NaiveUse


"I think the universe remarkably forgiving."

Any first use constitutes a naive use, but then so does the second use, and the third. At what point does experience erase the naive underpinnings? I propose never as a reasonable response, for each subsequent use occurs in different circumstances, the subtlety of which probably distill into undetectable, yielding an unsuspectedly different situation. After over fifty years of shaving, I still manage to nick myself sometimes. You'd think I would have learned how to avoid those nicks by now.

Heraclitus had something right when he declared that nobody ever crosses the same river twice.
Expand that notion even a tiny bit and arrive at the conclusion that however many supposed repetitions one experiences, the next one's certain to be different somehow. And that difference will likely be indiscernible going in. We live forwards and understand backwards, for all the good that sequencing might do us. Every time I face the challenge of making supper again, I encounter this small paradox, on my better days, backing into the recognition that I'm a rookie all over again. The initial conditions shifted on me. I make do somehow, more or less making it up as I go along again. I figure I can always apologize (again) later.

I'm pretty confident that this same principle holds true for all the professionals offering their services in my life. That curiously confident airplane pilot probably has no clue. The processes counteracting her naivety might well prove adequate, but if she's paying attention, she will learn something this trip, like on every trip before. She will hopefully experience surprise, but for all the passengers' sakes, not the shocking kind. When I face a blank page, I experience my native naivety anew, certain only that I have no real clue how to go about filling up that gaping void. I'm learning (not having yet actually learned) to just begin and let synchronicity and innate horse sense guide my three typing fingers. The story, like the supper, might prove capable of creating itself, thank Heavens.

Assimilating experience could prove endlessly entertaining as I integrate that mix of expected and unexpected outcomes. I might say I learned something in the process, but finding a reasonably stabile situation within which to deploy that learning might well prove difficult. If I'm paying attention, I might notice the rather glaring differences next time I wind up to produce something. My primary skill might be faking expertise and skill.

I think the universe remarkably forgiving. Supper comes together in spite of my fresh innocence each engagement, for I have proven unable to retain the recipe for success, yet supper almost never proves uneatable. It often proves different from ever before. I claim with each success that it's a one of a kind, never to be replicated because I'm learning to understand that not even supper ever crosses the same river twice. I might make myself a more generous critic by remembering that every creation, every service, every freaking interaction is at root an improvisation produced by someone who might not feel quite safe enough to admit to even them self that they're demonstrating NaiveUse.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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