Now let me see…

Getting things settled seems to be an interminable preoccupation.  I suspect the enterprise is characteristic not only of my own mundane lifestyle but common to us all.  Each day something new arises, something to disturb the former placidity, something to corrupt or enlarge whatever we had before determined as sufficient and workable.

Most of the perturbation of which I now speak is of our own doing, not necessarily anything which inadvertently has descended upon us. The agitation is mostly what we have precipitated upon ourselves, sometimes unwittingly but most often knowingly and by design. Nor is the confusion especially undesirable; indeed very often it is welcome notwithstanding its agitation. It is by some reckoning a good thing that life is so, that we aren’t kept idle in our respective nests, just staring at the unfolding universe beyond our boundaries. In sum capturing these new events in our daily existence is by most calculation either imperative or preferable.

Speaking of nests it is readily apparent  – at least in the area in which we now reside – that everyone takes the management of their particular domain and dominion earnestly. For example the landscaping of local properties is ceaseless, first setting up the gardens then maintaining them and occasionally knocking them down, aligned with what I view as the addition of excessive fluff around and upon the individual dwellings (decorative pebbles, statuary, flower pots, compasses, windmills, miniature signs depicting various gestures and signals, flags and now of course limitless Hallowe’en ornaments). There is no question the trades are thriving upon the endless devotion of the home owners to the extravagance of their properties.

We as tenants in our apartment building are in our own way no exception to these observations. Predominately we confine our exhibition of “staging” (as the realtors like to call it) to the interior and balcony of our respective units but there are some who transgress their individual possessory entitlement to the common areas. Living in a close residential community one must learn to accommodate. Thankfully those arrangements are only part of the seasoning which warm and flavour the totality with the inescapable human adaptation. We are not living in an icebox.

But smoothing out the bumps of the day is more than landscaping and rearranging furniture. Those are merely the metaphorical illustrations of the deeper inner immersions. Though the mind is recognizably a complicated body, we as corporeal beings mustn’t overlook the strength of the visceral streams which populate our humanity. It is these streams (such as appetite, want, desire, passion, feel, sound, smell and sight) which curiously provoke what become variously elaborate images in our mind. Handling or even containing these sometimes serpentine evolutions of thought and instinct can present a challenge. Reducing or dissolving the dilemmas can be overwhelming.

If and when such irrepressible stimulation overtakes me I seek to heighten my appreciation and control of the sway, quandary and puzzle by eliminating anything but the current state of affairs; which is to say, rejection of what could be in place for what is. This simple intellectual process allows me to defeat a myriad of supposed muddles by paradoxically returning my mind instead to the state of being before the fuss arose. So transfixed are we by the initial ambition and desire that we too soon forget our relieving ability to remain in situ; that is, immobile or intransigent without the necessity to respond in any manner whatsoever to the simmering alteration of thought. At moments like this I find it helps to consider things in mathematical terms. The undertaking may be as direct as imposing what amounts to binary deduction upon the whole. This 0 or 1 deduction exposes the contemplation to rigorous option. Once the blood of the complexity is removed its sufferance goes with it.

There is naturally an abundance of shameful complascency involved in this putatively rational process. There are times when I perceive my star in the distance as heralding both my epiphany and my impending doom as though it is all too good to be true or that the end is in sight. The clarity of old age is strange territory for us who have been obsessed throughout the majority of our lives with substantive and critical problem solving.

Photo by Orange Horse Studio