Rendered Fat Content


Vincent van Gogh:
Terrace and Observation Deck at the Moulin de Blute-Fin, Montmartre
(early 1887)

"The finished work isn't finished …"

I claim to be writing a series about Publishing, but I've grown increasingly uncertain if this effort will produce what it initially implied. I know, I know, that bait-and-switch suggestion might qualify as the subtext of this whole series so far. I can hardly pick up a stick but what that stick transforms into something else, or sure seems to. Iterate that experience a few dozen times, and anyone might come to question the basis upon which they'd drawn their conclusions. The jury might opt to continue deliberations and might not ever come to any firm conclusions other than that the case was clearly not as presented and not really as expected, either. It turned into something different.

Could I once, just once, leave well enough alone?
I doubt it. Well enough was never as well as it pretended. It might have been intended for someone like me—it might just as well be me—to see what else might be lurking behind it. It held alternative purposes. The apparent clarity confused me. I stared until I caught a slight swerve, a contradiction emerging around the edges. Heisenberg was both right and wrong when he proposed that observing changes the observed, for it accomplishes both more and less than that. It changes nothing while utterly changing everything and leaving everything as it always was while undermining every pre-existing notion. Nothing observed retains its relationship to whatever it was before, yet nothing appears to change. How utterly strange and inexplicable.

That's the world I inhabit, one which constantly changes while also hardly ever changing at all. My experiences seem to avoid conclusions, just as if I might have been engaging with indefinites, infinities, which, of course, I always was. As I copyedit and assemble pieces, the resulting whole seems remarkably different than expected. I imagined I might have known what I had written and how the result might appear when finally viewed from over there, but I was mistaken. I could conclude that my manuscript was less written than assembled, dissembled expressly for my edification. What did I think I was doing, and what have I actually accomplished? No response seems terribly conclusive. Each looks more fresh than experienced. Each conclusion, at most preliminary, drawn from insufficient exposure. The final work looks different every time and was never the same way once.

As I immerse myself in the emerging manuscript, I experience my first exposure to the contents in context. The context appears in none of the stories, and while implied by the title and the emerging narrative arc, it doesn't actually reside there. The context only emerges from the combination when encountering Obswervation. I watch myself observing only to catch my understanding swerving off in unanticipated directions. This experience can sure seem unsettling. I had imagined that the manuscript might become finished once assembled, but I see it taking yet another incarnation, different than I designed, other than even I expected. I crawl away a fresh author with nothing authoritative to offer. The finished work isn't finished, and I doubt it ever will be.

Here's a link to my
Weekly Writing Summary

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