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"I try to remember that each initial provocation might well have come from the hand of some curiously benevolent God …"

Good fortune moves in mysterious ways. Nothing says how any experience might turn out. An apparently advantageous first move might turn south without warning. An obvious initial disadvantage might likewise at any time seem to turn itself around. How any experience turns out depends upon where I decide to place the punctuation. It ain't over until I apply the hard stop designating the end. Many of my experience extend like run-on sentences, featuring more commas and semi-colons that words, it sometimes seems, continuing until some favorable twist renders a favorable outcome. Then and only then might I feel deeply moved to stop the progression. It's all progression, no matter the number of obvious regressions appear between here and that ever-emerging there. Even the fabled fat lady might have this once chosen to sing during an uneasy intermission rather than wait clear until the end.

GodSends might not appear to have originated in the hand of any recognizable God.
They might more often seem a devil's direct intervention, but each story's only beginning when the judges start projecting likely outcomes. Easily dissuaded, I might decide to quit while I'm still ahead rather than ride the rampaging bull for the designated twenty eight seconds. Those instances little dilute the God Hand's original intention, a blessing, perhaps in deep disguise, but somehow a blessing nonetheless. I could hardly blame myself for lacking sufficient omniscience to discern God's Hand's intentions then, since I'm left with little but a thin porridge of faith to sustain me. I was hoping for a juicy red steak, easily identified as a supper fully worthy of me, and not a weak gruel. I might neglect to remember that I must make my own best.

The first move resembles a pinball injected onto the playing surface. Bells and flashing lights distract me from concocting any concerted strategy. I have not quite yet found my flipper fingers yet, and gravity works extra effectively to co-opt me. I might leave that first ball to slip through without touching it. I might seem to have little choice in the matter. A second launch might yield more satisfying results. I might, by the third or fourth launch, remember how to play this game. Then, I might deign to invest a little more of myself, observing as if my actions might actually matter, as if my responses might make any sort of difference. I explicitly do not expect to show as any sort of wizard this time, or anytime, really. I might play to a pleasing conclusion, neither master nor patsy, once I remember the nature of this particular game.

I'm learning to interpret my initial curses as more of a recognition than an inescapable acquiescence. Another game's afoot and I've engaged with my non-dominant foot again. Just like most times. If I can manage to keep my head about me, I might improve my initial position. If I fold now, I forego whatever more I might achieve. It's almost always an uphill climb while pushing along an oversized boulder before me. The ascent seems utterly hopeless until it doesn't, if it ever comes close to feeling anything more than hopeless. Hope was never required. Nothing in that left-limbed first response suggested that hope would somehow be key to improving my lot. My lot might be fine just as it is, reinforced by the obvious fact that my lot is always just what it is. I try to remember that each initial provocation might well have come from the hand of some curiously benevolent God, a genuine GodSend in deep disguise.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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