Cerberus 1824-27 by William Blake (1757–1827): Inferno VI, 13-33.
The monster Cerberus presides over the third circle of Hell, that of the Epicures and Gluttons.
"The disruption's the thing."

If one state dominates here, that state seems to be difference, yet I seem much more attuned to similarity. Difference upsets me even when routine has dulled me beyond recognition. I realized late yesterday evening that it was Friday. Twelve hours too late to create the SmallThings Story I'd previously committed to writing, I'd missed my self-imposed deadline, thereby fouling a public commitment that perhaps only I noticed myself making. DifferentFrom settled into my lap like a toddler with a soggy diaper. I did not feel welcoming in that moment, but embarrassed. DifferentFrom elicits a WhatNow? from which one must figure out what to do next. The chain's broken. The commitment violated. WhatNow?

I've committed this same crime before.
Last time (and the time before that), I just used my Saturday morning to complete my Friday morning's work. I have eight days to survey instead of seven, perhaps an insignificant difference. My rhythm's disrupted, too, though, so my words might lack their usual cadence and clarity. I choose to proceed anyway. Proceeding anyway might be the theme of the past week, since every day seemed to bring a fresh DifferentFrom for me to face. The average daily unique page view count ended up down below ninety, but what should I have expected it to be with every day DifferentFrom what I'd anticipated it might be? March arrived like a lamb rather than a lion. Contagion clambered up and over the usual defenses. Best-laid financial plans seemed ash-canned in favor of chaos again. There's never any escaping anything. A Cerberus seems to guard every exit and DifferentFrom defines our play.

I started the past week
ComingIn, claiming to accept that I might actually belong with the insiders rather than distantly observing from an isolating perimeter.

I next considered my need for a different story, a
Led-Gend, to inform choices within my newly-chosen context.

Then I experienced
The Curious Case Of Pomegranate Molasses, where I temporarily lost my mind when encountering a DifferentFrom.

Next, in
SundayOff, I struggled to understand what I might do to keep my Sabbath holy, my seventh day being wholly DifferentFrom any anticipated by any religion.

I then tried to parody the
PanicMode I'd been observing building around me, a writ-large DifferentFrom encouraging a range of reactions.

I surprised myself for supper the following day by producing an
ImmaculateSupper, describing a delightful sort of DifferentFrom.

The final two days of the overlong week, I dedicated to political analysis with
Politicnicking and Chaings, each DifferentFrom more common partisan insistences: Politics as picnic and the pursuit of change as same-old status quo.

A long week of DifferentFroms produced a remarkably recognizable week. One where we all seemed to totter on the edge of disaster and somehow still survived. A week where it seemed that nobody knew the pathway yet most of us still managed to make it home. I'm coming to the conclusion that these disorienting DifferentFroms are not black swan rare occurrences, but the standard underpinning, one which I might too casually classify as odd or upsetting. Of course this upsets the planning function, though that seemed likely to disappoint itself regardless in a DifferentFrom world. A DifferentFrom world might more highly value startling, since that response brings reality into suddenly sharper focus. The routine's the dream. The disruption's the thing. The results, perhaps just the way they were supposed to be either way.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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