Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Compulsive Smoothing or Embracing Irritation

Some of my time is spent compulsively removing the wrinkles from things, and the irritants and visual misdemeanors in my controllable vicinity. On this morning's run/walk, for which I use 5 stones as lap counters at the end of my driveway, I was using the imaginary version of the stones. This is what I do on unusually cold mornings or wet mornings, when I don't want to reach down and move each stone. Instead, I leave the stones in the house and I imagine the stones as vividly as possible while I walk or run each segment. This morning I realized with sudden clarity that each of the stones has a distinct irritating quality that I deliberately ignore. This morning I grinned and magnified the imagined defects of each stone. One is smaller and rounder and smoother than the other four, and it's trying too damn hard, like someone who is already overboard with some trait and is therefore never satisfied with it. Then the striped stone which is too flat, and therefore harder to grab and move between laps; I normally wish it were thicker but today I was glad for this distinct irritant. The large stone is all wrong for the others, like a different species altogether, I hate the way it's so obvious in my hoodie pocket when I carry them out; I think it's funny how much it bothers me. The darkest stone is scratched and has rough edges where all the others are smooth; it shows no sign of the water polishing that makes the others a pleasure to hold. More than once I have thought of replacing this one, but it's no more of a misfit than the others. And finally, the pinkish granite is also trying too hard with all the designer spots, like someone you never see without brand name clothing. I hate them all - I love them all - they are a set. And I realized that I would be bored if my life were free of trouble small and large. So why am I always trying to make it more "boring"?

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