Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taking the Trouble

You have been engaged in a long-standing internal argument in which the Conservatives that the position that nothing comes easy.  With that philosophy in mind, they argue, you should apply tough love to anything involving your creative resources.  Be prepared, they warn, to fail.  Your inner Liberals scoff at this dire pronouncement, snickering at the irony of ease with which the Conservatives betray their inherent stinginess.

In your sometimes role as mediator or these proceedings, you stipulate the presence of flux as the contrapuntal theme against which the argument persists.  Thus the steady march of events, difficult and easy, some of them the necessary bureaucracy of the society in which you love, others the random-but-pleasing distractions about you, and yet other events the ones to which you have in some manner contributed.

Your own preferences and tendencies direct you to the exact spot on the shore of the Heraclitus's River, where you enter the flux, the flow, the stream of events about you.  This river of flux is, of course, all about you to some degree, but to a greater degree proceeding with no awareness of you at all.  The degrees by which you attempt to influence this ration--to build what publishers and MBA types (is there a difference these days?) call "platform"--is an index of your personality.

It is difficult, you argue, to contemplate life without flux or to hope to achieve growth and reach, and, yes, happiness without flux lurking somewhere on your front lawn out out the kitchen window.  Absolute calm and certainty are as much a threat to you as they are to dramatic narrative; reach means extending yourself beyond comfort, even if you have set yourself the primary goal of achieving comfort.

You see Trouble as an ally in the drama of living and the reach toward the fine understanding resident in the collision of forces already familiar with one another, yet aware of suspicions lurking like squatters in the storage rooms of these forces.

Without trouble, there is only calm and stasis.  With too much calmness and static inoculations into flux,  the tendency to appreciate trouble emerges like a volunteer flower growing in some impossible crack in the sidewalk.

Without trouble, no person has a friend or a driving force; without trouble the writer relaxes into a stasis from which recovery is too painful to consider.

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