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Arthur Wesley Dow:
The Long Road--Argilla Road, Ipswich (1898)

An Inconvenient Time

"It's An Inconvenient Time to cross a line,
An Inconvenient Time to be opening any new cans of worms
'cause me and my sanity have just settled into familiar scenery
and love is the last thing on my mind:
An Inconvenient Time."

I find myself very near the bottom of my tentative SetList.
I've been saving this song for almost last. It might represent the best song I've ever written. It's certainly the most personally pleasing. It properly describes perhaps the central tenet of my entire life philosophy, that being: The Most Important Things Happen At The Least Convenient Times. This one statement reminds me that the more inconvenienced I feel, the more significant the event I'm experiencing. This idea has proven itself valid innumerable times. It has encouraged me to step into situations that my heartfelt cautions might have otherwise convinced me to avoid. It rather insists that I step into the situation that might genuinely seem more risky. Both The Muse and I have many times insisted, "based upon how strongly it seems we should avoid this, we just have to engage." Neither of us have died as a result of this practice yet. Yet.

"It's An Inconvenient Time for ties that bind,
An Inconvenient Time to be making' up any plans for the future,
'Cause the future in the past has been just lookin' ahead through some passing fancy
while turnin' around to change my mind:
An Inconvenient Time."

But I'm not speaking of regular or ordinary time here, but the most extraordinary time of all. I'm speaking of that edge just before I open a door to a whole new existence. Nobody's ever adequately prepared for this situation. It's bushwhacking by nature. It's perfectly understandable that any sane person might attempt to deflect the force which seems bound and determined to undermine everything. God might claim to be love, but love's first inklings seem more devilish than heaven-sent. They seem at least disruptive and most likely destructive. There's very likely no turning back once that commitment's made.

"Love comes at An Inconvenient Time,
surprising the unsuspecting soul
and taking away the mind.
Love comes at An Inconvenient Time,
go on and try your best
but you'll still leave a mess,
'cause it's An Inconvenient Time."

This chorus stands as a testament to radical acceptance. It describes just how it is. If you feel crazy, it's only to be expected. It you're unsuspecting, well, that's just to be expected, too. Try just as hard as you care to try, the old status quo will not stand. It's just about to get messy. No way around it. The price love exacts might well be wholesale disruption on a scale never previously imagined. One's right to feel terrified at the prospect of any heartfelt dream coming true. Dammit! Holding my familiar misery seems like the clearly superior option, but the one option which will shortly no longer be available.

"It's An Inconvenient Time for me to find,
An Inconvenient Time for this long-lost heart and soul to discover
that their distress was just
never much more than compelling illusion,
and once you're in you can't decline,
An Inconvenient Time."

Declining never was a viable option. This highlights the chief benefit of the Inconvenient Time Principle, the understanding, often begrudging, that while rejection might seem like a viable option, it really isn't and never was. We're each, it seems, destined to make fools of ourselves for whatever it is we truly love. Sanity's hardly a choice when confronting the great realization. Holy crap! This is it! Thief in the night! I'm a goner, and then I'm gone. I might eventually come to accept it.

"Love comes at the most conducive time,
surprising the unsuspecting soul when it's aching to be aligned.
Love comes at the most conducive time,
leaving a god-awful mess with which you'll be blessed,
a god-awful mess with which you'll be blessed,
a god-awful mess with which you'll be blessed
at An Inconvenient Time."
©1996 by David A. Schmaltz, all rights reserved

So much for tidy endings. Messy beginnings have them beat every time. What might have become a tidy ending more often just ends up abandoned, jettisoned in the face of a more compelling alternative, producing a standard, first class god-awful mess, a blessing, often first appearing in deep disguise. Was this life ever otherwise? We might easily imagine June, moon, and swooning, but the genuine article Love comes in more disconcerting forms. The happily part comes forever after, hardly ever before. Before happily ever after kicks in, a disorienting present appears. That mess will be remembered as a blessing, one you were obviously unworthy of receiving. That's just the nature of blessings. The blessing began the instant you stepped into that Inconvenient Time.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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