Rendered Fat Content


Claude Monet: Stacks of Wheat [End of Day, Autumn] (1890/91)

" … it's not usual, whatever that means."

Each season here carries certain markers which seem to suggest and regulate certain behaviors. We've been experiencing some unseasonal weather this year which has thrown off my usual anticipations and responses. I complained plenty this Spring about the rain which kept me off the scaffolding and away from my repainting project, even though we here have been cautioned to never, never, never complain about rain. This semi-arid region can always, always, always use more moisture and last year saw us limping through on much less than usual. Last summer, too little rain. This summer, a little too much so far. The wheat crop, which likes it hot and dry, has contracted rust this year. Crop dusters buzz around the valley trying to rectify that imbalance before harvest. When I step out onto the back deck at four o'clock in the morning to gauge the day's prospects, if the sky spits at me, I feel moved to surrender right then and perhaps just head back to bed. I expected Seasonal weather but received different instead.

I remain fully capable of adapting, but something's clearly missing whenever I'm forced to fallback into adaptation.
An easy unfolding, preconscious melding, effortless balancing regulates the Seasonal. When the berry and cherry crops come in ten days later than normal, the entire calendar shutters a little. Nothing need be said, most of the response remains pre-verbal, it's just that it feels as though I'm navigating through uncharted waters. I feel slightly disoriented and some stuff refuses to finish itself and needs a nudge. I'm not complaining, or not intending to complain, but I was so hoping for normal. I'm coming to understand that normal might have always been an illusion and my anticipation of it, a nurtured delusion. My stereotypes probably never mirrored my experience. I generalized and lost some details.

Balancing never comes into balance. It continues correcting or it topples. The way I believed anything was supposed to be, probably doesn't matter. I doubt my abilities to correctly determine how anything is. I decide with insufficient evidence. I decide, anyway, then disappoint or delight myself with the result. I'm probably more attuned to perceive difference, to detect even subtle imbalances, this so that I might intervene when needed. This, too, so that I might intervene when my intervention's not needed at all. This instinct to perceive difference can fuel considerable disappointment, since almost nothing ever seems to qualify as perfect. I see through whatever perfection appears to perceive an apple's worms, the roses' aphids. My superpower spoils my experience.

A morning lightning storm like nobody around here's ever seen kept me off the scaffolding yesterday. The pelting rain soaked the deck chair cushions and watered the gardens. I had intended to don my overalls and finish sanding that wall face, working until noon when I'd imagined the sun chasing me back inside. I remained inside instead, reading on the bed, consoling Max the cat, who seemed upset that he got wet while making his usual morning rounds. I needed Max's consolation, too, for I felt no different than I imagined him feeling, disappointed and a little at loose ends. This summertime, the living feels uneasy as I watch the center of the universe spot with a freshening shower on the early morning of the Fourth of July. Oh, it's rained here on the Fourth before, though it's not usual, whatever that once meant.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver