Diego Rivera, Man Controller of the Universe (or Man in the Time Machine), 1934
"Vive La DIFFERENCE. Vive the same-old, too."

Once any significant change occurs, I'm usually shocked by how little actually changes as a result. Last week, I learned my literary genre, as significant a realization as I've experienced all year, and yet the following week plodded along remarkably unchanged. Sure, I felt, and deeply, a closer connection to whatever I'm actually up to, but the old time machine marched on. This past week, PureSchmaltz attracted 678 individual views, a slight reduction from the previous week's volume. (Hey, it's a metric. It's supposed to be fundamentally meaningless.) I appreciate your continued interest.

The week began with my announcing my
If-ification, that realization that I might have a normalizing, even civilizing classification after all. I felt myself slipping into an actual identity after wandering unclassified for years. The next day, I noticed myself invaded by one of those seasonal bugs in TheBug, a meditation on how much of what we label TheBug isn't so much an actual TheBug, but a mildly inconveniencing feature of our lives; no actual cure required. My background dread also seemed unchanged by my recent identity realization. My SundayDread showed up right on time, an apparent eternal feature of my life, however I might redefine its focus. Next, I pondered how one might come to muster TrustingThisWorld, concluding that trusting myself might prove to be a necessary precursor. I next shifted my attention to preparation in Almost-ish, an acknowledgement that adequate preparation might qualify as an oxymoronic impossibility for me, but no real encumbrance to initiating anything. I'm no Boy Scout. My motto might be: Be Unprepared and Do It Anyway! Next, I looked at the insidious effects that FalsePremises inflict. Presume to be a nation builder to learn that nations cannot be built, but evolve. Once down a rat hole, one tends to encounter more rat shit than realizations. I ended up the week considering Fog. I'd experienced the most significant identity shift in ages and still found myself reliably unable to remember where I'd left the danged wreath hanger in the weeks before Christmas. The more everything seemed to have changed, the more almost everything remained precisely the same.

So what's an aspiring change artist supposed to do with this week's feedback? Resign? Reflect? Perhaps Realize that no shift changes everything, and that the aspiration to implement more than about a 1% change in anything seems most likely to be blunted by inertia, and that one might consider this apparent downgrade to be one of the finest gifts this curious universe ever bestows upon her children. The aspiration for radical change seems as universal as the disappointment resulting when it does not emerge as hoped. Hope itself can take the brunt of the hit, for the universe seems heartless and feckless in moments like this when she denies a genuine heart-felt desire. The attempts at more radical overhaul almost always come with so many unanticipated externalities as to beat the acceptance of those changes out of the dreamer, too. Useful, perhaps, to remind myself that a 1% change, persisted over time, puts me in a very different place than wherever I might have started from. More radical attempts tend to loop me around and leave me grounded just about where I began. The more things change …

I should not feel shocked at how unthinkable 1% changes seem. Why not dream big? I guess that I support dreaming just as big as you desire. The truly significant changes visiting my life came less by volition than by unanticipated Realizing. My perspective shifted and in that moment, everything seemed to shift with it. Over the following week, though, almost everything tended to snap back into its former alignment, leaving a still bright and crystalline realization, but surrounded by about 99% same old-same old. No harm and no foul when this came about, my HUGE shift persisted, but framed with perhaps a more realistic perspective anchoring it. I can feel just as disappointed as I care to feel about this sort of outcome. The shifting change still occurred and still deeply affected my life, though it ultimately hardly changed anything at all. Could I come to appreciate this sort of disappointment? This seems to better describe significant change as I've experienced it so far.

Essentially nobody was ever discovered while just sitting at a Hollywood soda fountain. If anyone ever was, the discovery served as no more than the first scene of a much richer, much more recognizable story. Nobody's transformation comes poached and dressed with parsley atop a silver platter, though we all experience and benefit from transformations, just not the storybook kind. Later, perhaps long after, one can connect a series of storybook endings with storybook beginnings and storybook middles supporting the overall theme, but we invariably come by radical transformation through realizing how much of our lives benefit more from radical acceptance as a means of recognizing radical transformation than by bloody revolution or even bloodless coup. TheBug will still find you and so will your familiar SundayDread. The world will always seem to need trusting, though TrustingThisWorld often feels simply impossible. Preparation might often be beside the point, and Almost-ish a fine-enough resolution for FalsePremises. The Fog will persist regardless, however enlightened or radically transformed one becomes. Vive La DIFFERENCE. Vive the same-old, too.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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