Rendered Fat Content


Giorgio de Chirico: The Disquieting Muses (1947)
" … a replacement obsessive purpose might shine through."

All my life so far, I've heard stories about the sweetness of success. These were fairy stories, apparently, for every one of my greatest victories have so-far most prominently produced a disorienting Hollowing instead. I might have gone absolutely all in to achieve something, only to feel upon completion the way Wylie Coyote must feel after overrunning his latest mesa top. A hollow hum replaces the rush and feathers expended in pursuit. I'm suddenly out of work, without clear purpose, suspended near the cusp of dread. I never seem to know WhatNext then, when my recent past has just slipped out of my grasp. My reward seems to be that I get to start reinventing myself all over again, this time, again, without much of an inkling of what I might want to become enough to eventually become obsessed with it. I grew up then blew up just to have to grow up all over again. Completion doesn't carry a taste, bitter or sweet. It comes to carry away accustomed engagement and leave that disquieting Hollowing behind.

Why do I always feel surprised when I fall into this limbo again?
I probably shouldn't. I might have seen it coming and somehow better prepared myself for the challenge, but I never seem to anticipate an end begetting another void. I believe some kind of liberation's coming instead, I sense a great weight lifting from my shoulders without considering that I might have reoriented my life such that the weight, however great, had become my accustomed baseline and not really a burden anymore, the absence of which might prove to be a genuine bitch to assimilate. Yea, I suddenly, effortlessly stand up straighter, but to what end? I expend far too much energy to stand straight for a long time after losing that weight, for it had held my purpose and so no longer felt in any way heavy. I break my back not supporting that weight for a while, floating, but not freely. My new burden weighs nothing, and that feels like a serious problem.

I suspect that Halloween was originally pronounced Hollowing, and represented the end of harvesting, the busiest time of every year. It delineated the end of the period of frantic receiving, of collecting rewards. It heralded a period of fallow waiting, where purpose no longer wakes anyone up in the morning with compelling promises. A time not so much of well-earned rest, but of seemingly mean-spirited restlessness. Idleness seems scant reward for anyone enlivened by their
workfulness. The end of term at university always delivered a small depression for me, a dislocation of time and space with nothing with which to compensate. I'd wander lonelier than any cloud, knowing that I was supposed to be enjoying my well-earned success without finding much very rewarding in the experience. Hollowness prevailed.

I've repeated this pattern so many times in my life, that I really should be able to anticipate some better coming. This threatening 'should' only amplifies the latest Hollowing, seeming to do nobody any good. I'll distract myself watching ninja movies, a curious choice for this life-long pacifist, but ninja movies amount to slapstick with swords, so transparently absurd as to ridicule themselves. I insist that I'm not wasting time, but washing clean some overly scribbled upon slate, making room for an encroaching replacement greatness once I can re-engage. The GrandOtter matriculated into a new life far from our hovering protection, an authentic cause for celebration, a genuine liberation for everyone involved; if not necessarily a great success, nonetheless a success. And I feel a great Hollowing instead, though I suspect that within a week or few, a replacement obsessive purpose might shine through.

Hey, look! It's Friday again already, and time to revisit my week's writing! This was a transitioning week. It went from acknowledging a
BreakingPoint, that place where the present loses its ability to sustain itself, to turning up Lame, where complaining greeted empathy. I suspect that empathy might be winning, though.

I noticed just how dangerous our diagnoses can be in
Dyeignosis, where information too easily becomes dangerously defining.

I reported on how disconnected This Damned Pandemic has left me feeling in
GhosTown, realizing just how much I rely upon those around me to delineate my identity. This posting proved to be the most viewed of the week.

I watched as an ending grew more asymptotic as it neared in
EmptyNestoring. The boundary between then and here grows ever nearer, but painfully slowly.

I then celebrated endings with
Lasts, my attempt to pay closer attention to impending pasts.

I might have been demonstrating real progress when I posted a piece called
Nexting, in which I caught myself celebrating WhatNext after apparently surviving The GrandOtter's latest leaving.

Few of my weeks have involved more transitioning than the one now receding. That I find myself inhabiting a Hollowing
should not in any way surprise me. Please notice just how useless that should seems. I should have learned by now that should expectations rarely improve anything, but seem to inject scolding into what's supposed to be a support system. Should seems like a boulder dropped in a floundering rowboat, intended to help bail it out, but leaving it even lower in the water. Gimme a heartfelt maybe instead, just not another dreaded should. It's in the nature of all experiences to pass, whether they really should have lasted or not. I might more gratefully rely upon this insight, since it seems to be the way things is.

Thank you most sincerely for following along with me here!

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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