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1°C – sun obscured by overcast

November 4, 2009
Blue Jay

through the pane

Diversion.  All the leaves have fallen though the effect on the forest is more evident by what has been revealed than what’s been taken away.  Naked deciduous trees create an angular asymmetrical balance of muted texture, syncopated with strikes of white birch. During our stroll, a young Blue Jay landed on the trail just ahead of us.  Tiny in size, its feathers had not yet developed the stunning hue of an adult, yet the arrival of this bird was arresting; no less so than if a red herring had dropped from the heavens.

While the completion of a novel is my primary purpose here, I’ve also been working on several other writing projects.  Additionally, there have been a variety of other things going on, trivial background noise, that manage to soak up time and attention like a high-maintenance ShamWow cloth.

Recently, I was engaged in a debate with Dr. Ruth about effective approaches for training dogs.  Near the end of the discussion, she asked if I’d ever actually owned a dog.  Now, this point had absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand and within the context, appeared to be a divisive tactic.  The question implied that an opinion offered by those without a dog-owner credential would carry less validity than those with said credential.  A mutual acceptance of this as factual truth is of course, inherent.  My family bred the very genre of canine under discussion as it happens but, I digress. When you spot an O’Henry bar in the swimming pool, there’s only one safe place to go.

There is a technique taught to salespeople that is supposed to help during the closing stage of a deal.  When the time comes to get the customer’s commitment, the salesperson is to offer the sales order form and then immediately ask.  “Would you like to use my pen or would you prefer to use your own?”  Diversion.

One purpose for ploys of this nature is to avoid a confrontation with change. The notion of changing one’s perspective is certain to meet with more resistance than buying a new box of widgets.  We’d rather roll around in chunks of odoriferous sea-food de rouge than to consider the possibility of shifting a belief.  One contributing factor to the strength of the reluctance to change is that we know the exchange of one innocuous understanding with another has the potential to shake up much more.  Like pulling a card from the middle of a house of cards, a personal butterfly effect on the psyche

The thing is, once we’ve been exposed to a new thought, one that resonates regardless of how vehemently we resist, there’s no going back.  It becomes like sand in our teeth and it’s just a matter of how long and how hard we choose to fight the inevitable.  Many fight hard for a lifetime.  Paradoxically, people will pine for a change, certain of the benefits it will bring, and still refuse to surrender.

To prevent parked airplanes from rolling away, a small wedge-shaped chock is used to block the wheels. The plane’s engine can be powered up to spin the propeller to its max and that plane will shudder, shake and roar; but it can’t go anywhere, stymied by the leverage of a simple piece of dead wood.  Once that little wedge is removed, the sky’s the limit.



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