Rendered Fat Content


Anonymous Germany (Wittenberg):
Moses Destroying the Tablets (1558)

" … getting good and lost along the way?"

I usually isolate my stories from current events, hoping this convention will endow them with longer-lasting relevance. However, I make an exception with this story since this one considers Distruption. Today marks the end of the coronavirus public emergency, which, officials emphasize, does not mark the end of the coronavirus' influence on our lives. I, for instance, just tested positive (again) this morning, marking the thirteenth day of my first and so-far only Covid infection. The Muse recovered from hers more than a week ago and has been flitting around attending public meetings since then while I've hung out in the guest bedroom licking my wounds.

The libertarians, primitive thinkers that they've reliably proven themselves to be, gleefully proclaim that we live in an age of Disruption, just as if this condition were reason for celebration.
Even conservatives, long the public champions of progressing backward, have taken up the chant, for they perceive progress as counterproductive to their convictions. The advancements enjoyed by our beloved founders should, the more radical conservatives insist, prove perfectly adequate for our purposes. They consider modern an abomination, beneath us. The rest of us still cling to more traditional notions of progress, believing that we might build upon our past rather than feel constrained by its presence. Progressives scan horizons and hold faith.

Holding faith, though, opens the possibility for Disruption. Futures cannot uniformly reveal themselves. They manifest in stalls and bursts, Disruption every bit a part of their mix, along with the more linear incarnations of progress. Smooth progression exists only in representation; the actual data more smattery than smooth. My fine Publishing series sits gutted beside the path I'd so painstakingly crafted for it. I worked diligently to produce an almost machine that reliably produced another installment every early morning. I'd even grown to feel somewhat imprisoned by its routine, captive to its insistent presence, perhaps more captive than enabled by it. In short, it might have been that I'd worked my way into a state ripe for Disruption, quietly aching to be Disrupted.

My schedule features seven permanent absences and seven stories not written due to my Covid Disruption. There will be no recovering my lost momentum. My translating efforts, turning raw postings into more permanent manuscript pieces, were likewise set back. I'm still struggling to find the cognition even the least of my Publishing efforts require. I catch myself wondering in full five-minute increments what word I intended to use to represent whatever I'd been trying to describe. I sometimes feel forced just to let that intention slide, whatever it was. I missed a couple of dozen meals while wrestling with this Disruption, managing most days to muster sufficient strength to swallow one meager meal like a cup of beans. If hunger hasn't haunted this Disruption, flavor's taken a vacation. Everything tastes like nothing, everything except beer, which suddenly tastes almost precisely like dandelion bitter, sharp and cloying, the absolute antithesis of refreshing.

Disrupted demands reconsidering. I'm asking what I thought I must have been doing before Covid intruded. I imagine that I know for certain what I was up to then when it seems much more likely that I was, as usual, running on speculation. I had no way of really knowing, and the automation I'd embraced—or had so embraced me—might have been more distracting than supporting. I might have needed to have been Disrupted, a perfectly unprovable assertion that I find reassuring. Though I'm not in any danger of ever embracing the primitive libertarian or conservative world views, as a recent survivor (so far) of a serious Disruptor, I attest that its effect might just have been for the best. What did I know about Publishing that couldn't have been improved by getting good and lost along the way?

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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