Saturday, July 13, 2013

Failing to Plot Is Plotting to Fail

The energy required to keep you afloat and operational is considerable, but considering the spectrum of things you wish to engage and be operational in, the balance seems fair enough.  Truth to tell, much of the energy required is energy directed at keeping you focused on the task at hand.

You are not using ADD as an excuse because you don't think you have so much a deficit of attention as a surplus of things you'd like to become engaged with to a greater extent per sitting.  In some senses, you remind yourself of Odysseus' sailors, being distracted by the song of the Sirens, those stunning, beautiful creatures with remarkable voices which they used to lure passing sailors to their doom.  

Your Sirens are concepts, ideas, the equivalents of play sets that draw you into their games.  They also represent intriguing words or concepts or facts you become aware of for the first time, then wonder what they mean, how they work, where they fit.

So you tell yourself in the most powerful oratory and logic you can muster that you are the opposite of ADD, you are in fact Multiple Attention Disorder, which keeps you away from activities better organized individuals would tend to before pursuing their own particular sirens.  

Hasn't worked out all that well so far.  All about you, note pads bear your near-illegible penmanship and its attempts to sketch in the stray observation or incident.  The hundred or so books you brought with you to this residence have expanded by a factor of at least five.  Only today, an individual you'd met briefly a few years back sought you out to give you an enormous box of literary journals and books on the theory that you, of all the persons he knew, would be best able to cope with and use them.

One robin does not make a spring, but it does produce a number of books which, you might add, are distractions at the same time they are serious and necessary adjuncts to your primary goal, which is getting words down in keepable form as a preparation to wrangling them into short stories, novels, essays and longer essay-type works you could think of as nonfiction books.

Which brings you to the next point:  For all the considerable energy required to keep you afloat and action, the energy required to neutralize the inertia of doing nothing is even more considerable.

You carry an interesting pair of polar opposites within you.  You may be slow to act but this is not from indolence, rather from the need to pause to consider which enthusiasm to follow.  Choices require investigations, more choices require assignment of priority.  What may seem like indolence is you in metaphor going through your pants and jacket pockets to investigate the index cards and backs of ATM receipts for lists of priorities.

You once worked for a publishing venture where the house mantra was "Failing to plan is planning to fail."  You'd not heard this until you'd signed on, but when you did hear it and saw the seriousness affixed to it, you knew a fuse had been lit, a time clock had been hit.  

From a managerial style sense, the mantra makes sense, but you'd already come to conclude that the planning involved in the types of ways you wished to invest most of your time was the approach of assembling all the information, then finding the proper order or plan for it.  You even began to call the approach rearranging the furniture.  Then you heard about the Chinese vision of feng-shui, and you began to sense the Cosmos was ratifying your approach, or perhaps you'd come to discover what the Cosmos already knew and that you in fact were the one doing the ratifying.

There is a calm comfort in the knowledge that you are more energy efficient by being in the midst of a storm of activity rather than having to draw on the energy to overcome the inertia of being a single-tasker.

The closest thing you can equate to the Cosmos having anything resembling a Code of Justice comes from your beliefs that 1) if you want something done at all, give the job to a busy man, and 2) you can't possibly get "it" all done.

Of course you do your level best to live by this code, nodding and tipping your metaphoric hat to the notion that you may well be arranging data to favor your vision while the very opposite vision might be the inevitable truth.

There are some points of intersection between these two visions of how get things done and the famed parable involving the tortoise and the hare, in which the hare has beautiful muscles and running technique, but is no match for the persistent gait and determination of the tortoise.

You might be wrong, but you will be too busy being wrong to find out.

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