Rendered Fat Content


"I appreciate the fog over the curious clarity of the properly formed plot line."

Living at seven thousand eight hundred feet above sea level, I sometimes find more than my head in the clouds. Here, I might wake up to a full body immersion in the clouds, absolutely SockedIn. The usual modest level of background sounds muffle to almost nothing save the screech of delighted magpies when they somehow find that bowl filled with the spoiled batch of quinoa or the crusty cat food I left out for them the night before. Trucks on I-70 disappear in the haze, their noise contained, even their headlights mere whispered hints of their passage. The dog walkers come out around sunrise regardless of the weather, the yippie pups grumbling under their breath, a welcome reprieve from their usual snippy snarling.

My head seems filled with clouds, too, fat insulating ones as my sinuses adjust to the altitude's pervasive aridity again and with my reintroduction to Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat's incessant shedding.
It's a wonder she has any fur left as much of it as she strings around the place. She spends much of her days grooming, leaving nests of discarded fur in her favorite places. I feel myself blessed to live in such a place, but also deprived. The neighborhood's about as integrated as a stack of Premium® saltines, somewhat smug in its relative isolation from the troubles roiling down below us in Denver. Make no mistake, we believe Denver to be below us in more ways than just altitude. It looks like an HO-scale city from our ridge top. We nurse off its perimeters, generally avoiding the center and its many complications.

I believe that any feeling of superiority over any other to be evidence of a severe psychological shortcoming, but I still catch myself peering down my nose at others sometimes. I think of myself as a hard-core egalitarian, equal (or almost equal) to anyone. I acknowledge that my experiences have not purchased much advantage, a perspective that no one else could possibly disconfirm. I'm considerably less intelligent than I sometimes present myself as being. I think of myself as particularly, perhaps uniquely, ungifted, nothing terribly special. My vitae sucks more than yours. My knowledge about almost everything, negligible at best. I make up in the moment most of whatever I manage to do. I hold no body of knowledge, wisdom, or insight. I can't imagine myself as skilled.

I'm SockedIn even on those days when the sun shines clear and bright. I hold no master plan for my future. I can't see much beyond the middle of next week. These features used to trouble me until I began accepting them as characteristic of me and not as evidence of some personal shortcoming. I am not working on any sort of self improvement regimen lest I lose the tenuous connections I currently hold. Self knowledge brought with it something perhaps more precious than clarity. For me, it brought a kind of wonder where I'm continually surprised with what my days present to me. I'm consequently rarely disappointed, having set no heart-felt expectations to find myself falling short of. It's mostly upside from here, I figure, or else not.

I want to make myself clear in one point, though, I do not consider myself lost in the fog, but merely immersed in it. Once accepted, this small perspective liberates me from the poisonous notion that I should be able to see and foresee better than I actually can, or ever could. I spent much of my career (so far) planning and teaching others to plan. I figure that I left a hole into the future that could easily contain the Westbound I-70 traffic with ample room left over. I still can't see around the next curve and have largely lost the urgent need to see around next curves. Sure, there's a definite art to planning, to creating believable and acceptable projections into the future. That those projections rarely match what eventually happens doesn't seem to quench the urge to project according to a certain set of standard forms. Real life doesn't observe the well-understood literary conventions which insist how stories are supposed to be constructed and consumed. I'm finding that the older I get, the more I appreciate the fog over the curious clarity of the properly formed plot line.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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