Rendered Fat Content


Juan Gris: Violin and Glass (1915)

" … I'm just along for the ride."

"I had planned" are the keywords of my efforts this Spring. Whatever I claim to be doing, I'm probably, in any observed moment, very likely to be SideTracking rather than accomplishing whatever "I had planned." I admit that I hold conflicting objectives and that these conflicts cannot be resolved. I figure that this probably amounts to a completely normal condition, such that anyone would be hard pressed to even remember ever inhabiting any other state. We as a species tend to stack our obligations up in messy collections, with one pile inevitably infringing upon another and another upon another, and so on, ad infinitum.

My intentions are never for naught, though they do suffer from considerable buffeting.
I really had intended to clamber up the scaffolding, but then the garage wall siding showed up, needing sorting and scraping, priming and painting, before Joel Our Carpenter can mount those boards on the garage front and back walls. This ain't no trivial dalliance. Twenty of the boards are fourteen feet long. Another forty, six footers. They're reclaimed from an 1860s-era bunkhouse my niece's husband has been deconstructing, leaving prominent square nail holes which need patching, too. It takes me about an hour to scrape and sand one board clean, then more to prime both sides, and even more time to paint two top coats. Every minute I spend prepping those boards is a minute I'm not up on the scaffolding finishing repainting the Villa. I can only be one place at once, though it seems I cannot quite manage even that sometimes.

Weeds slowly fill in the spaces between the iris. They need removing. The lawn keeps growing, encouraged by many rainstorms and last week's mowing, it needs attention again this morning, which will keep me from weeding, which would keep me from board scraping, which would keep me from painting the house. I'm paying scaffolding rental whether I use it or not. My decades studying the more arcane aspects of project planning offer no resolution for this common SideTracking feature. The more anal of the theorists insisted that everything be scheduled sequentially, head to tail, just as if conditions would ever actually allow that to happen. No, some sponsor's always nosing in under the tent, needing reassurance that their pet part of the project isn't getting neglected, insisting upon immediate attention. The actual job seems less like ordering than it seems like juggling: chainsaws and kittens, violins and wineglasses.

It might prove most useful if I imagine that The Fates are in control. I admit that I've been adequately poisoned by my study and by my experience into believing that I really should have successfully exerted more control over this circus such that the elephants would not be trampling all over the clowns, whom I cannot seem to properly cram into their car. I live over there when I thought I would have managed to get over here by now. I flit more than seems proper. I feel pulled in every direction at once, expecting myself to be everywhere at once, and often feeling as though I hold no influence over anything I attempt. I might be wind-powered, under sail, commanded by breezes both fierce and fair. I'll apparently head anywhere they blow me. It might be best if I simply confess that I'm just along for the ride.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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