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FutureFocus

futurefocus
Georges de La Tour: The Fortune-Teller (probably 1630s)

"The universe couldn't care less what you decide."

Much of whatever Authoring entails occurs on the broad plain between writing and publishing. There, the Fundamentally Unanswerable Questions reside, serving as apparent barriers between the writer and his aspiration to become a published Author. These questions also serve as the raw material for utterly transforming the Authoring experience both for the better as well as for the worse. As barriers, they reliably produce what certainly feels like worse experiences, at least until they encourage some breakthrough thinking that transcends the initial trouble. What started as a continuation of the story about writing evolves into a deeper and richer story situated above and slightly to one side of the writing as well as to whatever story the manuscript attempts to tell. This perspective emerges from what seems like overly extended wandering in wilderness, from an abject loneliness and deep isolation, from genuinely not knowing, the sure source of all understanding.

Authoring's Third Station of the Cross might well represent the lion's share of the whole Authoring experience.
It features considerable contemplation and, for me, at least as much dissociation, for I remain a Big Chicken and would rather not experience any transformation, great or modest. But this Third Station induces an unavoidable FutureFocus upon the proceedings. It wonder just where all this writing might be leading. It seeks to understand motivation and intention, what the budding Author's produced and why, and will accept no substitutions. If this Third Station wasn't the longest duration, it certainly felt as though it was, for this one's not really designed for comfort, but more for the opposite. Whatever this budding Author tried, to resolve the Fundamentally Unanswerable Questions, they remained intact and steadfastly insistent. I would figure out some resolution or I would not be passing, however penitent I might present myself as being. Some gods accept no form of appeasement.

This Third Station tends to open up a budding Author. He becomes inescapably vulnerable. This is the time when he's most susceptible to being fleeced, of having his pockets picked while he focuses upon envisioning an attractive future. Present concerns shrink in importance and that FutureFocus can take up the entire visual as well as the imaginal field. If Onlies emerge and leave the budding Author feeling bereft, dismayed. He had not signed on for this part, this process that seems too much like nourishing a child into adulthood. And here he had just been feeling so masterful at having crafted a manuscript only to learn that making that baby would not prove to be even the half of what he'd initiated. He's likely to agree to anything promising the possibility of ushering him through this tracklessness more or less intact, but the wilderness' purpose was never to leave anything or anyone intact, but to scrape both down closer to their essence for the sole purpose of transforming something and someone, no substitutions accepted.

This Third Station hosts the deeper and darker meditations, the ones conditionally convinced that the whole Authoring effort's lost, that it exacts too great of a cost on both writer and product. Does Dante truly desire to become forever after known as Mr. Purgatory or, worse, Mr. Hell, and become the go-to guy for media interviews wherever Hell comes into the headlines? Does he really want to have to keep his address secret so that crackpots won't continually disturb his suppertime? Does the wife, as well, want to be known as Mrs. Hell? How about junior? Won't he be harassed on the basketball courts by kids just being general smart asses? It will either be notoriety or obscurity, for publishing unsettles the forces, unleashing judgements. Did you really want to order that for your supper going forward? None of us live in any future yet, but our FutureFocus holds the promise of haunting each of us and hounding the better or the worse out of us. What one decides to do thereafter will make all the difference one way or the other. The universe couldn't care less what you decide.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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