Method-ology

ology
"Nobody very vehemently celebrates completing any checklist."

There's a science of that and an -ologist methodically practicing in that field. Our universe has been successfully subdivided into such specialties, the few remaining general practitioners relegated to working mere margins. The specialists take center stage now as if we're all quietly working our way toward a golden referral, validated by our need to consult with a real expert in some field we hardly knew existed before that dreaded diagnosis. How comforting to learn that someone dedicated their professional life exclusively to this narrow deep-dive deliberation. Have a difficulty? See an -ologist for resolution.

I've been searching for my home these last couple of months. Perhaps I should have consulted with a home-ologist, one more expert at finding what I seek.
Armed with his thin and narrow methodology, he could have focused me on the narrower and shorter path toward finding my heart's desire. He could have saved me the humiliation of discovering, several times, that I'd chosen what turned out to be a wrong pathway. He could have helped me more perfectly clarify what I intended when I claimed that I was FindingHome. He could have provided handy checkboxes to help me chart my otherwise opaque progress. My inquiries could have been more scientific, more methodical, more efficient.

Not every human activity qualifies as one amenable to methodical guidance. Most shouldn't qualify as worthy of scientific enquiry. Most seem more meant for meandering, for wandering through sheer wilderness, not for utter ignorance but because they must remain unknowable, unsystematic, to qualify as human activities. Humans seem well-suited to a certain volume of blundering and seem diminished when too terribly templated. We should not always know our next move or carry a detailed plan for every attack. To err is perhaps most human, not to cleverly avoid error, for erring increases the possibility for difference, for novelty, for surprise, for delight. Nobody very vehemently celebrates completing any checklist.

The -ologist too easily becomes an evangelist, an overly-zealous advocate, one for whom disbelief has become unthinkable, those who proclaim to know another's very soul better than that soul's owner does, or could. They too easily demand a suspension of disbelief as the price of entry, entreating faith rather than understanding, acquiescence more than comprehending. They rarely insist upon their client groking, but request an unearned and, indeed, unearnable trust instead. They demand another's blindness so that they can be made to see, or, perhaps, so that they no longer need to use their own eyes to see, producing a pernicious form of idolatry. Here, let me do that
for you. The most important things cannot be done for others without leaving them done for.

Four years ago, The Muse and I were increasingly desperately searching for a more permanent place to live. Ensconced in what I labeled A Deluxe Executive Town Home, in truth, a rather shoddy undergraduate-quality apartment in a falutingly-named complex where The Muse's work had agreed to house us during our relocation transition, we became frantic to escape to anywhere else. We surfed the stages of acceptance, from utter despair through sheer anger, and finally revelatory discovery and acceptance. We started with our own considerable experience, my nose and The Muse's researching skills. We picked up a curious specialist along the way, chosen more because he didn't behave like a real estate-ologist, but more disarmingly human. He listened more than shoved. He exhibited endless patience of the sort no method could ever prescribe. He came to know our preferences perhaps better than we knew our own.

We could have anything we wanted, though we could not possibly afford that. We toyed with the idea of simply renting a rusty double-wide in a dusty mobile home "park," figuring that we could thereby afford to live like royalty except when we were home. We learned that far from having been civilized and settled, the Greater Denver Area remained essentially subdivided wilderness, a place in name only and hardly an attractive place in practice. Developed without the benefit of land use planning, a slavering pit bull lived next door to every otherwise acceptable property, staked in a yard strewn with empty Jack Daniel's bottles at the end of a cracked driveway with a rusty pickup with a Jesus Saves! sticker on the deteriorating rear bumper. Our search extended beyond the designated time limit and appeared as though it might become infinite, never-ending because the object of our ever-changing desire might not actually exist and therefore could not possibly ever be found.

We stumbled across the finish line. We can say that we lucked into it, not by methodical search, but by what even in retrospect appears to have been random selection. I can imagine no algorithm which could have possibly predicted our course. Our curious specialist who seemed more indifferent than partial was our perfect guide, no methodology guiding him. FindingHome seems sort of like finding a cat. The best cats find their owner, often in spite of the methodical search the owner employes. Homes, too, find their eventual owner, and I know of no method for including that home in the plan for finding it. I think our methods perhaps too perfectly portray the human condition. We might insist upon concocting plans which couldn't possibly create the outcomes we seek. The canny -ologist must understand that their -ology will become a casualty, more than the cause, of any satisfying outcome.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









blog comments powered by Disqus