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Joan Miró: The Farm (1921-1922)
"I never want to say goodbye …"

The end of anything tends to elicit a sense of loss, however much might have been gained from the departing experience. For me, endings introduce a beginning-over rather than a continuing-into sensation. Summer does not mature into Autumn, but falls down into it. The salad season where The Muse could and would mosey out to the overgrown tomato forest to bring back supper's salad seems to be ending with no adequate replacement. Tomatoes will soon taste of cardboard again and we will leave them lying in their false promises on produce aisle shelves. We'll resort to stews and braises and less frequently grill. I'm already noticing that the morning sun no longer blinds me at breakfast. Time has taken, over the last few weeks, to moving inexorably again, dragging me along unwillingly, insisting. And I've held full days as my final defense. As long as full days stood in the way of this latest inevitable, I felt safe. Today will be the LastFullDay and will leave me with only a flimsy half day of summer remaining tomorrow. I should expend this LastFullDay extremely carefully, though it will abandon me either way.

I experience what I've not accomplished more deeply than whatever I've achieved.
Each season brings a few promises, a few hopeful expectations and fond memories and opportunities to realize these for the first time again. While the sun shines, I plan on making hay, at least until the day dawns unimaginably brighter than expected. The temperature soared through every previously known roof and left me cowering rather than making hay. That day passed, finally, as did all its brethren, and me without having made my planned-for hay. Soon, the sun will no longer be shining and haymaking will become another hopeful aspiration waiting for its time to arrive and for me to step into that time when it comes. Now, time's folding her tent and moving on, forward or backward, into or down. Time as I've grown to know it is moving on, seemingly without me.

I leave this season with ample unfinished business. I've felt frantic to hurry up my pace, but the more I push, the slower my progress seems. I must move at a respectfully modest pace or else lose my place in line. I cannot find any faster cadence, anyway. Paint dries at a constant rate regardless and attempting to speed up the process results in the process taking longer, but the urge remains. Every LastFullDay ultimately goes away at its own speed without needing me to goose it or retard its progress. It will not be successfully deterred or encouraged. It does not seem to care where it's leading me, away or further into. LastFullDays seem heartless by nature.

I retaliate by attending more closely. I attempt to live at a tinier scale, as if one inch equals one micron might bring my life into sharper focus and deeper understanding. I'll attempt a few of those gazes favored by over-actors, the ones who thrive on obvious double takes and obsequious gestures. I'll peer inquiringly at things holding no question, hoping to muster up more than my usual appreciation. Every tuna sandwich seems fleeting. I'll try to notice how shadows cast by the full moon illuminate my writing and attempt to finish something before this time's finished with me. In my relative youth, back when I was still songwriting, I made it a point to write a new song on the final day of every month, as if to stick my thumb into passing time's eye. I'd show that clock that it could not bully me out of anything. Some months, that tune was the only one I'd muster, goaded into creating when all other methods had failed me. Threaten to take something away and that thing becomes precious. What just last week seemed infinite and endless has become finite and priceless. I never want to say goodbye even when that allows me to say a greater hello.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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