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Reflection in freshly-installed front window in The Villa Vatta Schmaltz
"I'm inhabiting what was then just aspiration …"

Wasn't it just yesterday morning that I complained about The Grand Refurbish moving forward in slow motion? By noon, I found myself struggling to keep up with a pace I had not anticipated reappearing. This experience served as another reminder that time, contrary to popular misconceptions, does not move in any consistently regular fashion. It moves by Spurt and stall, by fits and starts. Clocks apparently more or less accurately track an average rate of time's expansion, a smoothed representation of a much more chaotic phenomenon. Clocks inexorably misrepresent actual experience and easily influence anticipation. When time seems to move slowly, which it sometimes does, it seems as though it might forever thereafter continue so moving, never any faster. When time whizzes by, as it also sometimes seems to, who takes the time to consider that the apparent velocity of time probably amounts to an illusion? You could be sitting right beside me and we could be experiencing time completely differently without ever noticing how our individual experiences differed.

It should be no surprise that Our Grand Refurbish still carries a surprise or two inside her.
Yesterday, an electrician finally appeared. I'd attempted to schedule his visit back in July only to learn that the earliest possible date for which I could schedule a visit would be the middle of November, a date which seemed like it was located in science fiction future at the time. I'd been moping around and carrying a few stones in my pocket since, feeling ignored and neglected but with no recourse. I tried not to dwell upon the delay as we reworked most of the rest of this old place's infrastructure. Yesterday dawned and the electrician appeared. I presented our list of urgent tasks and he set to work, knocking off most of the backlog, which had been growing since I first scheduled his visit. The Muse suggested that we were experiencing a Chutes day, referring to the kid's game Chutes and Ladders wherein a player advances most quickly by way of chutes.

As the electrician packed up to go, having just installed the lighting our refurbished library would need, I reflected that had he arrived even one day earlier, we would not have been able to accommodate his help. We had not until that very morning been in any position to properly deconstruct the library to enable him to drill holes in the ceiling. It seemed an accidental convergence that four months later than requested the electrician appeared just as conditions could support his effort and ours. The connection seemed just magical and unlikely, as if time, again, had advanced strangely as well as perfectly, in apparent perfect synchrony. Synchronicity. The very best of efforts exhibit this sort of flawlessness. They advance exclusively via Spurts and stalls yet upon reflection, they unfold in near perfection, though the experience moving forward might seem anything but beneficial. Maybe reflection smooths the ride.

Just as I had started resetting my expectations for how Our Great Refurbish would proceed, a Spurt showed up. I should not, I guess, suddenly shift my supposing to expect Spurts to continue, for my sample size cannot justify such projection. I quite frankly have no idea what I should anticipate, or if anticipation's even warranted. I might instead choose to follow along, experiencing the exhilaration and boredom as time manifests them in her unquestionable variety. This final phase of this great and noble effort might most reasonably be governed by the Holy Wait and See, not drawing preliminary conclusions and not mistaking normal variation for permanent changes. I noticed as the project's velocity seemed to explode around me that its history has become thick as the old carpet I removed to make way for what's there today. My memory of that carpeting has been fading into unreliable territory such that it now seems unlikely that the carpet was ever there or that I crawled on my hands and knees carrying a blade with which I cut away that now receding history. If I had not been there, I would not believe it had ever happened. I was blazing trail then. Now, I'm inhabiting what was then just aspiration, achieved, as always, via Spurt and stall.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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