And We Hope For Better

I’m in “talks” with a publisher.  Cool things may be in the offing soon.  Details when things are more concrete.  Will this be career-changing?  Who knows?  It will, to be sure, take me another step on the way.  It will not, at this point, be life changing.

Change is one of those terms we bandy about almost like an incantation. “Things will change” “If you don’t like it, change it” “Change is good for you” “changes are coming” and then there is the most puzzlingly problematic corollary, “Things will never be the same again.”

I’ve never understood that phrase, not in any concrete way.  I know what it is supposed to mean, but in that specific sense, the question that rarely gets asked is “What things were these that were always the same in the first place?”  Because in many small but no less real ways, just waking up in the morning brings you a life that isn’t the same anymore, even though it bears striking similarities to the one you had the day before.

Or put it in a slightly larger context, the oft-remarked “History changed with that event.”  You really have to step back and asked “How?  It wasn’t history yet when it happened, so how could it change before it was?”  I mean, History changing….again, I know what it’s intended to mean, but it’s also sloppy in that it assumes history had an expected direction before said event.

Which it didn’t, really.  That’s telec thinking, which humans love to indulge and which is almost always wrong.

Back to the first instance, though.  “Things will never be the same” is incantatory in that it masks a hope.  If change is good—or at least necessary—then you don’t want things to be the same all the way to the end.

Unfortunately, we seem to live with a profound inertia that often imposes a suffocating sameness day to day.

Perversely, we can become victim to this by embracing an impossible nostalgia, by turning our backs on the possibilities of change, and wishing for things “the way they used to be.”  Too often, this involves a highly edited version of those times, with some additions and revisions that tidy up the less pleasant realities we endured, and turning them into a Camelot to which we cannot return. Mainly because, in significant ways, we were never there.

But if the prospect of changing into something unknown is too daunting, people can let this little capsule fantasy swallow them up.  They live inside a constrained and ever more false set of memorative tableaux as though in a castle under siege. Should the walls ever come down, they can be left defenseless and naked, surrounded by realities made more frightening because they never bothered to understand them.

We only have one path—forward.  No matter what all the gurus and wise-beings have said about pathways, all them share this in common.  Tomorrow is our next stop.  We can arrive at the station with anticipation, an open heart, and curious mind, or try to stay in the back of the car when the doors open and ignore what’s out there.  But we will go forward.  No other direction is possible.

That can get very frustrating, even if you do want to find out what’s out there.  It’d be nice to stop at one of these stations occasionally and stay a while, recover a bit, rest up.

No such luck.  The only thing we can do is try to travel in company with good people who will share the weight and join in the marvelment at the next stop.

They aren’t always the same folks, from one stop to the next.   And sometimes people who’ve been along with you for years may, for a variety of reasons, drop away.

A pity, sometimes.  Things will never be the same without them.

But then, they weren’t going to be anyway.

Just some musings for a rainy Saturday.

Digital Painting

I’m procrastinating this morning, distracting myself from a stubborn short story I want very badly to finish but only if it’s finished right.  So I decided to do something else until the solution to the problem presented itself.

This is a sketch. I intend to go back in at some point and do a better job, for now this is the result of about 40 minutes of adding color to an image to get a new effect.  I’m calling it Enchanted Forest for now, but given how easy it is to lose oneself in this process I could just as well call it The Forest of No Return.

Anyway, enjoy.

Enchanted Glade, colorized


It seems longer, but it’s only been a bit over a month since my surgery.  Everything, according to the People Who Know, has been going well.  The last couple of weeks I’ve been encumbered with a brace, which is intended to keep me from moving my arm in a manner likely to impede healing.  It’s been awkward.

Robotic Me 3

But this, too, will soon end.  According to Patrick, my physical therapist, I’m tracking the way I should be—even a bit better than expected (for age, injury, disposition)—and he estimates the brace can come off after May 8th.  I’ll still have therapy to go through and it will be a few months before I’m battling superfoes and lifting cases of books, but I will at least be able to scratch my nose, comb my hair, and eat my meals with my right hand.  It’s the small things one misses most, mainly because you never think about them until you can’t do them.

So I have that to look forward to.  I’m wondering now if I should use this shot as my official author photo or something…

Robotic Me 2