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WritingSummary 07/27/2023

John Singer Sargent: Drawing of Paul César Helleu
from the early 1880s.
Sargent cherished this candid drawing
of his lifelong friend
and hung it in the dining room
of his Paris apartment.

To Confuse and Occasionally Astound Myself
I have this persistent sense that I really should understand whatever I'm doing by now, and some days I almost feel convinced that I might. Later, I stumble upon the depth—or the shallowness?—of my delusion to conclude that I do not know what I'm doing and never have. Should this not prove disqualifying? If I really don't know what I'm doing, what benefit does knowing bring? I realize or hope that purpose might remain emergent, never evident until long after the act. Its absence should not necessarily inhibit my continuing engagement, but writing remains a deeply faith-based initiative, not as advertised or anticipated. I might engage in serial bait-and-switch, but not to hoodwink anybody but myself. The stories tend to untangle themselves in longer runs, on a Contingency basis, often just when needed though rarely under foreseen conditions. I might write to confuse and occasionally astound myself.

Weekly Writing Summary

I began my writing week suffering from a serious bout of
Recovering. "I'm learning that we're all Recovering from something. We're writing on recycled paper with a busted crayon, nothing nearly as pristine as we might have imagined. We're dragging baggage, carry-on unlikely to fit in overhead storage."
Indonesia, Central Java:
God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles
(9th/10th century)

"I have no fallback position …"

I continued my writing week by intermittedly failing to find prescribed
Rest. "One cannot be meaningfully permitted to possess what must rightfully only be freely taken. Without that freedom, Rest becomes nothing like what the sentencing judge intends. It cannot possibly be healing."
John J. A. Murphy: Athletes at Rest (20th Century)

"A discontented grumbling accompanies …"

I continued, supplementing my fitful resting with surreptitious
*Testing, attempting to determine if I'm recovering. This story proved to be the most popular this period. "I have my writing ritual to maintain, too, so I feel compelled to continue doing, albeit on a significantly reduced scale, or not doing will very likely become what truly ails me."
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon:
Cupid Testing His Arrow
(Late 18th, early 19th century)

" … counting my cards, plotting my escape …"

I next produced one of the most unusual stories I've ever created. I intended it not for current consumption, but for some future context, a
ContingentStory I hoped would remind me of a time already passed by then. "This morning, this morning in that unknowable future, this morning in that unknowable future where this ContingentStory might finally have meaning, remember all you never knew for sure, and note that you might be a master at not quite knowing yet. Do not forget all you never knew, for that knowledge carried you through far more than you ever appreciated at the time."
Eugène-Louis Boudin: Approaching Storm (1864)

" … the last taste of unremarkable normalcy …"

I stumbled into a state perhaps orthogonal to actual recovery where I rediscovered some insight into my agency vis—
à-vis my condition, whatever that might be, in Reagency. "I knew New Age before it became old school, back when it constituted a radical alternative, well before it became a recognized lifestyle. I've seen its devotees come and go to regain a deeper appreciation for previously reviled traditions; for even showing abilities to occasionally appreciate other than improvised everything."
Isaac van Ostade:
Interior of a Stable with three Children (1642)

" … driving home with dirty blues blaring …"

I next considered
Reconnecting which couldn't help but confuse me because the me I was hoping to reconnect to had gone missing. "Nobody could predict when it might recede, just that it MOST LIKELY would, but not today and probably not tomorrow, but eventually. Eventuallys teeter on the very edge of The Informational/Definitional Divide, inhabiting both the neither AND the either side, a Schrödinger State, the precise definition of which remains decidedly iffy, seemingly more definitional than informational, but also somewhat orthogonal to either. In practice, the label resolved nothing and probably only deepened the divide."
John Rubens Smith:
Arms - proportions and attitudes. (1831)

"Plot twists never redefine our heroes."

I ended my writing week with the strangest story I might have ever produced. Yes, that was two edge-threateningly strange stories in this single writing period! I insisted that the worlds I describe might be best understood as, basically,
Invisible. "Fortunately for us, this world remains altogether too big and far too complex for any of us to grasp. We too easily see pieces as if they weren't disconnected, and we quickly jump to otherwise unwarranted conclusions. We often misplace the knowledge that we fundamentally understand nothing."
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec:
Invitation to a Glass of Milk (1897)

"We see everything as we are rather than how it is."

I will make no bones about how challenging this writing week seemed over here on the writer's side of the equation. Was I Recovering, Resting, Testing, or what? I fled to an imagined future to find solace within a ContigentStory, which is likely only to hold significance within an unforeseeable future. As I almost always stumble into every writing week, I stumbled into a renewed sense of personal agency—Reagency— before feeling as though I might finally be Reconnecting, ending the week realizing that I'd been dabbling in describing the Invisible all along. This was a once-in-a-lifetime week that followed an absolutely predictable pattern. Thank you for following along!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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