My New Normal vs. Counterfactuals

When I arrived at my Tiny Cottage after my writers' group meeting, I found this little yellow bucket hanging from the doorknob for the second time, and I knew there would be a message therein.

The bucket came to me from my daughter Alia, filled with flowers for Mother's Day. It sits on a wooden easel outside my door for no reason other than I've chosen to not deal with either one. The first time I found the bucket hanging I was unnerved (imaginary banjo music seeped into my brain) but I found a note inside from the lady who cleans the landlords' home.  She was worried about Tigger, a lanky dark orange Tabby, that was mad at her and hiding or lost in the woods.  That first time, she left her phone number in the bucket, so I called to tell her Tigger was asleep in the kitchen and just fine.

Today, she left a note with orange flowers from the Trumpet Vine (which is creeping into my house through any crack it can find) and a thank-you, and a message that Tigger still loves her. Her worst-case scenario did not become actuality. I'll be leaving the bucket outside in case anyone needs to leave a message. There's such country charm in the method that it's irresistible - please come over and drop me a note.

I am a little surprised by my delight at positivity - it's not new to me, but very, very, old. The last time I thought positivity was normal I was happy watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom right before Disney World. And then my parents forgot to send me to bed; I watched *M*A*S*H* and found my dark side.

I've been in the dark for so long. My history has made me skittish. Recently I've been able to combine better decision-making with honest good fortune; I am learning that I can calculate worst case scenario but also best-case, because either is just as likely to happen.

Counterfactuals are all those possibilities your nervous brain calculates when trying to solve a problem. They aren't meant to be killed, these subjunctives, but you do have to realise that they're only possibilities that can be averted. That's the point. Your brain shows you what might happen depending on the move you next make. It's up to you to limit potential injury without limiting your potential.

I'm not going full-metal Disney. I'm working on transference of motif with my longtime friend Scott Mayfield; we're discussing one of my synesthetic visions and how he can translate it into music.

Translation, or you could say extrapolation, is possibly my most favorite thing of all.


  1. I will love anything you and Scott create. :-) And to my little girl ears "When I Wish Upon a Star" was the most exciting music I knew. It meant magic ahead. :-)

    1. But but but... IT IS IN 3/4!!!!


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