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Learning Curve

November 2023

Sometimes the learning curve is a cork-screw.

I prefer a more direct path, not entirely linear, but one that does away with any backwards movement. And, yet, there are times when moving forward requires a step, or leap, backward, in order to gain momentum for that spectacular advancement.

I’ve done it often, usually instinctively. It’s what the French call « reculer pour mieux sauter ».

The basic objective is to give way a little in order to take up a stronger position, to run back just enough to propel a larger jump forward. The tactic, or strategy, can be physical, mental, emotional, perhaps even spiritual. It may, and ideally does, comprise all elements at once.

Undergoing grief during this past year required that I take a step, or two, or twenty, backwards, in order to move forward with my life, with serenity. I re-learned lessons from my past, to apply to the present, and, undoubtedly, to the future.

Because I experienced, and confronted, intense grief at the very tender age of ten, I learned, possibly not even willingly, how presumed anguish can be used by an amoral person to get attention, money, a feeling of power and control over others, situational and societal advantage, along with oodles of sympathy that is undeserving of such a horrid hypocrite.

It’s a lesson that I never forgot; but because I’d learned it at such an extremely young age, my subsequent views and attitudes towards this abomination perpetrated by a human being were scoffed at, or, in the case of the phony found out, retaliated against, with a vengeance!

To grasp such realities young is a double-edged sword, but I prefer to keep both blades of that edged-weapon sharp. Comprehending both, or all, sides of any situation is an immense advantage over the people who remain rigidly fixed in one viewpoint, one take on life, one hum-drum rutted road to follow, all the way to dusty death.

That severe limitation may be in the nature of the beast, but I tend to think selfish people prefer to be selfish, from the jump. And that jump isn’t one of « reculer pour mieux sauter ».

Running into an individual who burns every bridge that others built for him, and expects more to be constructed SOON — it’s scarcely an uplifting experience, initially.

The key to coping, and prevailing over, that cruddy crux is accepting the truth — which is the opposite of the “reality” that’s regularly, and profitably, pitched at We the People:

The lewd laggards in life are not the majority amongst us.

They are the loud ones, the pushy ones, the annoying ones, the grist for the mill that currently is the Corporatized Internet, busily grinding them to financial pulp.

(That expression may be a mixed, or awkward metaphor, but, for me, that’s an expected norm!)

I’ve realized during this past year that my quiet, willful insistence upon living my life the way I want to, and shutting out the noise of the Bridge-Burners, that steady determination is a rebel act, a fierce cutting against the grain of going with the flow that goes . . .

Where, I don’t want to know. I’ve consistently dug my own river channel for decades, thereby creating a suitable pathway for my own flow. That’s all that matters to me.

That approach of mine to living might be, and has been, called selfish, by the truly selfish who populate the blob of Bridge-Burners. They’re the people who don’t learn from their mistakes, mostly because they do not possess the courage to admit to having made any mistakes, errors, blunders, misdeeds, or miscalculations.

Imagine being Divine from birth!???

I can’t. I know all too well that I’ll succeed in this life, and in the Hereafter, only when I put my hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water.

Not having a conscience, or nursing a quickly shrinking one, puts a mortal behind a hellish 8-ball.

When my beloved 7-year-old beagle, Chance, departed my life in late May, I was faced with decisions I didn’t want to make, but I made them anyway. Incoming signals from my Creator were among the first my conscience heard.

My love for Houndey Boy had to continue, unabated, untrammeled, to the future. That future, or part of it, became the Windkist pup named Jolene.

In late September, I had to say fare thee well to my cherished Snowshoe cat of more than sixteen years because her time had come. I innately understood that she was leading the way for Jolene to take over guard duties at Larkhaven. Two weeks earlier, I’d introduced Jolene to Gabrielle, and explained that we’ve got a pup, ready and waiting, to pick up those diligent and devoted tasks from several previous hounds, along with the Home Cat.

Some might say that act was more than a touch callous, but, after having seen The Canine-in-Training, Gabrielle came out from her hiding place, and allowed me to hold her. She then sought solace, resting atop her cushion on the curtain-boxes in the garage for the next two weeks. And from her solace, I found the strength to let her go.

I had, and have, an understanding, with Gabby, which is not as profoundly mystical as that with my Celestial Annabelle, but powerful nonetheless, about how life must be lived; and about how we will work, with love and responsibility, to realize that form of paradise on earth. Gabrielle was a graceful consummate master of « reculer pour mieux sauter ».

During the past six months, I have learned lessons that I’d already known, but my knowledge became deeper, richer, more vibrant, more aware of attaining that vast unknown vista called the future.

Opening oneself to real hope, and to actual change, to the chance to love again, abundantly, after sorrow, it’s one of the most liberating processes that any person can experience. It is the bold, brave impulse of a heart that wants to live, and shall not be denied a passage to the promise called tomorrow.

The groundwork, however, for that vital thoroughfare must first be laid, and carefully prepared, with humility and patience. Those precious intangibles partake of love. And love is a non-commodity that the selfish Bridge-Burners have rejected, time and time and time again.

They can’t even love a dog, or a cat. Why expect them to feel any genuine affection for another human being?

Because the power to love is linked with learning, with the capacity to learn, the ability to learn, and the desire to learn, those cold-blooded rank creatures go the road of the Egghead-Intellectual Showoff. They haughtily pull vulgar rank over their fellow man, and woman, flaunting paper-milled PhD’s as proof of their superiority over the lowly “unschooled” soul.

That common “unlettered” individual uncommonly knows how to spell L-O-V-E. Even more, she in deed loves — with all of her heart and soul. He may not be an expert of those non-essential matters, but he’s an expert at the things that count in life.

It is true, and sadly so, that some people are born old. Dealing, either professionally or personally, in a sane manner, with those heartless specimens of humanity as they age, but never grew up, merits a Purple Heart.

The heart knows what a brain cannot begin to comprehend.

Blaise Pascal and I are on the same page on that one. I’ve thus been able to enjoy:

Creating and crafting my Teapot Quilt, tending to my potager-garden, watching my rose bushes thrive, marveling at the yellowing of the lemons on my potted Meyer Lemon Tree, doing hand-laundry, organizing plans for The Holidays.

The Holidays shall be upon us very soon, in a very different way than I’d expected at the beginning of this year. I feel all the more blessed this autumn for being able to accept that reality because my love for my pets, and their love for me, have paved a merciful, warm, and wondrous pathway to my own door, a place called Home.

Last week, Dear Husband told me that during the night, I asked, in a loud voice, in my sleep:

“How will it read?”

He commiserated with me about how, even during my sleeping hours, the creative brain is at work.

I’d say —especially — during my sleeping hours, the creative brain is at work.

Or . . .

Let’s just say my Muse is always moving me somewhere along a learning curve!


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