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Arthur Wesley Dow: Boats at Rest (c. 1895)

" … the tacit component of the effort."

Avant Garde composer John Cage famously insisted that silence comprised the essence of music, that the notes only exist to space the silences. It's easy and seductive to focus solely upon the overt pieces of a composition when preparing to perform it, but its silences significantly contribute to whatever presence it might ultimately induce. Likewise with stories. I once published a story which featured no spaces between the words. Using this technique, I was able to present something on the order of 40% more letters on the page, but while it was certainly possible to read the result, the reading felt tedious and unrewarding. The purpose of writing was never intended to see how efficiently it might employ paper. Hoarders never seem to catch on that much of the satisfaction of owning something comes from the ability to stand a few steps away and admire it. An overstuffed closet might just as well contain nothing.

I sat this morning to begin my daily writing ritual and felt for a fleeting moment as if I'd been there before.
In fact, I'd been there for years worth of daily contributions. I thought for part of that fleeting moment how welcomed intermissions can seem, even though they mean that the purpose of a concert gets set aside for a few moments. Some of the more satisfying parts of attending a concert come from bumping into someone you hadn't seen in ages. Even if you run into your neighbor there, the different venue renders you both unique and special, a delight to meet and greet. During the performance, the bassoons might sit silent for most of a whole movement, but they enter the fray unmistakable, the whole piece seemingly better for their absence.

Today's SetTheory story won't amount to much, for it's focused upon Rest, the tacit contribution to every work. Without it there could be no effort, no work, no result. Today, I deliberately delay completion of my SetTheory series. Today, my story represents the tacit component of the effort. Today, I rest.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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