Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Gung Hay Fat Choy, anyway

So, back at the 2014 Gregorian New Year, I said that I was giving myself grace until Chinese New Year 4712* to reboot the calendar, turn over a new leaf, make resolutions, or engage in other renewal rituals. By the looks of things, those practices may have to wait until Rosh Hashanah 5775.

There must be some folks who live linearly. Each step, each day, each year progresses from the one before, moving from day to day until the last syllable. They have self-command and future planned in neatly ordered lives with well-endowered wives. Like Valentine McKee, they've got a goddamn plan.

On the other hand, my life seems to be constantly branching and forking, changing and morphing, diverging and reassembling. Guys I rookied with are starting to retire from the police force; by a conservative count, I have had six careers (or at least career-directed occupations) since I left the department.

It has been an exciting and rewarding life, don't get me wrong; I used to talk to salarymen from the glory days of Boeing who had worked the same job - sometimes at the very same desk - for twenty years or more, drawing engineering specifications for screws and bolts over and over. I wondered how they handled it; they clearly had more staying power than I. "Variety is a slice of life" as the malaprop goes, and I have chosen variety over stability just about every time, and it has been Good.

But all that is silver has a cloudy lining, and in this case it is the surfeit of liminality that comes with this choice. Always with the transitions, with the cusps, with the betwixt & between, with the limbo. Neither fish nor fowl, neither here nor there, ready to let one go but the other not available to grab yet. A man on the flying trapeze playing red light, green light, one, two, three. So consistent is this inconsistency that I was talking about the same phenomenon a year ago.

No complaints, just comments. I made my bed, and I'll toss and turn in it. Perhaps success, as it does in many cases, lies not in resistance but surrender. Leaves can be turned over any time, and resolutions made or broken at will. If I can't step twice into the same river, I can still enjoy the swim.

*As styled according to Sun Yat-Sen.

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