Rendered Fat Content


Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664, oil on canvas
"Small then even SmallerThings eventually amounting to something, which isn't really a thing at all."

Rather than strive to achieve BIG things, I seem to strive to more fully acknowledge smaller ones. Tiny yet influential seems more achievable than huge and consequential. Worlds move by comparative microns, yet manage to traverse vast spaces. Ideas spark in less than an instant yet utterly transform the person holding them. How finely am I capable of perceiving? Insignificance seems first a product of my own inattention. My salvation might stand right here in the palm of my hand, and releasing its beneficence might require a hero's journey no less daunting than any undertaken out into greater-seeming unknowns. Both journeys begin with denial and offer trials to test the hero's dedication. Both feature dragons and such, and each brings out characteristics the hero always held, implicit becoming more explicit in dispatching each challenge. Heroes aren't so much made as discovered, they emerge through unanticipated recognition. Look, there s/he is, right there. No more than a GlancingKnow ever confirms it.

Understanding serves as a condensation of more vaporous information and experience.
A short essay describing some vast phenomena, written with the intention of reducing that undifferentiated vastness into SmallerThings, seems much more conveniently carried forward. The result might well become nothing more voluminous than a pocket half-filled with seeming pebbles, each holding special significance for those who struggled through identifying their representative nature. Each becomes a strange talisman, deeply significant for the man or the woman who stumbled upon, stared into, and recognized them for what they might truly represent. Pebbles of understanding gleaned from gross perception. The knowing, though, came with little more than a glance which provided no more than a chance at recognition. Any glance might do. Any experience might produce.

It's Friday again, and holding with my recently-adopted practice, I look back at what my last week's glances seem to have produced. No more than a small handful of recent understandings, enough to perhaps fill a child's hand but hardly enough to cover any adult's palm. My GlancingKnow stories received 802 unique views last week, an eighteen percent increase with no particular meaning associated with it. Thank you for glancing in.

I began reveling in the recent recognition that my writings might actually hold a unifying classification, Historical Autobiographical Philosophical Fiction, for I trade not in immutable truth but potentially useful insight:

I next considered my relationship with systems, acknowledging that I never really learned how to play the
GamingASystem game. I work systems so that they might work, not so much for personal advantage, a seemingly much SmallerThing.

Next, I reviewed not the large dinner party The Muse and I convened, but what became of that gathering in
EndOfTheEvening. If the meaning of experience reduces into what the experience produces, experience might indeed become SmallerThings.

Next, I spoke of an almost infinitesimal element of every relationship,

Then, I attempted an impossibility, or a self-declared one, which I then set about actually accomplishing in
AnImpossibleRecipe. I long ago wrote a personally pivotal essay entitled The Recipe For Doing The Impossible, which explored the underlying nature of impossibilities, gleaning a deeper appreciation for the truly SmallerThings which, if properly deployed, renders them possible, but, of course, never as initially envisioned.

Next, I slipped into a small confessional to admit to what some might consider a serious shortcoming in my character in
BeansForBreakfast; SmallerThings writ large.

Finally, I ended the week with a brief portrait of the familiar hopelessness and despair experienced by anyone approaching a finish line in
WindingDown. Success for me seems composed of SmallerThings than personal pride and accolades. It's a loss as well as a gain along with the recognition that things, even SmallerThings, can consequently never be quite the same again.

I haven't quite decided if this piece will be the last GlancingKnow Story. Tomorrow brings the solstice and with it, the urgent imperative to set aside what started as a daunting intention and which slowly distilled into ever SmallerThings, perhaps childish things by the ending. Each milestone might hold a few pebbles from the journey, remembrances and acquired understandings reduced almost to dust. The next section of each journey simply must be respected as its own, not as a one-off of the recent past or an attempted replay of a prior peak experience. Each starts smaller than anyone can say, audaciously proclaiming that it's gonna go out there and do something significant, even if its true significance ultimately manifests in progressively SmallerThings.

I can discern, as you can, at the barest glance that I'm writing the epitaph for this most recent journey. I'll leave the pebble it produced recognizing that the pebble contains about ninety grains of sand, each holding a small story from the journey here. Whether this Hero's Journey produced a hero probably couldn't quite qualify as the point of the journey. One foot lead the other, then the other foot lead its partner, and together they made something, perhaps progress, maybe mere regression, a difference where no difference before stood. Small, then even SmallerThings, eventually amounting to something, which isn't really a thing at all.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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