Sunday, November 4, 2012

Balancing Act


Unlike Gregor Samsa, you slept well, had pleasant dreams but when you woke up, there was a stranger in your bed.  This was not the once-upon-a-time stranger you met in bed in the years of mating, carousing, and mischief.  This stranger was you, in large part strange to you because you’d spent so little time in his company.

He seemed to be on auto pilot, knew where the coffee things were, even got Sally outside for her morning pee, turned on the toaster, set the milk for the latte.  But there was no hint of conversation from him, no venturing of opinion about how the day looked, showed not the slightest interest in the books on the kitchen table.

Pretty much a loner, he was, not at all the you who sometimes wants to think things at slow speed for a time or get a handle on who’s in charge, which of your ensemble case of selves will be in effect steering the ship of state today.

In some ways, you owe it to him and yourself to get to know him better, much as you’ve taken the time to known and interact with the others, even those aspects of you you’d like least to spend time marooned on a desert island with.  You have no trouble with owning all of them, taking the responsibility for their actions or their significant lack of actions.

You sometimes confide to yourself how much a balancing act story is, but story is nothing of a balancing act in comparison to the self, with all its moods, quirks, and social gaucheries.  The self is in many ways like a firm of high-powered lobbyists, trying to capture your attention in the service of some goal, which may be momentary or long-range, a whim or a hidden agenda.

There are times when your component parts remind you of the frequent TV news tropes wherein questioning reporters chase legislators down the hallways of the House or Senate, trying to get that seemingly impossible thing from them, a simple yes or no answer.

Sometimes, holding office hours helps in much the same way it does at the university.  At least, some potential is there for conversation.

Even though you do not feel you’re at your best in a balancing act mode, you do your best to maintain it on the theory that you are present for anything that will throw you over into the progressive mode of your being, which draws its energy from enthusiasm.  Your form of enthusiasm comes from connecting two or more seemingly disparate things or from seeing for the first time relationships you’d not noticed in previous circumstances.  This kind of energy is clean, does not produce undue side effects of potential harm to the ecology.  The worst thing about your bursts of enthusiasm is the way it tends to make it comfortable for you to forget about tasks which may be necessary but for which you need all your wits to manufacture some performance.

On balance, you’re more often chipper and alert than not, more likely to get along with your ensemble cast of selves, who still don’t seem to have a clue about how you exploit them.

Perhaps this ongoing exploitation explains the stranger this morning.  Balance due.


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