neither reaping nor necessarily sowing, closure just beyond my reach. The inherent ambiguity sometimes drives me crazy, though I cannot claim to have experienced anything like actual insanity yet. Yet. I am an asymptote, neither here nor there, but on a definite there-ish trajectory. I doubt that I'll ever arrive.

Golden, Colorado claims to be the point where the West begins, though it's situated well East of the Continental Divide, clearly still East of even a fuzzy definition of West. In some ways, it's more Kansas than Colorado, only the abrupt uplift Front Range distinguishing it from prairie. Those prospectors who arrived here a hundred and fifty years ago from Kansas, came with vestigial tails of their prairie roots wagging behind them, creating a culture hovering on yet another cusp, neither here nor there.

The English language encourages misattribution, for it insists that almost everything exists in a somnambulant noun state, quietly reposing far away from the cusp of anything. Black IS black and white, most certainly white. I recently spent an afternoon chatting with a master carpenter as he framed in our new cabinets. He carefully cut and placed trim boards to preserve the cabinetry's plumb lines without emphasizing either the ceiling or the floor's slightly different plumbnesses, for level, he explained to me, has always been a relative term. His craft involved visually resolving these competing claims, painstaking work. I finally asked him if he believed in the almighty rectangle. He replied that he firmly believed in all regular shapes, though he'd never personally experienced any of them. His job had always been to produce convincing counterfeits of the theoretical genuine artifacts. He was a marvel to watch.

As, I conclude, we are all marvels to watch. I believe that we mostly hypnotize ourselves into believing in our noun representations of all that must remain verbs in practice. When I proclaim that it's Spring, I promote perhaps believable fiction. My life so far has been largely comprised of variously believable fictions. I am not, for instance, a writer, except for in those relatively rare instances when I am actually writing, but even then, I'm more often trying to write, only later acceding that perhaps I had managed to actually write for a while. By then, of course, I'm no longer even trying to write, for I've switched into my reader or critic, maybe my editor hat, the writer in me gone tacit until my next humbling attempt.

Here, between breakfast and lunch, I might confidently say that I'm nearing the middle of my day, a day darker nearing noon than it was a half hour after dawn. The neighbor's roof shows white already, light seeming to enter from below rather than above the scene. The whole world seems absolutely upside down and backwards, as if I've grown accustomed to wearing fun house mirror glasses that project before me pretty much some opposite of what another perspective would project. I find myself feeling as if I were almost done writing this essay now, though I know the upcoming steps, after I've stopped writing, might well prove decisive, the words I've thus far laid down merely a set up for the final result. Maybe I feel another cusp approaching, one that will pass, as always, without me even noticing until later.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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