Rendered Fat Content


Paul Klee: Senecio [The Portrait of a Man Going Senile] (1922)
I close one book so that I might open another."

I end my work week on Thursday. I work from Friday to Thursday with no days off. I take no days off because my work is my life and nobody takes days off from living until they take all subsequent days off, and I'm unprepared to do that yet, much less on a regular basis. Friday mornings bring a special responsibility. That's when I collate the passing week's production, reread every piece, and create a summary of where I've been. I post this summary along with a fresh piece, next week's first product. I work exclusively in circles.

Even on Fridays, I wake with little idea about what I might write.
I avoid thinking ahead, lest I get all plan-y about what I might get up to Friday morning. My prior week's work is through on Thursday and I will not work ahead Thursday night. Some Fridays wake me frantic for a fresh story. Others seem uninterested in creating. The cats have recently taken to watching me while I'm sleeping. Either Max or Molly welcome me into each morning, each so enthusiastic my presence seems appreciated the moment my feet hit the floor while The Muse continues snoozing. I sit for a spell, trying not to force myself back into this world. I consider what I've been learning, what I've been dreading, what I've been letting go of. I check in with myself. Something always occurs to me. Maybe nothing terribly profound some mornings, others, astounding, but nothing's anything then, other than a hint of something that will need some crafting. Coffee next, my usual bowl of decaf brewed in the stovetop expresso maker, dark Italian roasted and ground Turkish, a mug of mud meets my mornings.

The production of every posting proves to become a genuinely tedious process featuring innumerable stages. My blog software provides my template which I dutifully fill in with title, labels, Categories, Tags, and a Snippet, a combination of inspiration and code. I go searching for an appropriate illustration. I have no real process for discovering an image. I Google Search "Open Source Classic Fine Art," pouring through the result until something pops. This might take a few minutes or the better part of an hour, depending. There's never any benefit from rushing this step because the chosen image will serve as my visual inspiration. Nothing emerges without its presence. The best ones provide an odd reference to whatever I'm espousing that morning. I index the illustrator's bio and search for any background story for the image and produce links for the interested reader. Art history lesson finished, I'm finally set to write. I might go fetch a second bowl of coffee before I get too far into whatever I'm creating.

The writing part's the least effort. Once I begin, I kind of lose consciousness for the duration. I lose awareness of time passing. The story tells itself. I'm transcribing, perhaps lightly editing. It tells me when it's finished. I read what I've written for the first time, correcting as I go, almost always finding a dangling participle and usually fixing it, though not always. Our language insists upon a few clear violations or it loses some vital sense and reads like an encyclopedia entry. I read it again, this time mocked up as it will appear once posted. More corrections, a couple of misspellings. Then I set about writing the one sentence summary of each piece I'm reviewing, my week's production. This takes a while and I usually find a few errors and correct those while I'm reviewing. I'm seeking some pattern which might explain what I ended up doing with my week, some collating context which might render sticky that week's experience. This always appears, but it's emergent. I can't impose what I didn't know I was saying. I find the work tedious, copying and pasting, then summarizing the passing week's lesson.

Two or three or more hours later, I'm prepared to publish. While that's occurring, I'm writing a brief introduction to appear on top of that Friday's PureSchmaltz FaceBook Group posting, which will provide a link into my blog for the rest of that day's story. More links to copy. I often forget to copy in the link to my blog, only noticing my oversight when heading back to re-re-re-read the final posting. I edit both the FaceBook post and the underlying PureSchmaltz Blog post, usually several times, before I'm satisfied. A few errors usually persist even through the final editing, and readers have already started checking in. The first few get the incompletely edited version, that's just the way this works. And then I'm finished. The Muse is always up by then. The early morning flight to Seattle has probably already arrived there after flying right over my high window on its way out. The neighborhood's up and humming. The neighbor's rooster has finally stopped crowing. Next, I set about preparing for my PureSchmaltz Friday Zoom Chat. A quick breakfast, a run through the shower, and I'm usually logged back in and waiting a half hour before people start arriving. Some always arrive a little early for a side chat before the conversation gets going. I love that.

My Fridays end around noon. By then, I've been going for eight or ten hours already, and I'm ready for some rest through the afternoon of the first day of my new work week. It's all a labor of love with no other purpose other than to chronicle my manner of living for future reference. Some live for the past and others for the present. I focus upon the future by writing about my pasts and presences. Fridays bring it all together, for better or worser. They're pure ritual now, a ceremony intended to produce closure. I close one book so that I might open another.


I squeezed this writing week in-between starting the massive refinishing and repainting effort in The Villa Vatta Schmaltz. The place was unusually chaotic, the cats upset with the scraping and sanding noises. Painting utterly depends upon careful preparation which seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with painting. We are creating an illusion of ease forged from terribly unsettling work. We dare not shirk the tedium. I suppose I believe this carries a more widely applicable lesson. If so, it bears repeating and I'd been needing to hear it. I cannot see completion from here. We're still opening cans of worms, not paint, finding complications, imagining work-arounds and visual illusions. We lost perfect as an objective almost from the outset. We're now seeking perfect enough, which is always something really different, but often better than simply good enough.

I began my writing week catching myself
UnSeeing. "Most are fully capable of UnSeeing for themselves and thereby fooling themselves into believing that they're seeing whatever's before them. Look again. Look more closely."

I next invented a word if not a concept with
Ordersing. "Not every challenge needs resolving. Initial conceptions often lack some certain uncertain something. Understanding that various orders might exist within any situation, and that a touch of Ordersing might assist more than a ton of even hopeful effort, can produce real differences not only in outcomes but in the quality of experience."

My most popular posting of this period spoke of revisiting my heritage, my forebears' graves in
HisStory. "She departed before I was born, but her mom survived into her nineties to rock me on her ample bosom in the rocker The Muse later reupholstered but which still squeaks like in my earliest memories."

I then recounted back when I'd imprinted on Portland as my home, reflecting that I've since been
ReImprinting on this other one. "I might just as well order online and have them delivered since my once plundering pilgrimages increasingly seem to yield disappointment, nostalgia sprinkled with arsenic."

I set about destroying something as an act of stewardship in
Destructing. "Destructing's not the end of anything, but a preliminary piece of a much more infinite game, one played not to win or to lose, but to ever improve the manner of play."

I reflected upon just how isolating HomeMaking can sometimes seem in
Solituding. "We leave slug trails of surreptitious accomplishments behind us, though nobody seems to very much notice our presence, not even us. We go about our work in wilderness, taming where we live."

I ended this writing week considering what I know for certain I don't know in
Knowletch. "The depths of my ignorance suddenly seem bottomless. Experience doesn't come from cramming for the exam, but here I am."

By the end of this writing week, I felt more than ready for some concerted Fridaying. I'd engaged in several activities I clearly had not yet mastered and felt ready to engage in something short of mindless ritual and also more familiar. Whatever unhinging activities I might engage in, my Fridaying finally brings my experience into focus. It must be our fate to never really appreciate what we're doing until well after we're finished with that doing. I seem to see much better in mirrors that I ever do through glasses. Thank you for following along this vanity some days bordering on insanity. I could not ever accomplish Fridaying without your presence.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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