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"The view down the block can block any wider perspective."

I tried to tune into MSNBC but couldn't catch the significance of the headline stories. The New York Times seems to describe only trivial affairs. The local paper holds more significance than the whole of the mass media put together. I can see down the block in three directions and barely as far as the back fence behind me. The Blue Mountains retain their winter leggings between splashes of the deepest blue along the ridge tops. The traffic along Blue Street seems more consequential than anything on NPR.

I'm not currently current and I couldn't care less. I'm immersed instead, not contemplating my own navel nor anyone else's. I'm more concerned about the weather, which frankly holds more consequence than the Federal, State, or even this locality's Local government. I inhabit a society about five people deep. We're moving almost intuitively. I waited patiently while floor sanding concluded, having cleaned out both shop-vacs in preparation for what seemed like the next logical step. I snapped to it, too, once the frenzy subsided, my world extending barely to the end of the vacuum's intake nozzle.

I wonder if the news amounts to a personality disorder. Why have I been so interested in the doings of people who live lives I cannot really imagine and dare not relate to? More than half the people I meet here refuse to even subscribe to the local newspaper, relying upon the presumably more reliable and certainly more personable word of mouth. Some of the Letters To The Editor scare the shit out of me and I deeply appreciate the local rag for making them public. I believe that a person can become too isolated for anyone's good, echoing reassuring falsehoods without ever once asking after the truth. The racism I witness here amounts to sins of omission annealing into greater sins of exclusion. For some, the way they think it always was has become just the way it's forever supposed to be. Change and inclusion have become high crimes and misdemeanors. They swear to defend a country their perspective threatens to undermine.

The view down the block can block any wider perspective. Those fully immersed in the nearly overwhelming activities of their daily living cannot afford the luxury of broad reflection. Their daily survival does not rely upon what any of those far away personalities in even further away places do or say. We might just as well still inhabit the Middle Ages though we now inhabit a world lit by considerably more than simply fire. I'm frankly more concerned this morning about refinishing window sashes. My usual internal nattering continues, but attends to staging steps toward the timely completion of this project. My whole world presently resides at Five South Blue.

I will doubtless return to more consequential concerns. I have my opinions, some even nurtured by genuine inquiry, and I take considerable pride in sharing them, especially with people who seem to so desperately need some well-intended cluing in; so much pond water off an indifferent duck's back. I recognize, here, dressed in my purposefully ridiculous painter's havelock, just how inconsequential many of my concerns turn out to be. Will my enlightened liberalism coax the grain out of that window sash? Will it reorganize the dusty workspace or remove those twisted toed-in two by fours still mocking our progress? Will it remember to call me for lunch or will I work right through to last light again? And what then? Will I recline in my slippers and refresh my perspective on world affairs or expend my last shred of sociability in gratitude to my sister for warming up that leftover chicken soup. I'd seriously considered foregoing supper again in favor of some well-deserved shut-eye time.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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