Monday, October 8, 2012


Choice plays a major, defining role in life and story, beginning for you on some basic level with the words you chose and, if you happen to be composing, the punctuation marks by which they are given logical and dramatic emphasis.

What better way to get an adventure or story under way than with the need for someone to make a choice or at some point after a choice has been made by one person and challenged by another.

“Why did you bring me here?”

“What ever made you think I would enjoy this?”

“And you thought I wanted this outcome?”

The variations are endless.  So are the choices.

Why does a bee choose to land on a particular plant or flower?  Why have you landed so heavily on stories of mystery and suspense? Could there be a story if a lead character did not have a choice to make or has made one shortly before the story began?

Choice is the fulcrum in story and in life.  Even if you contrived to spend the major part of a day doing nothing that required a choice from you, wouldn’t that begin as the result of a choice?  When you think about the elements of tomorrow morning’s breakfast, as one example of how the process works, there is that moment of in or out?  If in, the choices are usually oatmeal with fruit and nuts and coffee or toast, peanut or almond butter, melon, and coffee.  If out, Esau’s makes creditable pancakes, but do you want pancakes or perhaps the salmon benedict at CafĂ© Luna?

Choice is what you chose, what you reject, what you write about, how you do the writing.  As well, it is about who chooses your work and who chooses not to choose it for publication.  Choice is the constant confrontation with dialectic.

You are everything you have chosen and all those things you have opted not to engage. Thus is your index of happiness and, yes, regret, tempered by the outcome of your choices.

“I should have known better.”

“It seemed a wise choice at the time.”

Choice is democratic in the sense that it allows us to put in a vote for what we consider beneficial; it is affirming because it puts the ego, the self, the I into the equation of the vast stampede of event we call reality. Allowing someone other than you a choice—“your call”—is an acknowledgment of that individual’s individualism, his or her right to express an opinion or vote in this existential rodeo.

There are any number of reasons for choosing friends, lovers, occupations, dry cleaners, and brands of toothpaste, each one an affirmation of something in your past or a negation of an unpleasant experience.

At times the notion of making one more choice seems a burden but after a few incidents of being told that your choice is limited to one thing or nothing, you rebel for the same sorts of reasons informing your choices of friends, lovers, occupations, dry cleaners, and brands of toothpaste.

Who are you?

You are the aggregate of all your choices, the judge and jury of the choices you will make in the future, the reflection of how satisfied you were with your past choices, your confidence that you will make apt, appropriate ones now and tomorrow.  You are the way you are seen based on your choices of clothing, the color schemes, the fit and style, the way you vote, what you order at a restaurant, when to go, when to stay.

You like to think after one or two of your favorite beverages that some things chose you rather than you choosing them, but this is because such beverages offer you the choice of being expansive and philosophical.   If a thing in truth chose you, didn’t you, after some consideration, elect to be chosen?


Why the hell not?

1 comment:

Storm Dweller said...

Choice is the fulcrum, unforseen consequences are the hook. So what if you choose to eat breakfast out? Who cares? Many people do. But what if that choice makes you encounter a situation that puts you outside of your comfort zone. I choose to turn right out of my driveway without incident every morning... well almost every morning. As it turns out this morning turning right go me all of 1200 feet before an incredibly backed up detour around a 1/2 mile stretch of main thoroughfare being closed, setting me behind schedule and resulting in a number of unforseen consequences. Consequences can come in discovering a favorite restaurant has closed, or some other mishap like being mugged, arriving at the scene of an accident, or being involved in an accident. Whereas if you'd stayed in and had oatmeal, you'd be relatively safe, and have no story... unless there were unforseen consequences surrounding it's consumption. Anything goes... as the author, it's always our choice.