Rendered Fat Content


Jan Collaert: New Inventions of Modern Times [Nova Reperta],
The Invention of Book Printing, plate 4

(ca. 1600)
"If I can stay in the game and somehow retain my patience, insight eventually visits …"

When I started this Authoring series two full months ago, I suspected that success would require some fundamental understanding to emerge, though I didn't at the time understand just what that understanding might entail. Authoring involves wrestling with so many simultaneous mysteries that they prove impossible to inventory. It seemed that at least one question was hounding me each morning. Through early days, I found it convenient to just let the mysteries be. Later, the unresolved ones seemed to slow then stall my sense of forward progress. I felt tempted to just put my head down and bull through those barriers even though I knew, or believed I knew, that these were the sorts of barriers that nobody ever successfully bulls their way through. I suspected that something would happen, some seriously uncertain something, which would transform the series and at least contribute to turning the resulting book into something more than mere writing, into Authoring.

Many things just seem to require patience.
Faunch away, they seem to say, we take our own sweet time emerging. Following The Grand Refurbish, which we finished just before I started this series, a few loose ends remained. A leftover desk needed removing and it took the movers weeks before they got around to us. I had left a pile of tools in what had served as our Refurbishing headquarters, explaining to an increasingly frustrated Muse that I didn't have space in my basement workshop to properly relocate them yet. My basement workshop remained in disarray, too, with a dozen or more partial gallons of paint and attendant supplies spread all over the floor and workbench. Further, I'd not yet found a place to hang up my pegboard to hold my tools, so my workbench top was layered with screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, snips, everything, with little evident organization to it. In short, my life had assumed the clutter of my manuscript with prominent unfinished business.

A series of missing pieces kept irresolution in place. Until I discovered a place to hang my pegboard, the workbench seemed doomed to retain its mess. I couldn't move my workbench to refinish the crumbly wall behind it until I had a place to move the contents of my workbench top. Further, gallon after gallon after gallon of paint needed sorting through and some place to store out of the way before I could move my workbench out of the way. It was all a tile puzzle with no missing tile. Stuck, Stasis. Until a leaky pipe necessitated some quick reshuffling. Opening up the floor to allow removing the water shifted perspective. I could finally see what I could not see before. I discovered where I might mount my pegboard and saw how I might finally get that part of my house in order, finally. It has almost been a year since we moved back in here and it might be fitting if on that first anniversary of the end of our exile, my tools and workbench were finally sorted. The resolution found me. I had been fruitlessly searching for the key. Fruitlessly searching because the key apparently needed to find me and worked on its own sweet schedule.

Authoring's no different. I might claim credit for finally figuring out how to finish forming that manuscript, but I only stayed more or less engaged until the resolution could finally catch up with me. I provided little except presence. I'd held the questions. I'd even asked for assistance and even received it, each bit of energy expended perhaps encouraging the resolution to finally appear, or else it was all just entertainment, diversion while the universe farted around with delivering necessary insight. I now sense that sense that I for most of this series understood I was lacking. I kept hacking at it, pretending some days that I was making progress and desperate other times that I'd finally overstepped my bounds, that I would never figure out how to complete this manuscript and resolve this series.

I now feel moved to wonder what isn't like this. It seems that everything I attempt to accomplish involves holding a mystery, an unresolved and unresolvable question for the longest time, trying my patience, and that the resolution inevitably just visits, almost in spite of whatever I insisted I was doing to resolve the question. Bootstraps seem useless for gaining this kind of closure. It just visits. It might be a testament or a confirmation of how worthy the universe finds me that resolution ever visits, but I doubt it. I suspect that it was never written, never pre-ordained that anything happens, but that strange convergences occur. If one can stay awake until insight visits, one might be able to say that they finally figured it out. In fact, though, the difficulty most probably figured itself out before finding a way to disclose its resulting insight. I know that the minor flooding in the basement seemed to open up a flood of understanding previously withheld. On reflection, this universe never behaved different. If I can stay in the game and somehow retain my patience, insight eventually visits, even with Authoring, too, I guess.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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