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Gordon W. Gahan: Star's Daughter (Fourth of eleven):
Her favorite spot for studying scripts is the big window sill in her Manhattan apartment. (1964-65)

"My internal state determines my Success …"

I have a Spot, a place where I feel emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and physically balanced and secure. I do not continuously inhabit this place but seem to be trending toward inhabiting it instead. Some days, I find myself smack dap in the center of it, while on others, I cannot seem to find even its slightest edge. When I stand near the center of this Spot, I feel remarkably powerful and comfortable "in my skin," as the old saying goes. Though not always profoundly, I feel the absence when I’m away from it. I understand I’m more likely to do something short-sighted or stupid when absent. I'm divorced from my very best when I lose my Spot. Losing it serves as grounds for serious searching, and often in vain, for I usually prove inept when I've lost my Spot.

My Successes seem strongly correlated with my inhabiting my Spot.
If my Spot stood still, my challenge would be entirely different. Instead, it seems incapable of standing or even sitting still but continuously spins. It's as if its four components: emotional, psychological, intellectual, and physical were floating disks demanding careful balance. I am forever balancing rather than standing in a secure or stable balance. This balancing brings both drama and meaning to my life, and it's constantly shifting. Not often dramatically shifting, but continuously slightly slipping: sideways, forward, backward, up, and down.

My Spot demands my attention, however divided. It surprises me with its gyrations. Even after decades of interaction with it, it still surprises me. I never seem to notice that I've lost my balance until well after it's gone. I notice an unexpected soggy foot or an off-kilter orientation, then struggle to regain that elusive balance, which I will not precisely recover. Again, it's always a matter of balancing without the promise or even the experience of finding balance. This can be frustrating, but what other options present themselves to any man requiring a Spot? Close enough apparently counts. Far away hurts.

Others can encourage me to continue balancing, though most of the effort falls on my shoulders. I'm the only one who notices the unbalance, though The Muse has been known to notice and comment. Often, just a comment, a sideways observation, works wonders, for it jiggles me back into perceiving. I'm not always as observant as I might wish myself to remain, and a friend might question what's happening. Just a word might reawaken whatever was lost, and I more or less automatically resume my balancing again. It's never precisely the same old Spot I'm seeking, for in balancing, the Spot migrates. My senses seem to understand that they must cooperate in locating my Spot, for it's a felt sense more than a physical space I seek. My internal state determines my Success, whether I've found my Spot or lost it again. I suspect that nobody ever permanently inhabits either their Spot or their Success.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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