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Gaston La Touche: Pardon in Brittany (1896)
A "Pardon" is a Breton form of penitential pilgrimage
conducted at twilight with candles.

"What's inevitably started in innocence
must perhaps necessarily end in gratitude."

Those of us instructed to 'start with the end in mind,' eventually find ourselves going out of our minds since the end always shows up differently than originally imagined. These projections must always originate hopelessly out of that future context, which carries subtleties impossible to imagine beforehand. I suppose this injunction's real intention was never to enable anyone to envision any future, but to serve instead as motivation or inspiration, just to get the imaginer moving toward something, however unlikely that something might be to ever actually manifest. As a result, people often experience endings as bait and switch operations, where what was promised never seems to have been delivered. Success sometimes feels more like a failure.

My almost three month preparation for my house concert carries all the usual vestiges, for it was an initiative no more than normally blessed.
I readily confess that it came more from whim than from anything more circumspect. I had not worried the decision to death before finally making it. It was a Wednesday and I just decided, but as with many decisions taken lightly, this one carried deeper ramifications. I have grown to expect that life will fill in the blanks I provide, that it will teach me what I might have explicitly intended, that meaning and purpose more often emerge from rather than get injected into an effort. I could have had no way of envisioning what resurrecting a set of my songs and performing them might produce.

I stayed true to the stated intention. That, alone, might justify the engagement because I've noticed that everything in my life just seems to work better if I'm being true to some stated purpose. The alternative seems to easily become endless searching or a deep and discouraging sense that I'm slacking. I seem to need an assignment, some commitment, to feel as though I'm worth anything to myself, let alone to anyone else. It probably doesn't matter, either, whether I've committed to some lofty goal or something more modest, making good on a commitment seems to produce the magic. This might suggest that my life works best when I'm in service to something beyond the obvious, that I am not now nor do I ever aspire to become even a little bit libertarian. The purpose of my life could never become the endless search for self-aggrandizement, for individual fulfillment or "freedom." Give me indenture or you might just as well give me death.

So, I've been indentured to this notion that I might resurrect a set of my songs and perform them in a house concert. For a while, I even imagined that I might broadcast that performance over the web. Physical limitations serve as no real barrier when one's pursuing satisfying some notion. Reality only hesitantly creeps in, usually long after obvious limitations appear. One simply must revisit that whole denial process when working whatever will be to its unique ground. Usually, the result appears rather more modest than originally envisioned. Often, it's dressed in compromises. The glory might have to come in retrospect, courtesy of the old reliable faulty memory and perfectly normal retrospective self-aggrandizement. I can see the finish line from here but I'm not yet quite across. I can report from this point while I'm applying the usual finishing touches on this effort, I'm FinishingTouched, probably irrevocably. What's inevitably started in innocence must perhaps necessarily end in gratitude.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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