...so please, be careful where you step.
I wrote myself into a corner...and you might well ask, "What color was your prose?"
Umber. In name it is noble with a foundation of humility.
I thought what better use can I make of this chill rainy Saturday morning alone in the house but to write. For the past couple of days a reoccurring thought had been pestering me. In this time of comfortable solitude I was intent on bringing this errant concept-thread to the page. I furrowed my brow, set my jaw and ... took myself way to seriously.
To start I would employ the convention of an illustrative quote ...
I DO NOT WANT WHAT I HAVEN'T GOT
- Sinead O'Connor*
The quote would adequately speak to my central theme but I was immediately concerned about the social and political overtones implied by citing this particular author. I was determined to move forward but only after adding the "*" and disclaimer.
This poetic turn of phrase might be interpreted in this manner: 'If I do not have it I do not want it.' Regardless of the version offered the allusion still remains. Meaning is not conveyed by the statement but by the framing of the 'negative' space.
That's right, I am going to write about talking about something that is by virtue of it's not being.
Unfulfilled expectations ... something that is by virtue of it's not being. Yes, I felt the concentric rings of circuitous ambiguity beginning to constrict. Yet I felt compelled to push on.
I recently encountered a situation in which extreme disappointment was expressed regarding unfulfilled expectations. Frequently such dissatisfaction is a result of high expectations - unrealistic goals and objectives and the resultant failure to achieve them. Often there are clearly defined metrics for evaluating such circumstances. Examples might include not scoring a winning touchdown against a better team. Or not receiving the 'expected' bid for a sale item being auctioned.
Other expectations are less quantifiable. John laments, "My life didn't turn out the way I had expected." The man, John, married his sweetheart, started a family, raised 3 good children, was well employed, lived a long life in a modest home and still his life didn't turn out the way he had expected. While this example is a bit forced it serves as a point of reference when exploring the 'negative' space of expectations.
Well, I have made my premise. Now I should be made to lay down in it. I have drawn you, gentle reader, down this
John's expectation references the negative space of his life while discounting or dismissing his life in situ. John did not endure 3 messy divorces, 2 blended families, being layed-off (twice) or declaring bankruptcy...
Wait, wait, this isn't at all what I expected! There was to be a clearly defined conclusion with a pertinent observation. At least that is what I expected ... when I started.
I was serious when I started. My brow was furrowed, my jaw was set... then I reread what I had written and began to giggle then laugh out loud. In the end the only thing to do was share the entire silly episode.
Gratuitous closing illustrative quote...
I was taken by a photograph of you* I offer no criticism of Ms O'Connor's politics or beliefs. I chose this quote as a handy example of a linguistic illusion.Fountain of Sorrow
- Jackson Browne
Read the head lemur