Rendered Fat Content


Frans Francken The Younger: The Witches' Kitchen (1606)
" … Transitioning back into the more significant but more humbling role of human again."

With The Hunter's Moon came a breath of a Pacific storm, a contradiction in terms no less welcome for its identity confusion. The leading edge of the storm brought down the maple's helicopters to litter the property and leave me with gardening as my growing priority. I'd been absent, absent in that way that only focused presence can ever produce. The Grand Refurbish had nudged most of the rest of my life to the edge of the path and left me missing dimensions. My single focus had rendered me blind to much of my usual oversight. I'd become erratic and careless and filled with the very most effective excuses. My limited time was pre-focused upon the primary project at hand. I'd become a narrow and uninteresting man, always bringing every conversation back to some arcane appreciation for some previously unacknowledged aspect of door refinishing or something equally captivating.

I realized as I moped around the place yesterday that I might be Transitioning out of that laser-focused phase, one which always so satisfyingly takes away the mind for a time.
Us human beings seem to prefer fleeing from our broad potential to attend to the smaller puzzle pieces like projects. We can focus our attention so damned intently upon the tiniest slivers of things that even the smallest sliver can become our universe. We imprint upon definite horizons and commence to work diligently toward them, shutting down many of our usual comportment systems for the duration. We become hyper-responsible for insignificant components while losing contact with broader perspectives. We sacrifice dimensions for relatively microscopic focus and satisfy ourselves with contrived successes. While most of life will always reside in the absolutely unresolvable, effort without any promise of reward or result, we, for times, attend to only life's opposite, projects.

Having committed the sin of such absorption, I now see the distraction waning. I've smelled the change coming for three or four weeks, already understanding that the project had been peaking long before very much of anything was actually even done. Now, the pile of doors which have been patiently waiting for the completion of doorway painting and floor planking have grown restless. They seem to sense the season changing, that over the next week it will be raining just outside their covered place on the porch and they're ready to come inside. They will be greeted with an utterly transformed staircase and railing and I expect that each of them will, in turn, reach out and attempt to mark the fresh finishes, jealous of their counterpart having received such fine, professional attention when they had to settle for your's truly's amateur hand, though their finishes will not be wanting, certainly not in the light they'll be inhabiting now. They've spent the entire summer outside in the weather. Whatever moisture they might have still held within their hundred year old bodies certainly must have been baked out of them now. They, too, might sense themselves Transitioning, returning back to the same door frames they've always haunted with all of their long-familiar surroundings suddenly different, but perhaps only superficially so, just like their fresh finishes absent the old familiar dings and scratches for now.

A sensation not at all unlike weightlessness descends upon all those of us who catch ourselves Transitioning. Our once so secure anchoring has come unmoored and we might feel bored at the prospect of freely sailing again. We will have to contend with choice as opposed to obligation. We will not have mortgaged our every waking moment to an effort seemingly larger than ourselves but actually inexorably smaller. We apparently successfully carved out an existence, one that we were able to live within on more or less our own terms. It was our intentions, our projections, our project in ways that this is not our world, not our decision, not our prospect out here where we actually live and breathe. We will be responding to another's cue now, not merely our own. Our vacation was from the struggle to make something from unconstrained context. We do not just mow the lawn there, but we do our lawn's bidding. On the project, now waning, we cosplayed the role of God. Now, we're Transitioning back into the more significant but more humbling role of human again.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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