Rendered Fat Content


Laufrad des Freiherrn von Drais: "Draisine" or Dandy Horse, 1817 design
" … not the disrupters they first appear to be, but the unlikely connecters between what is and what might be …"

Each week seems to follow a similar pattern, enough the same as to encourage a sense of familiarity without necessarily reducing to completely numbing sameness; each different while also quite the same. For me, each week delivers some unanticipated failure which I so far seem to have always managed to overcome, as if each week had been served up to remind me that even I'm capable of recovery. This week, my blog server stopped serving me and the Customer Support Team suddenly stopped invisibly supporting me to become the obvious source of an apparently intractable difficulty. At first, as usual, I had no obvious alternative to continue delivering my accustomed daily production, and the seduction to simply crumble washed up and over me. Eventually, by which I mean by no means immediately, I came to understand that alternatives might surround me, and I set about choosing a viable one. By no means did this transfer occur smoothly, for I seemed to need to work my way back through the usual universal stages of acceptance. I experienced in succession: fear, anger, discouragement, reckoning, and then an only partially acceptable sort of acceptance. I experienced an amputation then came to acknowledge that the initially begrudged peg-leg replacement might suffice for now. I retain a sense of loss along with a lessening urgency to return to the way it was. I suspect that the longer this work-around extends, the more it will become what I'd always unknowingly intended what it replaced to become.

I make no shocking pronouncement when I insist that things do not work as advertised.
I've only rarely and seemingly accidentally been able to follow any recipe. Each eventually demands that I conjure up some replacement part, never factory-authorized, to successfully complete the procedure. Sometimes this produces something quite different from anything originally anticipated, but rarely does this result in anything utterly unusable. Many if not most of the recipes we daily rely upon began as necessary variations upon some otherwise mundane old reliable. A once upon a time absence of lemons when The Muse was making a tarter sauce resulted in her now cherished signature orange tarter sauce. Some have asked how she first envisioned this variation. An absence of the presumably essential ingredient goaded her into inventing it. Extremis inspired creative imagination, not simply otherworldly inspiration. First, something stopped working.

I do not warmly welcome any disruptive element, a probable paradox given how useful disruptions have proven to become over time. Each disappointed expectation might well hold the seeds for some otherwise unimaginable innovation. No procedure could possibly guide anyone's hand then. Intuition might take command, though this explanation says almost nothing about what seems to happen. A mystery assumes responsibility for completing the intention. I might imagine a meta-cookbook which, properly indexed, informs me of what to do when I genuinely do not know what to do, but the variety of ways I've so-far managed to screw things up suggests that my meta-cookbook would have to be infinite to prove even the least bit useful, an endless work in progress, hopelessly out of date long before it could even be published. I used to pine after just this sort of knowledge, pleading with my professors to forego teaching about how things were supposed to work in favor of imparting what to do when things fall apart, because things always seem to fall apart.

Some call the response to these intrusions 'art,' though not even that designation seems to impart much definition. It might be that experience informs me, but not very often very deliberately. When I've over-salted the sauce, a nascent notion that I hardly half remember suggests that I might in response dramatically increase the butter content, though sometimes, in some situations, I'd be better off just renaming the mess to something more apparently congruent to its new nature. Almost nothing in my life ever comes to fruition otherwise. I usually blame the recipe, my own expectation, for apparently initially misleading me, but I was the willing follower. When the moment comes when I am called to be the willing leader, I usually first decline the invitation, often vehemently. The most important things do, indeed, tend to happen at the least convenient times, and in those times, I can barely feign acceptance. I might have to reject those invitations in a fit of frustration in order to properly condition the situation for its eventual resolution at my unlikely hand. This pattern repeats itself over and over and over again. These Cyclings are not the disrupters they first appear to be, but the unlikely connecters between what is and what might be, which inevitably depend upon a me I can never initially see.

In spite (or because) of this week's fresh batch of unsettling disruptions, Friday's arrived right on time. My writing week was unusually fraught with frustrations which, as usual, became unlikely inspirations.

I began my writing week championing difference over
Bettering, without, as usual, any full appreciation of what I was promoting. I received difference in forms I had not expected, which, of course, first prompted me to regain a fleeting belief that things really should have been better than they became.

I then wrote of a persistent frustration and I thank you for listening. My rant about the nature of software applications, S
chlockWare, became my most popular posting of the period.

I explained a little game that The Muse and I engage in when shopping in
StumpTheChecker. We consider it our sacred responsibility to select at least one item that might for a moment baffle the checkout clerk if only because such variety might prove to spice their workday as well as ours.

I next reflected upon how we're responding to This Damned Pandemic in shockingly similar ways as did the citizens of 14th Century Florence reacted to The Plague in
HumanNature. The more we learn, the less we seem to know.

I next described how learning seems to invade our knowledge-base in
EncroachingParadoxes. When our range of reasoning threatens expansion, it first seems to make no sense to us at all.

I allowed myself a taste of egg-, if not necessarily chicken-counting in
RespectableAgain. I figured that an ounce of warm anticipation might well preface the arrival of a shit-ton of respectability again. I'm more than ready for dignity to become respectable again.

Finally, I ended my writing week by attempting the annual
Undoing of the Summer season, an inevitably failing proposition, perhaps necessary to get me moving on. We never actually ever undo anything, but we might still accept the necessity of moving on.

I thank each one of you for hanging through this week with me. Yes, I lost my blog server, and for a few hours, I also misplaced an apparently important piece of my mind—or, my peace of mind—and yet I also somehow managed to recover enough of a peg leg to limp across this finish line. However much I seem to remind myself that this is how this world works, I never retain this understanding quite enough to initially convince me that everything might still turn out fine. After all, after decades of irrational opposition to government intervention, a clear majority now insists upon this. Perhaps the most famous quote never actually said properly summaries this tenet: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” This idea might just explain how this curious world actually works. Keep the faith. Keep counting the eggs, if not the chickens! You're the one making the differences!

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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