Thursday, June 16, 2022

When Does Plenty Become Surfeit?

One comment I consistently receive (less so, recently, because eventually I DO learn) on essays, is that I too often posit topics as questions. 


For example, I could have titled this post "When Plenty Becomes Surfeit," and written much the same post here. 


Asking questions is part of an essay, even when they're not technically phrased as questions. But on reaching the last part of an essay, one of my critique partners said, "I really feel you owe us some answers here -- not 'the' answer, but 'your' answer, even if it's just an answer for now." 


Fair enough. But today, I want to linger in the question -- to live here for a while on the page, as I am (perhaps we all are) in "real life."



Too much green in spruce and birch?
Not sure that's possible.


Here are some sample questions I consider regularly.


Where is the line between "I am who I am" and "I can happily learn new ways of being in the world"?

When does irreverence become disrespect?

When does caution become fear?

When does risk become reckless?

When do I make decisions based on my own preference, and when do I make them based on my responsibility to others? (And related: how can I make "responsibility to others" my own preference, thereby having the best of both worlds?)

When does strategic thinking become dithering?

When does "plenty" become "surfeit," and its permutations: When is "enough" a deprivation because you don't deserve more? When is "enough" a futile effort to fill endless black hole?

When is "we're all in different places" so vitally different from "you do what you're comfortable with"?

When does "I have a right to write and speak" drown out someone else's turn at the mic?  


I don't have answers to these questions. I like living in them. I like the possibilities and challenges that the questions represent. I like having different inclinations on different days.


Today, I am comfortable knowing that "too much green" isn't really possible in these grey and rainy June days. Tomorrow I  may have a different opinion. 


Do you live with questions? Should you, maybe, just a little bit more? (I don't have an answer, but you might.)