Friday, July 6, 2012

Grudgingly and Grumble

Your notes, your memory banks, and even these vagrant blog essays are brim-full of events where you have learned on an intellectual level some painful awareness of a level you’d call accurate and universal. 

Problem is, in many such cases, you have not taken into consideration the other side of the equals sign, the emotional side of learning.  This awareness is vital in life and in fiction to the point where either way, in life or in fiction, a character who has learned a thing only one way is vulnerable to story. 

The behavior of such an individual, in real life or story, is recognizable and on the way to the reversals, destabilizing events, and realizations a person accrues in real life and is hit in the face with in dramatic narrative.

The most recent cause to be aware of this syndrome is your awareness on an intellectual level that discussions of religious or political conviction that devolve into screed and ad hominem argument are not conversation, are not argument in the Socratic dialogue sense or any other rational progression.  Further, the longer you remain in the exchange, in direct proportion, the less the likelihood either you or your opponent will learn anything or be able to move on to more civil discourse in other areas.  Further still, the longer it will take you to work off your cholers.

On two separate occasions today, you encountered such behavior.  You are only now able to sort them and move in, but in each case—and this is your point—you do so grudgingly, with a grumble.  Grudgingly and grumble are not words of positive enthusiasm.

Occasion one was about publishing, a former client, and behavior not well suited in your opinion to help the client advance in any positive way toward a desired publishing career.  In fact, the client proceeded against advice to self-publishing and to have paid a review source a considerable sum for a review that was at best tepid.

Occasion two was pure political head butting, with you a witness against your better judgment, with the no tangible result except, here you go again, a grudging and grumbling retreat.  You are not one for spectator sports, yet you were more or less leveraged into attending a contest in a sport for which you have no taste, with no stake in any kind of positive outcome, and with the dreaded residue of grudging and grumbling.

You are also aware how those two descriptors, grumbling and grudging, when manifest in a character, tend to move that character away from the front line of a story, which is at least a small victory in the dramatic sense.  In the real life sense, grudging and grumbling move individuals from the front line of their own story, their life story, which may, should the individual chose, be creative as opposed to being reactive.

There are a great many things in life and story to which one may be reactive, but you do not see this as being creative in ways that bring you any pleasure, either of the senses or of learning.

Your great hope for the events alluded here, for they were with some deliberation not detailed, is that when you come to review these paragraphs, you will no longer recall the events or individuals in either one.  Or, if you do remember them, the details will have settled, you will no longer be grudging or grumbling; the matter will have become muscle memory.

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