Rendered Fat Content


Winslow Homer: Sharks; also The Derelict (1885)
"I can please The Muse by finally getting around to cleaning up the last of last season's mess …"

When we replaced five large picture windows last Fall, we created Detritus. We leaned the old glass up against the fence at the back of the formal rose garden, almost out of sight and definitely out of mind. I'd asked our carpenter's wife and business partner if she knew how to advertise the panes on Facebook or somewhere and she said that she'd take care of it. Sure enough, a week or so later, she texted me to report that she'd found an interested party. I'd not seen her text until a couple of days after she'd sent it and the deal never closed. Winter passed with that glass placidly leaning, bothering nobody. Imagine my surprise when I received a message yesterday afternoon that just said, "Almost to town. Where can we meet up about the glass?" Athena send a follow-up text a few minutes later reporting that the glass guy was finally coming to collect his prize. This news delighted me because the glass had become one of the few remaining bits of Detritus from The Great Refurbish, which we'd almost finished two months ago.

I'm still learning that trying to accomplish anything produces encumbrances to further forward progress, also known as Detritus.
The slough-off can utterly smother the next task in line, so it seems particularly important that the waste stream exiting the effort be rather quickly and heartlessly dispatched. It never takes many accumulated leftovers to clog a pathway forward. Even stuff cleverly leaned up against an almost out-of-sight, out-of-mind rose garden fence might find itself in the way once the Spring bulbs planted beneath their spot decide that it's time for them to come up. The Muse had been after me to finally clean up the blown in leaves also leftover from last autumn's clean-up, but with the window glass there, it never quite seemed like the right time to tackle that small chore. By yesterday morning, the glass remained there, by all appearances permanently, and the garden remained overrun with deferred leaf removal, too. That corner of the yard had become derelict.

Then Juan came, expecting to pay us for those windows, saying he only wanted two of them. When I refused payment if he promised to give that glass a good home, he called his business partner and then announced that he'd take the lot. We managed to move those massive panes through the garden's arched gate and down beneath the huge maple before laying each between cardboard, which was also Detritus left over from before The Grand Refurbish. In short order, the rose garden was restored to its pre-Detritus condition, ready for me to finally get busy removing those leftover leaves. A few more flattened boxes had disappeared and the entire universe shifted slightly toward the better. A weight seemed to have been lifted from my shoulders.

Authoring, too, produces considerable waste which, if not quickly dispatched, inhibits progress. Nobody ever wants to have to take out the garbage. There's never a convenient time. It stands as a testament to maturity or something if and when the protagonist attends to his context maintenance as well as to his content creation. If a broken window attracts crime, an unfiled manuscript probably inhibits paradigm shifts. Who knows? The importance of tidiness, up to and in including at least some modest point, should never be messed around with. Eventually, the short and small interruption experienced when removing a congestion should be lost in rounding when compared with the cost of constantly stepping around the resident inconvenience. The glass gone, I can please The Muse by finally getting around to cleaning up the last of last season's mess so that we might get along with Spring at last.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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