Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Reality is an ongoing procession of events, some interrelated, others with no connection whatsoever.  When you find yourself engaged in a segment of it, you have two distinct scenarios from which to chose.  You can in a sense objectify Reality, engage in what is called the pathetic fallacy of imparting human or animal characteristics and attributes to it.  Then, thinking you sense some aspect of personality, begin to craft activity or plans to fit your vision.

The night seems to exude a quality of mystery and adventure.  In response, you give yourself over to those qualities, seeking from them hints of what they wish from you.

The second possibility is that you already have a plan in mind, an outcome you hope to bring about with as much specificity as you can manage.  Thus, against the background of Reality, churning out a constant thread of event, you set forth with your own agenda.

Neither of these approaches is correct behavior against the standard of the other being incorrect or wrong.  Each represents an approach for initiating some protracted agenda.

Of course there are other possible scenarios.  Events from the impersonal loom of Reality may force decisions or activities upon you.  Your response may be completely reactive, bringing to you a form of parental direction:  Reality made me do it.  Had I not done it, I should have been shoved aside or drowned or ridden over, perhaps even buried.

You have read and written enough stories to recognize the undesirable potentials of this last approach,  You're more comfortable with an agenda, a plan, even the most pragmatic one within your imagination.  You or someone else, wanting something to the degree of willingness to take steps to achieve the desired outcome.

Let's say you are invited to dinner.  Grateful for the invitation, you begin considering something to bring along with your presence and appetite. Bottles of wine come to mind.  So do flowers, for this is a time for bright, chipper-looking flowers or plants.  Not to forget splendid examples of melons and fruits.

After spending some time considering options, you set forth to a shop with a particularly diverse selection of local, regional, and foreign wines, in a sense measuring your own response to the varieties and labels you encounter.

After yet more time, the sales clerk approaches you, wondering if he can help.  "It must,"  he ventures, "be some important dinner for all this deliberation you're putting in."

But no, it is not "some important dinner," it is an important dinner in the sense that all dinners, even meals taken alone, should matter.  Perhaps the fact of a dinner being taken alone gives it a built-in need to make some ceremony or ritual of it so that it will be remembered in spirit if not specific instance as an opportunity to bring more than self to an event.

You select the bottle, then stop along the way for a bunch of Gerbera, the so-called African daisy, tall, cheerful, their colors as social and outgoing as the tones in a kid's watercolor paint box.

The arrival you make is now at a level where you are bringing gifts, recognition, awareness, all at high levels that have nothing to do with politeness or social conventions, although neither of these aspects of the human condition are in any way harbingers of you, arriving at less than your necessary condition.

Discussions of logic involve necessary conditions, those being required to fill standards of integral presence, and sufficient conditions, those conditions which are the basic ante in the poker game of presence.

Since you wish to be a person and a writer, working in simultaneous cooperation, you must stop to consider the necessary condition.  Sufficient is not enough for you.  Nor is it enough if you are composing ideas or characters of your own.

Even if you are dining alone.

What do you bring to the dinner?

The actor undergoes training to learn how to fill a room with a particular kind of presence.  How, for instance, does an actor convey his love for another character?  One place to begin has him watching her, each times she comes on stage in his presence.  He brings to his presence the delight and sense of engaging mystery and awareness that go beyond his lines of dialogue or his narrative stage directions.

Even if you are dining alone, the things you bring to dinner define you to yourself, your character to the self of your character.

Through a lifetime of reading and observing and attempting to capture characters on paper, you learn how to bring to your presence that sense of earnest conviction that allows you to project, to radiate that awareness, that love you bring with you as you confront the large, spinning, thrumming loom of Reality that goes on, weaving endless yards of event against which your own limited moments must compete.

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