Rendered Fat Content


StepTooFar stands prominent on the list of common unknowables. Sure, I can know in retrospect that I took a fateful step, but until then, I’m probably just hypnotizing myself again. I mention StepTooFar here because it well represents The Common Unknowables, pseudo-information everyone seems familiar with ... when observed in someone else, and generally clueless about whenever we’re doing it to ourselves. We do these to ourselves.

These are delicate subjects. Only the most dedicated masochist enjoys awakening from this dream, even though the dream seems to be dooming him to an unwanted fate. It seems way too late for anybody to do anything about much of anything. Fate seems to have already won. What now?

’What now?’ might be the last question any doom dreamer ever asks himself first. The more popular approach involves failing to fix the past, fumbling for that rewind button, attempting to undo. Of course, none of these tactics could possibly work, and they tend to kind of amplify the difficulty. Less of the same distills into even more of the same, nobody gets to fix what’s past. Perhaps the source lies not there or then, but right on the edge of the here and now.

Even The BriefConsultant is easy prey to this voracious predator. I procrastinate plenty. I get lost in familiar woods. I miss opportunity, who sometimes seems to drop by only when the doorbell’s busted. I’ve stood on the platform watching the last train leave without me. I swear I’ll never master synchronization of anything. I mostly play catch-up, so I well-understand the desperation my clients often feel.

There is no key to mastering anything, and there never was, only the myth insisting that someone already found it, which might mean that I’ve (you’ve?) probably already gone at least a StepTooFar. StepTooFar might be a story sparked by a myth, one insisting upon what nobody could possibly know. Nobody could know what comes next, only what they believe will happen next. One plus one never equals two if one of the ones is a known quantity and the other is merely something you’ve convinced yourself of.

It seems silly to question a confident fate when you just know it’s already way too late, but do you really know it’s too late? And even if it turns out, somewhat later, to really have been too late, how does accepting that presumed fate enhance the quality of anyone’s experience? I’m wondering, “What now? What next?” If you’re gonna go to all the trouble of punctuating here, try a comma, or a semicolon; even an m-dash---anything to continue play, rather than calling it a day with an impregnable hard-stop period.

Possibility couldn’t care less about any confident certainty. It does not subscribe to fate. When it seems way too late, that might be the perfect time to recalibrate. What now? What next?

The Common Unknowables all involve embracing as knowns what nobody could possibly know. They justify no end of suffering, and even encourage self-destruction in a hands-off sort of way. The BriefConsultant could try to talk his client out of this funk, but he understands the predator better than that, having been his frequent prey. Instead, I listen to my client’s story, wading through the past tense tension, appreciating every inch of the way. It won’t seem to go away until recounted. Later, we can speak of some imaginary future, once we chase that past tension away. We might both be close to exhaustion by the time the time feels right for one of us, usually the client, to ask, “What now? What next?” Only then might we have a pretext to seriously consider what we might actually know, and let go of another troubling, though all-too common, unknowable.

Choice can cure almost anything; even fate, it seems.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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