Rendered Fat Content


Eugène Carrière: The Contemplator (1901)

" … to thoroughly enjoy not being fully there."

I'm not so much working as actively Inducing, successful to the extent that my actions entrance me into satisfying action. I could not possibly have managed to complete the work I finished yesterday had I been fully present for the festivities. I was up and out early, climbing scaffolding again, finally finishing that busy slice of wall that had long been my dread and fear, my nemesis. I had by then conquered her. I'd even removed all by myself the rubber matting the electric company lineman had wrapped around the formerly terrifying incoming electric wires, an unimaginable act a few long months before. I was for that day, the self-acknowledged master of that stripe of wall. For my final act, I called in the cable company technician to replace the worn and weary-looking cable line coming down from its anchor, and to tuck it in around the conduit pipe and tie it down with fresh zip ties so it looked as nice as the rest of the wall. No outstanding anything after finishing a couple of final touch-up soirées up to the top and back down again. Then, my reward was tearing down that scaffolding to reconstruct it one click to the right.

I was crawling all over that wall like the monkey I am not.
Had I not managed to induce my work trance state, I would have doubtless not been capable of such feats. By the end of the day, of course, I feel the reality of what I had actually been doing while crawling all over that scaffolding, but while there, I experienced an out-of-body sort of experience, or didn't actually experience it. I was in my head, most prominently in my eyes. I could clearly hear the same silly tune repeating over and over and over again in my head (or somewhere), and I felt perfectly satisfied, at one with the world, At one while also absent. "Let's take a trip to St Louie, let's take a trip to Saint Paul … Let's Get Away From It All." https://youtu.be/2ACesxtdm1s

I admit more or less freely that at my age, I feel quite experienced as Inducing this work trance state. It's not flow I'm inducing. It's not anything like I imagine mindfulness. It might be quite the opposite of mindfulness, a state perhaps better acknowledged as more like mindlessness, for I feel after I return to my senses that I must have been out of my mind to even attempt what I just accomplished, but then I was not fully present and therefore not fully responsible. Somebody or something else was in charge, a being with exceptional judgement and excellent stamina, utterly impervious to doubt or fatigue. He puts his head down and charges, often succeeding without really needing motivation. He sets his mind to do that something before losing his mind in doing it. This works perfectly every time.

I cannot always manage to induce this marvelous state. Some mornings, some days, I'm stuck with myself for the duration. I cannot then seem to find sufficient motivation to attempt much of anything, even though I know, deep down, beyond knowing, that motivation would prove unnecessary if I could only induce my marvelous trance. Oh, I remain mostly capable of toughing through many challenges, of mindfully engaging, but I'd mostly rather slip into the first class seat Inducing my work trance affords me. There, I move through my world as if suspended in air, with little friction. There, I fully understand that I'm engaging in perhaps the sincerest form of fiction, perhaps perfection, but I do not care, or, perhaps I should declare, that I care enough to thoroughly enjoy not being fully there. When they ask, "Who done it?" I can honestly report, "Nobody here."

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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