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Johannes Moreelse, Vanity (17th Century)
"I might have always been somebody else instead."

If you don't feel crazy sometimes, you're probably insane. The truly insane often feel perfectly sane while the sane only occasionally do. Truth often seems much stranger than fiction and fiction the more readily believable truth. There is no vast world-wide conspiracy trying to convince you that a vast world-wide conspiracy's trying to convince you that a vast world-wide conspiracy's trying to convince you. Nobody's capable of coordinating even a half-vast world-wide conspiracy in a world where most cannot consistently make it to the supper table on time. They're not actually out to get you, though they're very likely to get you, anyway. It's still paranoia, even when nobody's out to get you. Most cannot step into the same river once. Nobody can do it twice. Uncommon wisdom is everywhere, common sense, uncommon. Wisdom is never common. It only comes in the uncommon variety. If you're not confused, you might not be paying close enough attention.

Whoever said that the world should make sense never closely observed this world, for it overflows with absolute nonsense.
Irresolution is to inquiry like entropy is to physics, the underlying case, perhaps the ultimate purpose. Definitive answers seem much less common than insights, and often prove much less useful. There is no destination, only journey, yet my journeys seem much more meaningful when I have a destination in mind. I imagine finishing until a fresh purpose comes to mind, then I imagine achieving that until another replaces it. I've already already started. The beginning was always a point I'd already passed but had never seemed to actually inhabit. I wake up to what I'm up to somewhere between; no starting, no finishing, just moving into and toward with no actual arriving as a reward. Starting with the ending in mind amounts to a motivational ruse, and could kill me if I expect it to actually improve my likelihood of accomplishing that end. Most things are just too serious to be taken very seriously.

This might be true for everything: Nobody knows how to properly perform sex because it's the essence of sex to only be performed improperly. It exists solely as an impropriety. Those who believe themselves masters of it successfully fool themselves first, rarely anyone else. Instinct, not knowledge, rules the act. Love helps but hardly guarantees success. Feelings often contradict understanding and each can be frequently found standing on opposing sides. We're natively smarter than we think but a lot dumber than we believe. Most of us can rationalize anything but cannot deliberately muster any feeling. We seem capable of believing anything but understanding little. We seem most willing to muster great self-discipline when we dedicate ourselves to destroying something, most prominently ourselves. Most of us feel lazy when we're trying too hard. Most education occurs when we're focusing upon something else. Wisdom visits when we're not watching.

No matter how many homilies I commit to memory, I'm always one or two behind what I sure could have benefitted from when I needed the perfect one back then. Wisdom accompanies imperfection, never the properly done. It picks up unnoticed pieces but never puts together any Humpty Dumpties again. Wisdom's more a forensic element generating hindsight in the gelatinous belief that it might somehow improve forward vision. I think of it as Widsom, a deliberately ironic spelling of its more familiar first cousin. It's rarely what it seems. It's hardly inoculation from anything. If we're often too late smart, we're usually even later wise, leaving only Widsom behind. I pave my paths only after I've passed, perennially blazing trail. My learning entails only hard-won lessons I'm still learning. I perform poorly on final exams. If I am only what I am, I might amount to nothing. I might have always been somebody else instead.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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