Today we are going to play between the alliterative words in our title. First we start with the word “granularity,” defined as:
“The condition of existing in grains or granules, refers to the extent to which a material or system is composed of distinguishable pieces or grains. It can either refer to the extent to which a larger entity is subdivided, or the extent to which groups of smaller indistinguishable entities have joined together to become larger distinguishable entities.” (Wikipedia 2019)
Sounds rocky! Ok ok, I know. Stay with me.
Let’s take the word Goodwill and grind it up, shall we? See what we get.
[Good-] I always wanted to be good. Dare I say I’ve spent the majority of my life striving to think, feel, be, act, decide, and determine whatever is good or the opposite of bad. Thus you will like and possible love me and I will remain unscathed and feel structured, stable and complete.
Before my mother would leave the house to go on errands I would launch a “subtle” investigation to calculate how long her trip would take. Then I would deconstruct that time into sections and compare that with the list of what needed to be done around the house. I tapped into all my over-adrenalized energy to accomplish any number of tasks: from rearranging the refrigerator to vacuuming the floors to having the laundry washed, dried, and folded—or any number of things and if possible, all.
When she returned I waited anxiously for her to notice—my heart was racing and my adrenals were completely tapped. I feigned a calm, cool, and collected facade—a skill that came in handy a decade later when I was high out of my mind in a public setting at 3 a.m. and someone needed me to step in as the designated driver.
There would be a moment…that moment when she would walk through the doors and stop. She would gasp with unbridled excitement and joy. She would clasp her hands together, collect all the admiration, love, and hope she decidedly withheld from my father, and in that moment—that brief, fleeting, finite moment—she showered it all over me.
And I became good.
[-will] I never did see my will. Oh it was there all right, hidden behind innocuous good deeds dripping with ulterior motives. One of the most problematic ways it manifested was clinging to useless possessions that no longer served me, i.e., relationships. I let them lapse way beyond their expiration date. Kind of like the fallen meat department manager who had a quota to make for the month and smudged expiration dates. Or the disgraced fishmonger who glued googly eyes on his fish for sale so they would appear fresher.
I wonder, as an aside, didn’t those fish smell? How did he take care of that part of the problem? I guess we only see what we want to don’t we? Denial is so powerfully preventative.
But let’s bring it back to will, most particularly mine. Self-will I believe we call it.
One afternoon while hosting a summer holiday BBQ, I happened upon my girlfriend’s phone, idling on the dresser. Now we can skip over the semantics of me picking it up or why or what led me to, and cut to a voicemail from one of her supposed ex- but apparently then renewed, girlfriends. We can then push past all the negotiations and straight into the feigned attempt at living as roommates which, although rife with countless jokes, was my bright idea born entirely out of fear. Fear that found footing in the thought that maybe, if she doesn’t move out completely, she will come back and love me again.
And I watched my will go steamrolling past all signs respecting myself.
[Goodwill] Connect the dots and they lead to a shared experience that includes words like “kind” and “cooperative”—and it makes no sense. How can all these duplicitous granules of self-centered gook be of any help in the long run? My life is inconsistent and piecemealed together; a muddled mosaic at best. Who am I to extend any helping hand under the guise of Goodwill?
Thank you very much cheap seat critic, I say to myself. Perhaps I don’t have to forecast or figure it out. As someone so eloquently told me once, “Figuring it out is not a spiritual principle, Amy.”
Interesting…when I first wrote Goodwill, it read Godwill. Perhaps that is all, and should be telling enough.
“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”