Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spray Can Art

You have two basic choices.  Most persons share this menu of potential with you.

You can know what's going to happen, or you can not know the outcome of a particular event. If you know what's going to happen, you're probably equipped with an outline of some sort or its equivalent, a recipe, or a shopping list. That way, you're moving according to a preset plan. No surprises. 

Whether you're hungry and in Phoenix, Arizona, or Branson, Missouri, you enter a McDonald's, ask for a Big Mac. When your order arrives, you are not surprised. When you're nudged awake during the night thanks to a pressure on your bladder, if you're in the right motel chain, you can make your way to the loo in the dark, without bumping into anything.

If you don't know what's going to happen, your life in general and your adrenals in specificity are about to become different than they are now. Instead of the recipe or shopping list or outline to follow, there is before you a broad, dark area, one not defined by Google Map or a GPS. You're there on your own. But where is there?

The expression "It's a jungle out there." comes on stage with a full complement of agendas and warnings. Many of the basic rules you've been taught, at home, in school, or in some form or other of a philosophical forum, still apply. Better, for example, to be polite to strangers rather than indifferent or grouchy. Better to respect the property of others and the attendant boundaries of others. Nevertheless, many of the rules or conventions are of no value to you; you've already seen through the frail foundation of their promised outcome.

You've come this far in the range of experiences, insights, and equations you've allowed to leave some positive impact on you, survived some, failed woefully at others, lucked through yet other encounters. Somewhere within you, you can still see the tiny glow of the light that represents Positiveness. True enough, the cynical light has begun to pulse, but the other warning lights are remarkable for their calmness.

Thus your factory sealed Self, the you that makes some choices, refuses others, takes sides when required, walks away when staying on to fight or otherwise engage no longer seems prudent. This Self influences your choices in nearly everything, often in matters where you aren't even looking for politics. Your Aggregate Self chooses the characters who will appear in your stories, edges you to buy, then read, one book over any of several others.

At this stage of your life, you drawn on a series of probable outcomes such as when you will go to bed, when you will awaken, what you will have, most days, for breakfast, even though your larder, at any given moment, contains several potentials for the breakfast meal.

Do you have to use all that oatmeal for breakfast? What happened to you all those days when your breakfast was a steak or chop? What about those times when, out of some perversity, you had your standard breakfast (latte, grapefruit juice, toast with almond butter, marscapone cheese, and marmalade) at lunch time or late supper? And did you move away from the soft-boiled eggs at breakfast from boredom or some other motive?

Although not important under most circumstances, these choices (to engage and to reject) have significant effect on the imaginary forces you set loose in your fictions, color the behavior you accord strangers and casual acquaintances.

You prefer not knowing, not so much in the sense of naivete, although your are in fact that, but rather in the dread of knowing anything, even the desireable things, instead of experiencing the surprise of a new path in or out, a new meaning, a new predator to fear, a new target of opportunity, a yet unexercised aspect of you, struggling to get free to work its way with a spray can on the side wall of history.

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