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"I hear autumn approaching."

I never come seeking closure, though sometimes closure seems to stalk me. It whispers, "The end draws near." It promises clarity but demands that I forfeit purpose, to exchange kinetic for static, questions for settled certainty. I never feel more alive than when first setting out. That first step seems the stuff of eternity, the last seems simply past. This book making makes for the strangest bedfellows, ones who sincerely want to share my scheming, who seem to need to somehow capture my soul, perhaps to sell it for something less permanent, like gold. I'm told that something called a market stands out there. Precisely where this chimera might lurk, I do not know. I do know that nobody could possibly show me where. It might exist in the great unmappable nowhere. Its presence scares me.

I come to the end of another season, one I began, like I start all seasons, with a purpose, indistinct as all proper newborn purposes should be.
It lacks the crystal clarity everybody knows it really should have. It seems a crudely carved peg leg rather than a finely-sculpted limb. I stumble ahead, that first step eternal again, inexorably moving toward what must be called end. I quite honestly have nothing in mind then beyond mobility. I simply must keep moving. Direction doesn't matter. Whatever comes next, quite frankly, Charlotte, I couldn't give even a bad goddam about, let alone a modestly good one. The movement's the thing, its own motivating force, its own mollifying power. I simply must be on my way.

Where can't matter, for I most certainly am not building to any spec. My construction seems almost entirely speculation, somewhat like a faith-based initiative, if I felt as though I possessed even a mustard seed-sized micron of faith in my enterprise. My work wasn't my business any more than my business defined my work. I feel like an absolute jerk most days, trading my once reliable cow for imaginary beans, though it's not beans I desire, but means. I need to keep moving. I simply must not stall. I might be enthralled at the majesty unfolding before me, heading nowhere, for I want this innocent sense to last. I might learn along the way without accumulating anything really worth summarizing by the end, and I will resist accepting any sense of ending until long after I've already started beginning all over again, though it'll be different next time without shaking its inherent sameness. I love that quality!

I've grown accustomed to this place, this path which never seems to last quite as long as it should. I recall the stall points best, those ennui-filled blank spaces when my spirit abandoned me along with any sense of hopefulness that any further motivation might be forthcoming. The flashes of brilliance disappeared before I hardly recognized they were there, forging no sense of knowing or any quickly recollected feeling of knowing anything better as a result. Flowing, that's what I accomplished, a blissful forward without finally knowing hardly anything at all.

So, what was the purpose of it all, if it all had purpose? Perhaps purpose inhabits a different from future space, but not ever any past space, either. Perhaps purpose can only ever emerge in odd little moments without leaving any trace of its presence other than a sublimely satisfying seventh sense before cleanly evaporating, no footprint remaining. I move with purpose and purpose most certainly seems to move with me, not toward achieving that purpose, but maybe merely to experience being in her company. I suspect that she appreciates being in my company as well, so we travel extraordinarily well together, though we only ever seem to exist, myself and her, when we're moving. Should I stall, she disappears. That's all.

People will ask what I accomplished from an entire season spent considering my most enduring birthright, that I'm truly NuthinSpecial. As I near the designated end of this adventure, I see that I could not possibly know. Not yet and perhaps never, for the purpose already seems to be sliding away from me, more as a promise than as a dire threat. This purpose, a perfectly fine one from my perspective, must evaporate as all purposes eventually must. We both agreed upon the terms of this engagement before we began. At the planned end of this season, we said to each other, we will separate so that a fresh obsession might move in and the prior purpose might quietly disappear. A fresh obsession should quickly appear. It will begin as one not yet dear to anyone's heart and unschooled in serious considerations of soul. Our goal will seem somewhere beyond us, in an indiscernible direction from there, though we will hardly care precisely where it might lie, for we will be taking that first naive, inescapably eternal step, the one which melds presence with purpose, and we will be on our way again for the very first time.

Last week, my friend Franklin reminded my that I'd written a dandy book a few years ago. "What ever happened to that one?" I had not really remembered that I'd written it. I warmly recalled writing it. I sort of remembered that I'd stumbled upon some compelling content, but could not describe any of it, not even to myself. I found that static masterpiece and began reading it, feeling as though it most certainly must have been written by someone other than me. I could see the deeper truth in that conviction, for I felt that I could not write that book today. I could have only written it then, in the company of an old and very dear friend, a purpose who accompanied me then with every step I took. We produced that book together. It's an artifact now.

I hear autumn approaching. She bugles like a bull elk in the night, chasing a hazy half moon toward morning after looking for love and eternity all night.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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