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Félix Vallotton: Corn Fields (1900)

"Things will never be the same again."

Change seems the real constant in this world, in this life. Stasis seems impossible, yet we're weaned to wish for difference, not stasis. We genuinely fail to see the essential contradiction in our constant striving for change, RealChange. I doubt that I would recognize the real McCoy if it sat on my face. The real McCoy might look more like nothing different at all. It might seem so familiar as to appear utterly unimportant. Remember when The Damned Pandemic forced us all to take up a sedentary lifestyle, always staying home, rarely roaming anywhere? That was a real and significant change to which many reacted by feeling bored and uninterested. We ached for the same old and called that different. Change seems the constant, constancy the real difference.

The Muse and I are poised upon the cusp of a significant change.
Nothing might well ever seem the same again on the other side of this adventure. We'd both rather, much rather, forego the adventure and maintain our status quo, the one that some days seemed awfully old and boring, our very own personal mostly nothing. Finally, a hint of RealChange appears just when our stasis has been effectively rendered out of reach. We can have anything in this whole damned universe, it suddenly seems, except the sole object of our dreams. Not yet, anyway. Not today. Maybe later we might approach some same-old again, more familiar for its absence, more profound for its unlikely presence; RealChange.

We speak of transformation without understanding what it always entails. The measure, the reasoning behind engineering such shifts, always becomes the first casualty of the effort, such that one loses their metric as a part of the endeavor. Before, one can only speculate in essential ignorance, however carefully measured, for, experience lacking, one exclusively employs innocent analogies. After, former language always proves inadequate to actually describe anything, and new terms emerge, ones which might well seem just so much gibberish to anyone who has not shared the experience. We cannot really learn vicariously, just personally. The map is never the territory, neither is the resulting story.

The lust for RealChange this time seems fundamentally unrequitable, if only because we employ a worse than useless metaphor for what RealChange entails. A thief in the night delivers RealChange. He exclusively arrives in unexpected guise, intending to surprise. He's probably something close to the opposite of what you'd envisioned and the shock of recognition should properly blind you to his purpose. The typical response to his appearance should be denial, repeated three times before the rooster crows. Knowing follows, but it appears in tatters and badly needing a shower. A perfectly respectable universe should have properly been destroyed by his arrival, one which will never be recovered. Reliable and familiar both become strangers for a spell. You might notice yourself feeling like a stranger to yourself. Things will never be the same again. RealChange just happened.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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