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Unstuck 3.0: Stucktainty

Certainty might qualify as the most dangerous desire yet devised. Zagats should report it over-rated and obsessively pursued. It seems the principle occupation of every fundamentalist, capitalist, conservative, and ninny; me, too.

My forebears crossed the continent by every conveyance then known, including boot leather. Their letters ‘back home’ exhibited not a hint of certainty, ending as they did with the graceful phrase “if I live.” Their present action was not predicated upon anything close to certainty, but faith, mostly the unsupportable kind, which might be the only kind there ever could be.

Creativity demands foolhardy faith. So, perhaps, does life itself. Certainty might serve as some peg-legged stand in for faith, but it doesn’t dance nearly as well. The search for certainty qualifies as an animated death wish. Find it and the seeking, the living, the creating stops, too.

Stucktainty, that suspended animation prompted by the absence of certainty, chases its own tail, consuming it when certainty’s found. It’s success succeeds only in eliminating any possibility of difference, any threat of surprise, any hope of failure. The skinned knee might be certainty’s most valuable reward. If I must know to begin, I might as well never migrate anywhere. Should I insist upon certainty, I abandon faith and hope, as well as the gift of uncertainty.

Stuck then, in my pre-certain state, I spout stories about needing to do more research, clarify some grand gist, knowing ‘it’ only when I see ‘it,’ though we both know I’ll never see nothing searching the way I do. Living seems foolish, certainty absurd.

And neither death nor taxes are half as certain as they’re cracked up to be unless I hold out for certainty.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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