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WritingSummary 08/10/2023

William Merritt Chase:
Head of a Boy (Date unknown, late 19th century)

"When I wonder why I keep doing this …"

In The Middle of a Muddle
Summer seems to stretch on forever and ever from everywhere here. Rain visited this week, bringing the first measurable moisture since April and a velvety feel to the starch-crisp breeze. The apricot tree finally stopped pelting us with jam bombs, and I let the lawn grow an extra week before mowing it again, mainly to protect my shoulder from any fresh insult. I relearned the folly of my native hesitance to visit the doctor after investing three months in ineffective treatment and discomfort, a repeating pattern. I deferred several projects in favor of nursing an unnecessary wound. I suspect I'll repeat this old pattern when I hurt myself again. A cluster of clogs cleared out this week, blockages that had been inhibiting movement and growth. As I wrote, unstuckness always turns out to be inevitable though it's the very last thing to seem possible from in the middle of a muddle.

Weekly Writing Summary

I began my writing week confessing that I usually see what's missing more easily than I see what's there in
RightEnough. "This is the future I once strived for, however short or long on actual accomplishment it entails."
John Vachon: Migrant fruit workers,
Berrien County, Michigan

" … I'd be hard-pressed not to confess …"

I wrote a Paean to pain, that pre-eminent sensation, hoping to appease it with praise in
Paean. This story turned out to be the most popular of this period. "I tell myself I will not become one of those chronic sufferers who drags his dull companion into every engagement and appointment. One who seems to live only from appointment to appointment, hanging on the ever-more remote promise that my Paean might have an effective treatment."
Paul Cézanne:
Pistachio Tree at Château Noir (c. 1900)

Paean: a thing that expresses enthusiastic praise. (Oxford Languages)

" … nothing compared to most."

I shared my recent discovery relative to cooking dry beans in
Beaning. "The beans should never need more heat, just more time, depending on their natures. I will experiment to determine if I have discovered the Rosetta Stone recipe for beans."
Paul Cézanne: Road in Provence (c. 1885)

" … the Rosetta Stone recipe for beans."

I submitted if not an apology at least an explanation for why I'd been behaving so damned
Surly lately. "You might seem Surly, too, if you see your summer slipping through your fingers. You might behave unlike your usual self if you woke up as somebody else again this morning."
Paul Signac: Chromatic Circle (1888)

" … if you woke up as somebody else again …"

I discovered how I'd never understood how to use
InstantMessaging, a hardly surprising revelation given how nobody ever reads the documentation. "They say one lives and learns, though this insight seems trivial. More profoundly, we live in astonishing ignorance, steeped in presumption. At any given moment, any of us might learn that we'd presumed our world backward and that all those experiences we parsed as failures were actually great successes without a means for properly classifying them."
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze:
Entertaining the Messenger in the Outer Hall (1856)

"We are the apps we invoke …"

I next slowed down long enough to recognize and sincerely appreciate the disappearance of some prominent stucknesses in
Convergence. "In a little more than a day, most of the clogs in our lives seemed to have evaporated. This enormously reassuring experience reinforces my belief in Convergence. No matter how stuck, hopeless, or endless any experience seems, that stuckness appears destined to do itself in. At some point—I've long contended that it's at the least convenient time—the blockages will fall apart."
Hanns Lautensack: Landscape with the Town on a River
and the Cottage between Trees

" … purposefully moving forward again."

I ended my writing week reflecting on how I've felt
Campaigning in The Muse's Port Commissioner race. "Campaigns are supposed to start naive and full of hope. From there, they might come to learn better, but usually only by doing worse and catching themselves at it. Dig the hole, then fill in that sucker! Each campaign probably holds a rhythm if only it can find it."
William Merritt Chase:
Portrait of Dora Wheeler (1882–83)

"I'm still dabbling."


This sure seemed like an odd writing week. It began with me insisting that however flawed, this world appears RightEnough. Then I wrote that Paean to pain and then a long story about beans, of all things. The end of the week saw me writing unusually long stories about InstantMessaging, which I learned I never understood, a Convergence of spontaneous unstuckness, and a complaint about Campaigning. These stories almost always spark some change. Complaints usher in resolution. Appreciations anchor for upcoming challenges. When I wonder why I keep doing this, I happen upon a writing week like this and stop wondering. Thank you for following along!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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