UnCertainTea


"If I want everyone to win, I might consider how I chose who loses."

I want everyone to win. Still, I seek resolution. I despise the unresolved. Encountering an 80/20, I'll give the eighty the benefit of little doubt and just disregard the dangling twenty as irrelevant. Encountering a 50/50, I'll switch to gut feel, discounting the whole concept of more quantitative evaluation. I will rarely leave any issue unresolved in my head. I develop a sort of spontaneous amnesia, quickly forgetting any controversy I could not very quickly resolve. I say all this while fully convinced that certainty seems to be the root cause of nearly every ill. Were I able to hold the exquisite tension between the thises and the thats, between the eithers and the ors, I might well leave myself better off in nearly every instance, but I seem unable to forestall the short-term simpler pseudo-resolutions attracting me. I create losers in this way while I say I want everyone to win.

I see them in fields of different-seeming us-es, missing the connecting structures. I sense almost exclusively superficially, quickly sorting to identify my tribe.
And I simply must belong to some tribe, a community much larger than myself but also reassuringly similar to me. I too easily muster a story fully justifying my hasty judgements, one robust enough to metastasize into permanent structures requiring little supplemental support. I come to know without ever really knowing along the way. But thank God or somebody when I no longer feel the need to support that deadbeat irresolution. I speak in the third person, as if to divorce myself from responsibility. "The decision's been made," I tell myself. "Why reopen that can of worms when we already know what's preserved in there?"

If I really want everyone to win, can I believe that both are right? The testimony absolutely conflicts. If what she says is true, what he says absolutely cannot be true. The two contradict and cannot be resolved without declaring one or the other false and therefore what, irrelevant? Both seem equally convinced of the truth of their own perspective. Must we destroy one perspective or another to reach that seemingly imperative resolution? We cannot possibly just leave this tension to eternally tug and pull, differing poles petulantly insisting upon attracting their opposites. Can we? Could we? Should we?

Life, it seems, remains largely comprised of these opposing tensions, conflicts refusing resolution. What's left after this and that have exhausted each other in mortal combat without managing to extinguish each other? The very stuff of life, I suspect, remains. Who elected me The Great Resolver? Who designated me to choose? I suspect I was born absent an essential organ or sense, a facility for holding life, for carrying these tensions unresolved. I can too easily choose and put any controversy to bed, but little of any real life seems meaningfully conducted from bed. One simply must move around in the world, bump into unsettling stuff, and expect to feel unsettled as a result. I do not expect to ever find comfort within the extreme discomfort irresolution brings, but I doubt if comfort was ever the purpose of my existence here. I drink UnCertainTea every day. I'm developing a taste for it, like I once learned to appreciate bitter flavors. The saccharine sweetness of instant resolution should no longer satisfy my more mature palate. If I want everyone to win, I might consider how I chose who loses.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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