NegativeSpaces

elephant_and_snake_negative_space
"Each search seems irrelevant in the face of finally finding."

The menu seems comprised of vast NegativeSpaces delineating choices I would never seriously consider. The few positive choices, items which I might ultimately select, shrinks the options to a spare two or three. From thirty thousand feet, alternatives seem nigh-on infinite. Closer to the ground I've found the usual handful of hardly noteworthy alternatives. The tyranny of choice reliably presents many more unacceptables than attractives. The larger the store, the more chaff I must sift through to find what I would have more easily found in a mom and pop shop. I might know precisely what I'm looking for without holding any real authority to locate it within the overwhelming faux abundance looming around me.

My first wife and I traveled all around the East Coast looking for a place equivalent to the town I grew up in. Certain that we could not forge a living there, we exiled ourselves and began the search.
A couple of places, Charlottesville, Virginia and Martha's Vineyard, came close without winning any cigar. I later ended up where I started looking, satisfied with my choice which hardly qualified as a choice, for the rest of the world we searched through amounted to no more than NegativeSpaces, largely distinct due to their glaring omissions. I admit that our template might have been faulty, for our investigation could hardly call itself fair. Our comparator kept her thumb on the scales. We knew what we were looking for and set about searching everywhere but where we'd already found it. Denial remains the first stage of acceptance.

Knowing where home lies hardly resolves anything, for a raft of practical considerations enter the game once place resolves. I've been fortunate to live in a variety of locales: sweaty swampland, arid elevation, heartland small town, bustling Dickensian cities. Each proved livable, even lovable with limitations. Each sported natives sanguinely accustomed to local patterns, embodying them while I strained to even perceive their presence. I fancied myself a student of these places, catching snippets of local dialect without really understanding the meanings behind the patter. I remained wary in each place, numbly self-conscious of all I could not perceive before me, living at best an N Minus One existence, embodying invisible NegativeSpaces. I'd enter cafes and corner stores like a wary gunfighter, eying shadows and selecting room-facing seats. I dared not turn my back on anything. I lived a Mobius existence there.

I've spent more time searching than finding so far. Even when I finally knew for sure just where I belonged, the practical considerations accompanying my choice confounded me. I do not know how anyone finds their home. I suspect that homes find their owners, employing some non-rational and therefore indiscernible means. Strange attractors bring the principles together. I suspect that neither ever really knows how, however successfully they might convince themselves that they did know. I find good reason to envy those I once denigrated. The kids raised downwind of a failing carpet factory who just sort of grew into becoming the fourth generation in their family employed there, marrying the daughter of another carpet maker and moving into the other half of the double house they grew up in, extended family forever nearby. Their life choices once seemed so narrow but now seem almost entirely devoid of NegativeSpaces, many questions never needing rough wrestling to uneven ground.

I envy nobody now. Envy inhabits the most pernicious NegativeSpaces and fuel blind trailblazing, knowing that it does not want what it already possesses. Knowing what one does not want fails to qualify as knowing, for it seems the opposite of knowledge. Overflowing with irrelevance, it hopes to find a pony in there somewhere, hoping that the horseshit surrounding the overwhelmingly negative search space clearly outlines the horse. It almost never does. Searching NegativeSpaces reliably discovers much more horseshit than horse and sullies everyone involved. An ounce of acceptance serves as the active ingredient in every antidote. I might have been born where I belong, my tenacious denial of this now obvious fact the only force separating me from my home. Others inherit different forms of good fortune and aspire to other nirvanas than my birthright brought me. Each search seems irrelevant in the face of finally finding. The miles spent seeking aren't worth counting or recounting then.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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