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Artist unknown (Roman): Mosaic with mask of Silenus (1st century A.D.)
" … all thanks to the mysterious power of Imposition."

Just about this time yesterday morning, I confidently predicted that I would never again find myself writing from this desk while looking out into a familiar backyard cast in predawn darkness, yet here I am, feeling like a living testament to the folly of feeling certain about anything in the future. Still, I cannot quite conceive of fully embracing uncertainty as a useful manner of living. My life so far has certainly proved to reinforce the innate folly involved in executing according to plans, but it seems schizophrenic in this respect, too, for sometimes careful planning seemed to deeply influence manifesting expected outcomes. I might not have ever been able to predetermine which plan might succeed or fail, but I also never managed to become quite cynical enough to reject the possibility that some planning might prove beneficial. Unlike a few of my forebears, I cannot believe that my future was pre-determined by either a loving or a vengeful god. I ain't no Job or Midas! I also question the absolute authority of my, or anybody's, free will, which might just be a useful fiction, but useful nonetheless.

Yesterday's plan of action governing the great move-out, the grand precondition for later moving in, itself a precondition for finally, eventually, SettlingInto, fell apart with whimpers.
Spring snow, not unknown in this region, complicated everything. Helpers arrived late. A slippery roadway prevented the mover from successfully executing his first part of the plan. By ten, he'd called off the move-out for that day, rescheduling it for two days later, when more snow was predicted. He spent the afternoon inventorying our stuff until he ran out of stickers, which only come in rolls of five hundred. How did we manage to accumulate so danged much stuff? I could not relate to us in boxes. Certainly he'd mistaken us for somebody else, but we were still us, disappointed that our grand plan had failed us or that we had failed it. It often feels as though we've failed when we apparently had nothing to do with the failure, other than to inflict expectations upon ourselves.

We'd imagined that we might impose our will upon the future and thereby achieve our SettlingInto, but wills, free or not, seem to always come with caveats. We might gain what we want, but not in the way we'd envisioned. Futures insist that some part of them be sourced through Imposition. We might fail at something but gain something better, or gain what we wanted only to feel cursed by the achievement. The absence of control over even one element cedes outcomes to powers other than our predictive ones, powers unnameable. Nothing's pre-determined and also nothing's purely chance. I suspect that we might always poison ourselves with our plans.

Poisoned, then, we might feel protected. A certain sense of destiny reassures us as if we possessed powers previously unknown to us. This world has not changed so that we might finally gain an easier path. The road's the same in every direction to every possible destination, nobody's especially cursed or blessed. Not even us. We briefly believed in our powers of Imposition before ceding recognition that we were always engaged in a longer-term negotiation with other Impositions, each in turn influencing possible outcomes until some future emerges. We learned that our home has a possible CO2 leak that needs fixing, better done with our delayed arrival leaving nobody living in the place. Our original exit plan could have used some improvements, ones now convenient due to the move-out delay. The float we'd planned to sustain us needs some adjusting. Some elements just got more complicated while others automatically fixed themselves, all of which left me here sitting where I'd just yesterday so confidently predicted that I'd never sit again, all thanks to the mysterious power of Imposition. Amen.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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