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Writing Summary For The Week Ending 11/16/2023

Karl Bauer:
Portrait of the Writer Stefan George
(19th-20th century)

When It Made Me Special, I Was Less For It
I once worked in a place I had to commute to by airplane. My work week involved predawn departures and late evening arrivals with a corporate apartment where I could never remember whether the refrigerator needed milk. I spread myself thinly then, continually leaving, saying goodbye more than I ever said, "Hi!" I learned to live alone. I almost became self-reliant but failed the exit exam. I often felt empty-handed, dependent upon resources I'd left on the other end of my commute. Traveling now dredges up those memories of when it mattered to me that I got upgraded when I'd accumulated more frequent flier miles than Croesus ever did, when I’d garnered recognition. Now, I'm relegated to the last boarding group, hopeful to be the last one on board. I'm assigned the window seat without a window or the last row, where the seats can't recline. I hope for a fussy baby nearby. I never reclined my seatback, always wary of inconveniencing anyone behind me, even if the person seated before me wasn't so thoughtful. I travel to remember why I stay home. I see it as a necessary evil, a means to another end, a mere bookend. When it made me special, I was less for it.

Weekly Writing Summary

I began my writing week by overdoing some Reveling. "Excess is not synonymous with success, and it seems we each need to learn to tell the difference, usually by first exceeding some reasonable limit before redefining what success must mean for us."
Johann Sadeler: De mensheid voor de zondvloed
[Humanity before the flood] (1581 - 1585)

"Excess is not synonymous with success …"

I next sang the praises for this country's SmallestTown, which proved the most popular posting this period. "More people sit on front porches and promenade in New York City than in all the Mayberries and Anytowns in the rest of the USA."
William Merritt Chase: A City Park (c. 1887)

"It sure feels like home."

I found my scratched eyeglass lenses made it impossible for me to read the labels on artwork when The Muse and I were Museuming. I consequently learned something significant. " … there might be ten thousand and more different perspectives for each and every painting, not one of them wrong and probably none of them the one the artist might have intended."
John Singer Sargent:
Venetian Glass Workers (1880–82)

" … none of them the one the artist might have intended."

I caught myself noticing the profound surrounding me in Glimpsing. "We must each fully qualify as extraordinary, or none of us does. We must each experience enlightenment, or it’s worthless."
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas:
Singer with a Glove (c. 1878)

" … what should I make of that?"

The Muse and I prepared to leave New York City by engaging in a standard SeparationDance. "One key to a successful life insists upon a faulty memory. The way it was barely warrants recognition. We will remember how we thought it would be before we arrived."
Artist unknown:
The Dancing Fox (1766)

"By this time tomorrow …"

I ended this writing week with a few sketches of The Muse's political campaign in FinishedSketches. " … our candidate, now Port Commissioner Elect, confidently predicted that her vote count would be precisely what she'd so confidently projected during that first planning session last April: 8,126."
Claude-Emile Schuffenecker:
Study for "Landscape with Figure and Houses" (c. 1891)

" … precisely what she's so confidently projected …"

I consider each writing week and, indeed, each writing day special. Weeks where The Muse and I travel seem especially special, though I sense they're just exceptionally normal. Even travel weeks find a pattern that appears universal. They tend to start big with well-deserved Reveling, maybe over-indulgence and remorse. We might catch an essence of the place we visit, like where the largest city sure seems like the SmallestTown. I try to see without my glasses and surprise myself with what I couldn't ever see with my glasses on. I catch myself seeing out of the corner of my eye and find fresh respect for Glimpsing. Leaving forms a basis for celebrating with a SeparationDance. We retain Sketches of our experience, perhaps best recalled in thin slices devoid of contextual details. Each writing week seems like a trip around some world. Thank you for following along!

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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