Monday, February 9, 2015

Spare Changes

Most mornings, you wake cheerful, eager for the scheduled events of the day.  You proceed with relative certainty, knowing full well the potential for what in fiction classes you'd call destabilizing events.  

Those classroom events are the "stuff happens" events.  These events come along in Reality, not so much because you forgot to do something you were supposed to or even that you didn't take enough care of something requiring care; they happen by random chance.

When events come along in Story, they are part of a design or recipe.  Bouillabaisse and cioppino are in essence the same thing, seafood soup, separated by garlic and culture.  Story is a literal and figurative broth into which things are placed, some with ambitions to escape the broth or the fate of being caught in a concoction.

In the Reality of your days, you are both confident you can engage what is scheduled and alert to the possibility you might have to cope with some sudden eruption of circumstance.  You are by degrees comfortable, happy, alert.

In the world of story, neither you as reader nor writer have the existential latitude you have in Reality.  You've learned by painful example how the inherent nature of story is to have someone like yourself or not at all like yourself set to wake up the way you wake up most days.  

Then, something happens.  You would not be in a story if nothing happened.  If things were to get better, you'd come away with the firm belief that you were living in a commercial or some propaganda of expensive production values.

Under ordinary circumstances, the mood you awaken to within Reality undergoes few changes, leaving you, at the end of most days a bit tired, a bit disturbed by the world of political phenomena going on about you, but still identifiable as a cheerful, eager person.  

When Reality presents you with challenges to your equipoise, you still proceed in relative harmony. perhaps undone somewhat by day's end, but nowhere close to such conditions as snippy, sharp, snarky, irritated, defensive, or frustrated.  Taking a moment here to commit the pathetic fallacy by imparting human traits and qualities to inanimate objects, you escalate the effects of Reality.  Now, Reality has it in for you, has an agenda, decides to throw some serious stuff in your path, decides to mess with you.

The most common vehicle by which Reality messes with you is the vehicle of change, a known and respected quality in Story.  Whether we are consciously aware of the fact or not, we are in large part drawn to Story because of our expectations of change, in particular change that arrives by surprise.  The surprise should be plausible and, unlike Reality, should not, in Story, come in the deus ex machina sense, rather as the kind of thing that could and does happen in Reality.

Change is the great disturber, the mover of boundary, the lengthening of time needed to do something that could once be done in a shorter duration, or the reversal, something shortened that at one time was not so short.

When you think of Change, you find it difficult not to visualize some of the Hindu gods and goddesses, tasked with destroying time and place, taking life and, thus sending the unfortunate to rebirth and yet another spin around the track.

In recent times, two changes have left you feeling as though grand, old Navaho rugs have been yanked from under you, one of them a Two Gray Hills, the other Teec Nos Pos.  You'd had an awareness each could change, just as, at one point, when picking Sally up from the Your Pals Pet Hospital, you were aware that there might not be too many such times left.

Change is a Cosmic fuse, being lit.  Difficult to tell when such fuses are lit or how long the particular fuse it, but not difficult to know the match has been applied, the flame initiated and on its way.

All about you are burning fuses, things combining with oxygen.  All about you, things are changing.  By tomorrow morning, the you who shaved this morning will have to shave again.

Because you are a glass is half full sort, awareness of change means you apply more focus on what is at hand, soaking it in, finding places in your memory to store it.  Last week, you received your last haircut from someone who has understood the anarchy of your cowlicks for twenty-five years.  This week, you have learned how the equivalent of a second home/office is no longer an option.  The Cafe Luna, where you often have breakfast, occasional lunches, and at other times remarkable dinners, and where your Saturday morning workshop has been held for the past five years, has closed.

At one time, you had Two Gray Hills and Teec Nos Pos rugs.  At one time, your hair, such as it is now, was cut by Maryelle.  At one time, you could have pasta with squid ink or a scrumptious seafood pasta.

The simple recipe for a long story is, Something happens and somebody changes.  A recipe of slightly more complexity is, Something happens, somebody changes, and so does the reader.

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