Rendered Fat Content


Arthur Rackham:
They'd such very odd heads and such very odd tails.

" … just happened to be passing …"

One iron-clad rule I should never disobey pertains to disclosing the content of one of my PureSchmaltz Friday Zoom Chats. I began convening these weekly sessions early in the pandemic and continue them today. I originally designated them as dialogues without specific agenda, so they tend to contain whatever seems to need saying in that moment. I deliberately avoid recording the proceedings because I intend them to be the sort of conversation where you must have been there to understand whatever happened. Not to paint them too awfully mysterious, they feature the usual insightful comments about the weather interspersed with genuine genius. One must pay close attention some weeks to catch the genius, but it always emerges. I leave these sessions with a renewed appreciation of the brilliance lurking within everyday conversation. Something always happens.

To violate my iron-clad rule about my Zoom Chats, one of the participants said precisely that: Something Always Happens, in response to my reflection on my earlier posting,
Prabability, where I recounted the story of The Muse discovering that the gentleman seated next to her at a banquet was the nephew of her grade school bus driver, an OddConvergence. Delving more deeply into these phenomena, he'd reflected that the convergence happened and convergences always happen. They couldn't not happen. The causal chain in these instances, though, gets assembled backward. In a predictive context, one would project forward into the future to predict a convergence. We rarely engage in such wild speculation except to convince ourselves not to bet on something happening. We almost always encounter an unlikely and then work backward to marvel at just how unlikely that convergence would have been had it been predicted forward. It wasn't.

This small insight gets me thinking of just how powerful I might be if I can always construct causal chains to explain anything that happens. I could, for instance, if the spirit moved me, conclusively prove how lucky I always am by constructing causal chains proving this premise. The unlikelies always threaten to overwhelm us. We rarely know how anything came to be, meaning we can make up any useful fantasy that might please our sensibilities. We might gift ourselves with amazing stories intended to reinforce our delicate egos and render us more special than we'd previously imagined. We can always employ generous interpretations. We could as easily concoct stories about how we were damned from the outset, but why bother? Even if we're damned whatever we do, we might more usefully root out our blessings as root causes.

Just this morning, I found the dreaded frost on the front lawn. The first freeze of this season had visited overnight. But a strange light seemed to glisten on the grass. Looking up, I found a full moon hanging serenely overhead, slowly making its way toward the Western horizon. I'd forgotten about the serenity found only on a frozen morning, the magic there, the blessing. I'd been feeling damned whatever I did, conscripted, sentenced to Winter instead of blessed with it. I hadn't remembered what might be good for me. Endless Summer lacks requisite variety and could easily become a kind of purgatory. A touch of Winter can clear the mind and wake some forgotten senses because it's something happening. Something always happens.

Who knew why they were there before they found themselves there and constructed an explanation backward to some acceptable root cause? Who knows where they're going before they arrive and surprise themself with another OddConvergence explained backward? We are storytellers in continual dialogue, working hardest to make meaning. Fortunately, something always happens, and then we can create another explanation. We each must be the crown of some creation, glittering as if frosted beneath a full moon that just happened to be passing the moment it was most needed.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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