OtterSummer 8.44-Fine

fine
At the end of a phrase of written music, you’ll find a little word that should not be interpreted as a comment on the quality of the concluding phrase, fine. Pronounced Fin eh, it elegantly denotes an ending. Whatever follows could be really different. The current piece is done.

The Grand Otter won’t leave us until early tomorrow morning, but The Otter Summer’s done today. Tomorrow’s departure will never resolve into anything more finely focused than a blur, and today will fail to find a cohering emotional center. The edges of any adventure are composed of finely-chopped, conflicting glimpses of excitement, sadness, weariness, disorientation, gratitude, confusion, regret, hopefulness, even tears. Anyone should be overwhelmed by the experience. We are.

Departure might be the price of coming together, a fine the universe imposes on anything as fine as family. The Muse asked The Otter why she’d agreed to visit us this summer, and The Otter found no crisp explanatory story. It’s just what’s done. It’s what’s always been done. And this seems a fine enough explanation.

I sometimes seem altogether too goal oriented, insistent upon predetermining purpose and outcome, value and rate of return, as if I were investing in life rather than simply living it. Perhaps the purpose should sometimes be unclear until very near the end and the outcome in contention until long after the ‘fin-eh.’

I feel most challenged to accept things as they are rather than as they should be, could be, or aren’t. I can focus so much misbegotten attention upon those subtle negative spaces that I miss the positive space before me. The way things are usually qualifies as an adequate foundation for any relationship to thrive. I don’t want you to try to change me, but merely to accept me as I am.

How I am might be really different from how you expected me to be. You surprise me, too, Grand Otter. The you I imagined never showed up, thank heavens. The you that came has taken some getting used to.

At supper last night, we seemed to break through the net of clever expectations we’d drawn around our experience this OtterSummer. Whatever the purpose might have been, a greater purpose came clearer then. Whomever we might have been these past few short weeks emerged. The movement seemed to be resolving itself as we neared the final fin-eh.

Today will find us packing up the instruments as we transform from unwitting musicians into transitional roadies. I foresee several trips out to secure what we’ll find missing amid much confusion. The performance will have ended, and the performers who seemed like Gods on stage, will revert to ordinary people again; ordinary capable of the sublimely extraordinary. We must not forget.

We suspect that this could have been the last OtterSummer. Next year she’ll be wanting a job, driving a car, probably unable to travel. We’ve savored what we were capable of savoring from this summer, though, and that alone enriched us. We each have other work to focus upon now. Cue ordinary times enriched by this surprising, extraordinarily fine, OtterSummer.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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