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"This shift fools me every time."

A New Year induces an arrhythmia into the proceedings, for my life, every life, amounts to proceeding. Whether this forward momentum smoothly flows or jerks me around depends upon a seemingly subtle coherence. I mostly feel no need to fine tune my presence. It is, and is just as it is, background silence, a deeply muffled cadence. I might continue without considering my propulsion until some milestone steps into the middle of my road. Year End and New Year reliably disrupt my sublime unconsciousness, seeming to force more deliberate reflection. My reliables seize up on me and I'm unwillingly forced to rethink what I hadn't sensed myself thinking about in ages. My motions lose their continuity and my thoughts pace without concluding anything. I become a steam engine who's lost my tracks.

The past week amply illustrates this rethinking phase. My PureSchmaltz Facebook Group attracted 784 unique page views, some of which I can doubtless attribute to you and your presence here, a single point of continuity for me and I hope for you, too.
The balance of my world felt my blindly grasping hands struggling to make sense again. I'm hopeful that I didn't grab anything untoward in my searching.

I began my forced reconsideration in
Foreign Territory, where, try as I might, I could not perceive the familiar as familiar anymore. I then stumbled into a small consideration of Hubris, where I came face-to-face with my system of beliefs and behaviors. I conclude that my system, any system, owns me more than I ever owned it. No harm or foul occurred as a result. I next considered my most deeply-imbedded practice, that of being a Scribbler, for I experience my world by creating transcripts of it, not by direct experience, a useful distinction for anyone finding his feet again. Next, I traveled to the root of the idea of Seizing The Day, where I came to realize that this might involve more clever application of SmallThings than courageous grasping. I then considered Coping, a sometimes denigrated human capability which might hold surprisingly deeper significance. It's not just an alternative to resolution. Time crept into my next piece, Squeezed, where I discovered (again) that my constraints provide more than restraints. Finally, I copped to the fact that I'm fairly skilled in the under-appreciated art of self deception in Lying, where I recognized that while I might lie sometimes, I try to not lie to myself about the undeniable fact that I sometimes lie to myself.

A certain rhythm began to introduce itself into my fumbling as the past week progressed. I feel as though these might have been among the very best long half-dozen SmallThings I've ever crafted, and with that feeling came a wave of reassurance. New Year might have nudged me off my rails to position me on better-suited rails than the ones I'd followed before. Timing, "they" say, is everything, though I've always doubted the wisdom of this notion, for timing seems more a product of good fortune than of good planning or even excellent execution. For me, any time might be the right time, but nothing exists at that moment to decisively prove this to be the case. Only later, after punctuation's been duly applied to signify the end of a story can anyone properly assess the goodness of Timing, and even then ascribing cause seems inescapably iffy. Most of my life and most all of my creative life has thrived on synchronicity, not on deliberate planning, execution, or that elusive everything, Timing. Times come, like a New Year, and Times go, like our so-recently departed Christmas season, without asking anyone's permission of following anyone's lead. Hubris buys little.

I think that New Year doesn't so much induce its arrhythmia, but amplify my own. My seemingly smooth progression relies upon my inattention to sustain that sense of flawlessness when it's actually more fitty-and-starty than it might seem without reflection. When I wonder how it is that I ride my bike, I instantly lose my ability to successfully ride it, for bike riding, like life, utterly relies upon a level of preconscious engagement that defies analysis. I turn all curious when the New Year comes, and temporarily notice what I do not know, but perhaps am better off not consciously knowing. Life itself seems comfortably beyond knowing and largely satisfied with itself there. I, too, take my comfort in my utter ignorance of how I propel myself, how I maintain my Timing, but I'm not Porsche engine, I have no timing belt, and I'm not mechanic enough to adjust it if I were. This world ticks on. I dutifully follow. The New Year well-entrenched seems to require little reconsidering again. This shift fools me every time.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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