Several days ago we noticed a trail of tiny ants each less than the size of a pin head on the march in a uniform line along the lower periphery of the dining room wall streaming upwards to the top margin and then down again approaching the kitchen area. The precision of their military performance was commendable. There was no obvious attraction for the ants such as food. The only noticeable difference of late was the drop in the ambient temperature which we speculated may have encouraged the ants to come indoors. We have naturally arranged to have a pest control company look into the matter.
The reason however that I mention the affair is not because of the insect problem. Florida is notorious for pests of one description or another; and we are accustomed to routine spraying. The truth is that if I hadn’t been alerted to the presence of the ants I probably would not have noticed them, they are so minuscule. Neither is my vision what it used to be – especially my close vision without reading glasses. Besides the ants are so dust-like that it is difficult to imagine they would do any serious damage in any event whatever their agenda. I even speculated they might serve a useful purpose within nature’s larger scheme.
The ants are instead a metaphor for a personal dilemma. They are illustrative that the most insignificant event can pose a threat. Even if the menace were proven to be no more than an annoyance it didn’t hurt to look into it. The discovery or recognition of these fractional dilemmas is as I have said part of the process. My particular awakening arose from an internal debate about the utility of communicating with certain people. The percolation of the issue transpired imperceptibly over time. The idea that I was reaching out to people who for whatever reason hadn’t any interest in reciprocity was something that had incrementally disturbed me. Some people with whom I communicated never responded. This is understandable for more reasons than one can advance; but it does not mean that I should continue unabated. But rather than terminate the communication outright I directly addressed the matter with those who were possibly averse to the communication.
Directness is itself a relieving process – quite apart from the result of the inquiry. I won’t be the first to waste time stewing over a matter when all that is required is a bit of consultation. Even before I began receiving responses to my tapered enquiries I experienced an uncommonly uplifting feeling. It made my bicycle journey all the more inspiring.
Not all my communications were of the same consistency. In one instance the address was more accusatory than inquiring. I guess I was on a roll! The confrontation had its own reward by satisfying a heartfelt need for expression – though at this point I am uncertain the gusto is shared. It must be owned that the potential for misconception exists. Yet even so the disparity often isn’t manifest without the initial dispute being lodged. Why for example only one of the two parties should be at liberty to say what they wish is a curious anomaly. Social convention can exact inappropriate result.