Rendered Fat Content


Fan Qi 樊圻: Album of Miscellaneous Subjects, Leaf 4 山水花鳥圖冊 (early 1650s)

"We all eventually become the genius of ourselves …"

My friend Franklin reported that he'd participated in some online gathering that garnered him more clients than any other single event in his career, over a hundred. He went on to complain that he'd been invited to participate late in the cycle and so had not prepared his presentation as carefully as he most certainly would otherwise have. He's usually more careful than that, painstakingly preparing, often, it seems, almost asymptotically, as in preparing almost to the point of never actually achieving 'prepared.' This time, though, starved of sufficient time, he hacked out a quick almost good enough contribution and was fortunate to garner more paying clients than ever before from a single presentation.

Had he had adequate time, there's really no telling how many more clients he might have found.
The mind tries to tackle such questions and, generally speaking, produces too-believable of fictions, for we seem to take as first principle that our careful preparations would necessarily produce superior results, certainly better than anything we had more cavalierly dashed off. This amounts to another unprovable assertion, for the alternative never happened. We exclusively deal with the choices we make, the ones we passed on produce no data, generate no results from which to learn. We teach ourselves poorly then, it seems.

I proposed that perhaps Franklin's sincere lack of preparation contributed most to his stunning success, a distinctly counter-intuitive notion, or a counter-conviction one. Franklin, decades deep in his profession, easily exudes his essence in everything he does. Just sitting across from him, I easily sense that I'm in the presence of a master practitioner, wherever it is that he does. What might have once been his distant aspiration, to do what he now does so naturally, has become just natural expression. He does Franklin in everything he does, no convoluted planning really required to produce this result. But how could Franklin know that? He serves as his own medium. He is the water in which his fish swim. He probably couldn't notice, no matter how carefully he looked, that he was resonating that essence regardless of whether he carefully planned or not.

How does it come that a creative discovers their own genius? That awareness might seem to result from careful study, careful planning, but I imagine that it first emerges as some happy accident. Our creative notices some pleasing resonance and probably associates its emergence with whatever's close at hand. Perhaps careful practice, maybe some painstaking plan, both of which utterly rely upon something else to produce results. That something will eventually be noticed in everything produced, though it might not very often at first appear the work of genius. We all eventually become the genius of ourselves, perhaps through diligent practice, maybe from careful planning, or perhaps by merely DashingOff something.


Little Wiser
This writing week proved to be one of transition. I finished my Reconning Series and began a new one, choosing Againing as its theme. These shifts always seem troublesome. I fuss for several days in the sure and certain knowledge that I have no clue what I'm going to do to come up with my next series's theme. I always eventually come to discover that the theme emerges when its time arrives, rarely beforehand, and that it works out however it works, by means mysterious. It never works by careful planning or through diligent study and apparently only ever emerges under the duress that comes with really needing to produce something one morning, from a sincere DashingOff process. I emerge from these transition writing weeks relieved but little wiser. I know for certain that the next transition will very likely produce a similar experience. Must be more feature than problem, then, a replicable process.

Anticipating the ending of my Reconning series, I wrote a story about drawing conclusions with
Shift. "How many repetitions of any single instance action might be required to draw a comprehensive conclusion?"

Continuing to anticipate the end of my Reconning Series, I stumbled into
ContextShifting territory. "Change seems more often what we receive rather than what we directly engineer, our job, my job, largely to make up some story that eases acceptance and encourages gratitude toward what I never really intended."

I next admitted to producing fiction, but mostly the satisfying kind, in
Satisfiction "Often, I suppose, this work results in what I might agree amounts to Satisfiction, a flavor of fact that's not above employing fiction to produce satisfaction. I make up stories."

I ended my Reconning series with Spring finally good and
Sprunged. "This Spring brought me the great gift of self doubt."

I began my Againing series with the eponymous essay
Againing, the most popular posting this period. "May I not forget that I'm now writing on borrowed time."

I next confessed to being a dedicated and extremely well-experienced
Scaredy. "I never managed to become the master of even my small universe, hardly a respectable apprentice."

I ended my writing week feeling
Suddenlied. "I suspect that there's really no adequate replacement for any sincere lack of preparation. The universe progresses in just such fits and starts."

Having made the passage, the journey seems less perilous than it seemed before I knew how it would end. Back in the middle, I had only my over-active imagination to guide me, and it often favors the more catastrophically-oriented projections. I fuss and bother for eventually unwarranted reasons. I plan contingencies just as if I'd need them. I draw conclusions before even drawing within spitting distance of any ending. In lieu of telling you what I just told you again or worse, instead of drawing some unwarranted conclusion, I'll just thank you here for following along through my transitions. I very sincerely appreciate your presence here!

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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