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WritingSummary 08/24/2023

Utagawa Toyohiro:
Cuckoo at Tsukudajima (Edo period, 1615-1868)

Necessary But Rarely Obvious
I never seem to know when I need a vacation. This year, this season, I came as close as I've ever come to understanding that when. I had become bored with the merely extraordinary. I had become unsatisfiable by most any measure. I felt simultaneously over- and underwhelmed. I felt damned, and for no really good reason. The Muse insisted that we excuse ourselves and just disappear for a few days. I even called a morning's moratorium on new writing, a permission I only rarely ever extend to myself. The absence seems to have worked. We returned last night after four hundred road miles along some of the world's most beautiful country, and I landed feeling especially blessed. The Muse made pesto for her birthday supper, and I went to bed convinced that all was right with this world again. I woke feeling behind but probably capable of coping again. That renewed coping capability might be the only purpose for vacationing. Nothing else seems to explain why it's so necessary but rarely obvious.

Weekly Writing Summary

Note that I only summarized six stories in this summary because I took a day off to acknowledge and celebrate my birthday this week.

I began my writing week by leaving, and I left pining after staying home, such is
Vacatering. " Home, for me, means never having to be leaving all the time. It's no longer feeling the need to go anywhere else: no prestige destination, no bucket list reservation, no impressive itinerary to tout. Home holds more than just my heart …"
Eugène-Louis Boudin:
Vacationers on the Beach at Trouville (1864)

" … every other place an also-ran."

I received notice that an old friend and benefactor had passed, so I slowed down a minute to fondly remember
TheAngelClair. "For those who struggle to believe that they're living in Heaven now, look back to where you lived when you were more or less satisfied with your fate but cannot, for any price, go back to now. What might have seemed unextraordinary then will very likely remember as Heaven."
And Another Angel Came Out of the Temple
which is in Heaven,
and He also Having a Sharp Sickle


"Travel well, ya old bastard!"

I next reflected upon my own critical role as a
Rememberer. "Anyone can experience a flood of sadness without really understanding why because feelings can just happen without even a hint of volition. Anyone can feel victim to them, but remembrances come with greater purpose, deeper depth. The lumpy throat explains its presence. The moistened eye understands precisely why it emerges."
Thomas Wood:
Remembrance (valentine) (c. 1850)
(I could find no biographical information on this artist.)

"They hold us upright …"

I was fortunate to see the unimaginable before me and maybe even learn something in
YachtSeen. "I suspect that the unimaginable holds special influence over those of us unable to imagine. I see what's clearly before me yet cannot unwind its significance, its supposed magnificence, its presence. It seems to be there and also not there, Schrödinger stuff. Great wealth works like this. I cannot be jealous of those who possess it because I cannot comprehend precisely what they possess."
Gustave Caillebotte:
Study of a Man with Hands in His Pockets (1893)

"Let the inquiry fail to resolve the mystery."

I considered how I might think of waiting a destination, an unbidden purpose in
Waiting…. "Reservations might be over-rated and may sometimes be replaced by revelations; the experiences that could not have been anticipated but came just when most needed without ever being wanted beforehand."
Winslow Homer: Waiting for a Bite (1874)

" … reduced to roughly the equivalent of the quality of your Waiting…"

I ended my writing week considering threes and their dred anticipation in
ValleyOfThe. "I wish my fellows well, as I would wish to be well thought of when my time comes. The time that comes seems paradoxical, for the time that comes seems more like the end of time than any arrival. The countdown clock stops ticking. The accumulated mileage reaches its zenith. Time, which supposedly rules this unseemly realm, will have ceased significance then."
Roger Fenton:
The Valley of the Shadow of Death (1855)

"Stories never end."

The most popular posting this week proved to be my announcement that I would not be posting a story on my birthday! How perfect does that seem?

This week's stories seemed to all be about departing, whether departing home for some Vacatering or departing this plane of existence to become an angel, a Rememberer, or merely to finally enter the ValleyOfThe. I saw some stuff I couldn't comprehend for the life of me and realized that such material has always been my companion with particular influence over my existence. I managed to raise Waiting… to a level worthy of emulation, worth seeking, perhaps even a purpose for Vacatering. Overall, the week took me away, where I dwelled on departures and returned wounded but unharmed. Wounded but unharmed might serve as a dandy characterization of living as well as of death. Thank you for following along so diligently!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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