Saturday, October 22, 2011

In Confidence

Confidence in the performance of an undertaking seems almost a prerequisite.  Even with confidence, the final goal is not assured.  Nor is there some index of success by which added units of confidence enhance the probability of favorable outcome.

If you apply too much confidence at the outset, the danger of arrogance creeps in, seeming all too willing to pull along in its mercurial slipstream the adjuncts of entitlement and some form or other of privilege.

If not enough confidence is present at the outset; a vacuum soon forms, allowing such words and concepts as unsubstantial and feckless to appear in reproof.

What do you do then when it is time to sit, in a manner of speaking, the way a Buddhist monk sits to the Nothingness, then shucks off the adjectives and adverbs of Reality from the void?

Remember, you are—or want to be—on a journey of discovery.  The accommodations may be a bit sparse.  You are, after all, traveling tourist class, the noise and bustle about you a clamor of agenda and demeanor.  You wonder to yourself if such journeys earn frequent flier miles, skeptical about any potential for discovering a formula or trace of cloned behavior.  It is not so much that you don’t wish to meet iterations of yourself.  After all, you are willing and prepared to toss entire scenes from your work because they were replications of others or because they offered up no discovery you had hoped to achieve.  Nor is it that you wish to edit out the past parts, where you now, in retrospect, cringe in a combination burger of embarrassment and regret.  You own these, even venture to replay some of the juicier moments as though they were features on a TNT film festival.

You are made aware of your precarious daily walk along the cusp of the real world and the world of your invention and portrayal, eager for the interaction between the two if only to allow you to evoke within your invented narrative the simulacrum of authenticity.  The more you are able to get words down without thinking of them directly as you write, the more you stand the chance of capturing a sense of life and breathable atmosphere. 

Although you know there is no hope of being able to edit and revise your real-time behavior and response, you manage to tune in for moments at a time to the sort of confidence that is so helpful when you are faced with situations that hold importance and significance for you.

The irony is always with you:  when you are out in Real Time, even among friends or by yourself in desirable circumstances such as a performance of music or drama, you are aware of the part of you sifting that time for material in ways that remind you of those hearty individuals with metal detectors, scanning the beach early Monday mornings, scouting for lost treasures.  When you are somewhere putting words down in one form or another, part of your attention is at the beach.

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