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TinyShifts

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Coëtivy Master (Henri de Vulcop?): Philosophy Consoling Boethius and Fortune Turning the Wheel (about 1460–1470)


"The greatest significance tends to hide in the tiniest focus."


I yesterday mentioned The Authoring Stations of the Cross, my sense of Authoring's underlying sequence. My sense has shifted since I started this Authoring enquiry, but shifted in unanticipated ways. Like you (I suspect), I focus upon what might make a big difference, figuring I can always fine tune the tiny side stuff, so I set about looking for whatever might make a huge contribution in my understanding of Authoring. As I near the end of the enquiry, I realize that TinyShifts seemed to have made the most significant differences, perhaps a contradiction, though not, upon reflection, a particularly surprising one. If change sometimes seems frustrating to create, it's often due to focus. I'm so intent upon seeing significance that TinyShifts slip right through my diligence. My futures tend to slip in when I'm paying attention to stuff that couldn't possibly make much difference. Authoring's no monolithic practice, but a series of almost insignificances only the experienced appreciate. Authoring's very likely to slip right past even the attentive at first because us attentive ones tend to focus upon the wrong scale, by which I mean, way too large.

I see now that if I shift just a couple of things in my daily practice, I will have much better integrated Authoring into my routine.
What was always before a blue moon effort, one I only very rarely engaged in and then, only under considerable duress, might become almost trivial and thereby lose much of its drama. Authoring always seemed like an extraordinary activity, when it might just as well be something I quite naturally engage in, if I merely engaged in it daily. The first Station of the Cross, as near as I can ascertain now, might be called Compiling. This stage includes cobbling together the various sources of each piece, the social media introductory posting and the Blog conclusion, and whatever image or graphics might go along. This work feels like tedium personified when done in batches but it take a few short minutes if done daily. Left to the end of one of my writing quarters, it takes numbing hours and becomes more an act of dissociation than engagement. Done daily, one piece at a time, I can perform it mindfully and leave unhassled. Authoring's probably better served by such routining.

If I want to be an Author, it might be best if I didn't leave the effort for birthdays and Christmas. If I every morning contribute a bit to achieving the longer-term target, if by the end of my writing quarter, the compilation's already finished, awaiting my arrival, I'll likely feel more motivated to head right into Proofing and fine tuning while the series remains fresh and pliable rather than after it's become ungainly and stale. That's an example of what I mean by TinyShifts. Five minutes each morning might deflect several days of later drudgery, and also render Authoring less extraordinary. I believe it might be better for me if Authoring felt more like an ordinary activity, an everyday thing rather than anything noteworthy. TinyShifts can reduce the heavy lifting involved. Now, I face a few heavy lifts to get to the point where I can routinize Authoring going forward. The promise of routining seems like a great reward.

Authoring might not become a practice for me so much as an underlying philosophy. A week from now, Spring arrives. This being the first Spring in thirteen years The Muse and I have had the pleasure of being here to watch arrive, much effort seems necessary to bring the place into the season. Pruning and weeding, shaping and grading, it all seems overwhelming. I see the parallel to how my relationship with Authoring restarted when I began this enquiry. I had accumulated an enormous backlog of deferred improvements that needed dispatching until I could slip into maintenance mode. I was yesterday cleaning out the workroom leftover from The Grand Refurbishing, realizing that my Authoring reminded me of the same repeating pattern. I do tend to drag an impending backlog behind me which I cannot shake and which I will eventually have to take responsibility for resolving. I might more comfortably stop procrastinating and settle into an easier pattern, one without an ever-growing obligation always threatening to overtake me. Only TinyShifts stand between me and Authoring. The greatest significance tends to hide in the tiniest focus.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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