Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0038, March 15, 2015

DEPT. OF SHRINKING CHOICES


Options



Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     Before we dive into the matter of today's topic, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our old friend, the Investigative Sphere, making a cameo appearance in the image of the day entitled "I Like Subtle Things and I Like Them in Great Masses".

     There are people who are born with their destiny clearly or perhaps inevitably laid out. Either they know from their earliest childhood the one thing that fascinates and obsesses them to the exclusion of all else, or, for reasons beyond their control they have little or no choice in the matter. It is my great fortune not to belong to either of those categories. My options for ways of enjoying the world, while not infinite, were certainly inexhaustible. My perennial problem has been inability to choose among them. I was loath to commit to one of them to the exclusion of any others. My choice would be to dabble in all of them skipping from one to another as the spirit moved me. In fact, that has been pretty much the path of my life. A "Renaissance man", "Jack-of-all-trades" or "dilettante", take your pick. Never mastered a trade but I was rarely bored.

     Which explains the vast amount of stuff cluttering my life: it's all interesting stuff which I've been saving for when spirit moves me to play with it. Naturally, I can only play with so much stuff at any time, the rest stays in storage awaiting its turn, typically for years and decades, often totally forgotten. But, of course, it's much too interesting and too full of potential to get rid of - it could be the Next Big Thing in my life.

     Suddenly, I face the stark reality that I cannot keep all my stuff. It is physically impossible. I must choose what little I can keep, and it is very little. Even so, more than I can ever exhaust as a source of play and enjoyment but that's not the point - the point is I can't have it all. I must choose. I can no longer evade the choice. Were I not superbly emotionally stable and more rational than Mr. Spock, I might well go mad at this point. Some people in this position do. Not me. This is only the beginning of a new adventure, one that may well prove more rewarding than any of my adventures to date. This time I travel light and go for depth.

     "So how have you arrived at your choice of options since this is your first time having actually to choose?" Prickles is curious. Very simple. Since I am interested in everything, it doesn't matter what I choose. I have decided (or it has been decided for me) that I am taking only so much stuff with me. For example, I can only have one large and two small bookcases. After I have filled these, any books left over, whatever they may be, go to the second hand bookstore or Good Will. End of story. Life is sweet. "I guess," says Prickles.

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