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OrdinaryTimes 1.18-LastNight

I was careful to leverage endings back when I still called myself a songwriter. Neurotic, perhaps, but each month-end demanded that I finish at least one more song before the next month rolled in. I suppose this jammed the usual OrdinaryTimes defenses that too easily lull a creative mind into knocking off rather than creating.

OrdinaryTimes might be the most powerful narcotic known to humankind. It soothes and reassures even the most talented, leaving much unfinished work in its wake. Imagine what it might do to someone as modestly talented as I. I need some jamming. Discipline can work, but unreliably. If it only took hard work, I’d have a lot more results than I seem to produce. Dangle a decent deadline before me and I’ll pretty reliably deliver.

The Muse calls this a narrow event horizon. She can make a month’s backlog disappear in the final few hours before an early morning flight call. I notice that work I’ve been shirking evaporates in the face of even a made-up hard horizon. The house is usually spotless when we leave for vacation.

Tonight’s the last night of my sixty-first year. Tomorrow, I might awaken over some hill and not be able to see what could roll off the ends of my fingers tonight. This, of course, qualifies as a completely bogus event horizon, notional to the nth degree. Still, these small self-imposed challenges seem to convince me, motivate me, and enable me. I have no idea why.

The curse of OrdinaryTimes probably demands that I pave my own footpath. Whatever works, works, and eventually, no matter how stuck or distracted I’ve been before, these looming projections pretty reliably work.

Every Christmas Eve, I pump out a half-dozen or so top-quality seasonal poems. My rule, not to be violated under any circumstances, says that I must not begin before mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve and must hang up the tired pen by sunrise on Christmas Day. I’ve produced my finest poems under this completely stupid regime.

I know I could do this everyday, declare even the most OrdinaryTimes somehow special and squeeze out a string of finished material. I don’t do that, and I wonder why. What am I saving this curious superpower for? Tomorrow I’ll be sixty-two. Perhaps the wisdom to answer this question will come to me then, or during this LastNight.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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