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"How else could any of us deal with the volume of accumulating AfterEffects we inherit?"

We talk about effects, but might be more deeply affected by AfterEffects, those unanticipated externalities closure brings. AfterEffects delay that expected closure, sometimes permanently. Long after "completing" the race, the race somehow continues in the complaining of a suddenly and surprisingly bum knee where there was never before any bum knee. The race continually haunts, threatening permanent disability. My two weeks spent devotionally kneeling before my great wall refurbishing project left a little knee stiffness behind after I'd finished my extended display of agility up and down the scaffolding. I thought little of it at the time, as though it might prove to be little more than a mildly bruised ligament or less. It's been over ten days now and the discomfort seems greater now than it did when I'd just concluded. I wonder if I've deluded myself again.

This bum knee encouraged me to think about all the AfterEffect externalities I carry with me.
Most hardly qualify as burdens anymore because I've fairly fully integrated each into my baseline preferences. I no longer care to engage anywhere near where that earlier experience left a seemingly permanent tear in my psyche. I tell myself that I'm over that, long over that trauma, though I must know somewhere deep down inside that I've merely stored it away on a rarely referenced shelf. Like the old prescription for a painful motion, I simply avoid that motion and the pain never appears. By now, I suspect that I move through the world as if engaged in a mobile Twister game, where I hold a pretzel-like contortion as my current straight and tall, hardly suspecting any curious adaption at all.

Freud was a big one for insisting that reliving trauma could dispel it, though generations of later researchers found little evidence that this outcome was the common case. More likely, they found, the designated patient after thirty years of dragging themselves through innumerable Groundhog Days' revisiting, could confidently declare that they were "almost well." Adapting needn't necessarily connote a negative response. I do know better than to again engage in what once turned out to be youthful folly. I ain't that youthful anymore, and seem certain to continue to engage in one folly or another as long as I remain above ground, perhaps well beyond. I needn't repeat what wounded me before. Once disappointed, twice wary. Twice disappointed, perhaps forever avoiding.

The Muse hovers concernedly over my fresh AfterEffect, asking well-meaning but fundamentally unanswerable questions. The AfterEffect still seems fluid, changing, a bit different every day. One day seemingly much better, the next much worse. It has clearly not settled into any sort of eigenvalue yet, which leaves me with the latitude to continue expecting that it's a fleeting inconvenience rather than a permanent encumbrance. I'm not one to run off to a doctor's office at the first sign of a sniffle, and I figure that I have a lot of unused storage space in the rarely-accessed back areas in my AfterEffect storage shed, anyway. I can always perform an act of radical acceptance and completely resolve any situation. I never really expected to dance like Fred Astaire, anyway, though accepting that I couldn't, even if I really wanted to, will require acquiring some additional coping skills. Life seems a process by which a person acquires additional unanticipated coping skills. How else could any of us deal with the volume of accumulating AfterEffects we inherit?

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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