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"It's just a matter of me continuing the search until I delight myself …"

Life seems like an extended game of HüskerDü. I seek matches for my wants. Yesterday morning, I noticed our bathroom was out of toilet paper, so I ran out to the supermarket, proudly proclaiming when I returned that I'd restocked only to hear The Muse patiently explain to me that there were additional rolls cleverly hidden in a place I could not find. This sort of action happens less often at home, where I'm usually considered to be the font of such knowledge. I believe that humans feel the need to travel whenever they've memorized the local HüskerDü board at home and ache for a little more mystery in their lives, even if that mystery might be where to find the danged toilet paper.

This temporary kitchen kept me entertained for the best part of an afternoon after I'd unknowingly volunteered to cook supper for everyone in the house.
I've cooked many suppers before, but prepping for this one proved particularly challenging, especially when I discovered that I had no idea how to turn on the kitchen water faucet. I stumbled upon a workaround which required me to hold onto the nozzle. Otherwise, it refused to give. The Muse later showed me that the contraption featured an electronic eye which, if I winked just so, the faucet would enthusiastically do my bidding. I begged off cleaning up after, bringing my special acquired knowledge to aid in putting stuff away. I'd learned the hard way where everything was stored.

I say the hard way because I never did understand the central organizing principle governing placement of anything. I purchased paper towels and matches only to later discover a healthy cache of both secreted in an unlikely corner. Some of any adaptation effort simply must be wasted, well-intentioned but ultimately unnecessary. Learning seems to be like this, heavily punctuated with mistakes and misconceptions. I realize just how gentle I need to be with myself because though HüskerDü claims to be a game even an illiterate four year old can play, it can be a severe challenge for any adult's ego. I know I've seen that somewhere, but cannot for the life of me, in that moment, remember where.

I sometimes simply choose to go without, to decide that I must not want strongly enough to carry through a complete search for whatever I'm seeking. These dedication tests also seem emblematic of learning, since some acquisitions end up seeming hardly worth the cost. I think that it's no negative statement about my character when I choose to stop searching. I can remain an upstanding citizen without finding a freaking paring knife or learning calculus. I can adapt using a large butcher knife or simply avoid the chore, like I have done with calculus for all of my adult life. Some things prove to be unfindable and nobody's much worse off for the loss.

I'm working this week to finish a song I started over twenty years ago. It features perhaps the most beautiful melody I've ever pulled up out of the ether and so far has only a single finished verse. I thought that perhaps this trip might tease out the remaining words, though they've so far proven reluctant to manifest themselves. I used to write at least a song a month, now it's been a couple of years since I managed to finish one. Songwriting, too, turns out to adhere to the strict rules of HüskerDü. I'm matching rhythm patterns as well as rhyming ones, and meaning must somehow also find a way in. The result will be an unlikely balance of these sometimes conflicting elements, otherwise it might prove to be no more than a ditty. A real song needs to say something meaningful, to tell a little story, but accomplish this by means of rhythm and rhyme, melody and harmony. The end result should seem unlikely even when finished, a bit more perfect than anyone had a right to expect. I'm still convinced, even after more than twenty years searching, that the matching elements are really out there for me to find. It's just a matter of me continuing the search until I delight myself, an onerous charge, for sure.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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