There are moments when everything is in apple pie order, when the weather is likable, one’s bowels are serenely digested, the car is scrubbed and running up to snuff (or what the late Hughie Whitten distilled as a “clean windshield and a full tank of gas”), when there are no animosities or misunderstandings in sight, when one feels an unrestrained tenor of well-being and perhaps a drift of magnanimity.
When that happens I imagine that what I have done is the source of the accommodation, that by some exquisite manner I have constructed this state of perfection. Naturally I acknowledge the fortuity of the many other ingredients of birth, education and health which bear upon the subject; but it is my astute construction of those elements which has wrought the favourability. Never do I discolour the azure sky with anything approaching impending doom or calculated misfortune.
Well! I don’t have to tell you what happens next! Change. I have learned by repeated eventuality that I have mistakenly assumed having overcome any obstacles, wrongly thought that all is precisely as it should be, incorrectly anticipated that there are no calamaties to disturb life’s intended tranquillity.
Change tends to be abrupt in addition to being unpredicted. Perhaps it is just as well that it is so as it avoids prolonging the discomfort.
Then comes the question concerning the management of the dilemma. The initial resolution should be directed to an assessment of the quality of the state of unease. Barring the most evident perplexities of physical injury or mental disagreement, it is common that most of the awkward situations admit to qualification. Injury and disagreement on the other hand normally require greater resolution. In those instances resort to professional advice, whether medical or legal, may be compulsory. Those muddles will preoccupy untold effort and ensuing complications. If however one is preserved from the endurance of such calamity, then it behooves one to disassemble the complication, not so much to pull it apart as to break it down into its constituents. This process may then have the advantage of translating the code into a higher level of programming. There is after all an undisputed dignity in dealing with problems. The record of those who have done so is impressively large including for example Sir Winston Churchill, Edward IV and the Beatles.
The curious thing about overcoming these smaller annoyances is not that we overcome them; rather that we separate ourselves from their irritation. Certainly to an obsessive mind such as my own it is rather a challenge to distance oneself entirely from the preoccupation. But it is, with proper application, possible. And then, like magic, the problem disappears! I am of course assuming that one has made reasonable efforts to address the vexation such as referring it to a qualified authority for repair or reconstruction or other disintegration of the menace.
Life is then restored to its preferred balance and persuasion. The reactioinary assessment normally includes reflection upon one’s current state of affairs. We must recover stability by reconstruction of our fortitudes, strong-mindedness and backbone. I see no value in submitting to some existential myth about our meaninglessness. Just to sit here, pondering the world as it is (or may one day be) is proof of my pertinacity. I shall not allow myself to be wrestled to the mat by some pretentious bit of perturbation. At least I’ll try. But I confess it ain’t easy!