"Together, we might not get anywhere but where we always go and where we seem to belong, anyway."

Each relationship seems to resolve to a certain eigenvalue, a self-similar resolution. When a relationship becomes dominated by a single personality, a Me Me Me Me Me Relationship, it resolves to an eigenvalue of one, reputed to be the loneliest number. Other relationships seem to reliably reproduce certain shapes, the triangle being one of the more common. In these, every issue seems to have three sides, like when a mother-in-law seems to get involved in every decision, the two principals might struggle to find unaided resolutions. Families quite pre-consciously replicate reliably similar shapes, some deeply influenced by a forceful father or a tenaciously unruly child. Whenever they engage, they seem to play to the same stymie. Some relationships reliably replicate dissatisfaction while others produce great delight. It's a great mystery why relationships behave in this way, but they certainly seem to eventually project certain predictable outcomes upon themselves. Some seem especially blessed and others, unusually cursed, reliably fractal, each in their own unique way.

Those trying to shape this charge, this strangely-attracting force, often simply make matters worse, adopting one after another seemingly inevitably failing improvement strategy.
If change rests upon the full (albeit temporary) acceptance of the way things are, embracing the inner eigenvalue might prove the most necessary initial improvement strategy. We don't seem to be who we intend to be at all, but first, who we've turned out to be. The great tragedy of my two divorces came from their growing ability to produce nothing but zeros, eigenvalue-wise, where neither of us could any longer recognize each other in each other. The separation was more recognition than concrete decision, we accepted what we'd become. The Muse and I feel fortunate to regularly produce mutually-satisfying eigenvalue shapes as we scrape our way along together. We have our ups and downs, our by now, fairly reliable tangle points, but our compatibility finally seems undeniable. Few questions asked or left long unanswered, for we seem to find our selves, our familiar signatures, in most everything we engage in together, or even apart. We're not so much inseparable now, but readily recognizable, living examples of quantum entanglement.

So when The Muse suggested that we produce a picnic for our anniversary, I readily agreed. Where to go with everywhere seemingly shut down for the pandemic? We usually toodle, rather aimlessly cruise until a likely destination emerges. I quietly, without conferring, concluded that we might drive up and over one of the lesser-traveled passes over the Front Range. An internet search suggested that this pass would actually be open this early in the season, so The Muse fried chicken and concocted some of her famous potato salad, and we departed without having actually decided where we were heading. A few miles down the road, I presented my introvert's grand plan, and she readily accepted it, though her internet search produced ambiguous results. Maybe that pass was open and maybe not. We opted to drive up there and see, figuring that we'd get to toodle regardless of the outcome. The sign at the bottom of the pass insisted that all county roads were closed without actually disclosing whether that particular road was a county road. We stopped by a local inconvenience store where I learned from the cashier, who wore his face mask around his chin, that a group of disappointed bikers had reported to him that the pass was, indeed, closed.

No problem, for we were just fractally reproducing our usual eigenvalue. We felt right at home. An attempt to investigate an interesting side valley produced the same result: road closed, local access only. And another proposed route produced the same, a familiar theme emerging. And so the afternoon went, with each clever plan coming to naught, except for a small side trip to a recommended trailhead, where we hiked up to the base of some impressive sandstone pinnacles. We found Prairie Lupine and Wallflowers, and a clutch of blooming red current bushes, along with a little solitude, and soon found ourselves back looking again. All of our remaining attempts to find a picnic table or a companionable creekside produced crime scene tape blocking off access, that stay-at-home directive taken more seriously at the county level than that counterman took his face mask.

We picnicked at home, at our usual kitchen table, unruffled by our obviously fruitless toodle. Toodles are not supposed to bear any conventional fruit, their sole purpose being to inject a little unpredictability, and ours had, indeed, proven once again reliable. Afterwards, it seemed obvious that the planned destination had never carried the purpose of our excursion, for we were toodling. The picnic, imagined alfresco, manifested differently. I often proclaim my disbelief in the much-vaunted Laws of Attraction, for in my, in our, humbling experience, intentions reliably produce something other than envisioned. The Muse and my relationship's eigenvalue seems to be a reliable engine insisting upon things inevitably turning out that way, but no harm here, and never any foul. We find our satisfactions where they seem to lay, which is another way of saying that we quite comfortably accept our fate. Together, we might not get anywhere but where we always go and where we seem to belong, anyway. We experienced together a very happy anniversary, Eigenvaluing all the way.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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