It is the easiest of analogies to ponder: of a vision in the humdrum of circularity; different sizes, shapes, and images of artistry; of the choices we make and the alternatives offered; where we sit in life, of the approaches we take and the variable speed of the up and down motion; do we possess the fearless temerity to change midway from a lumbering, elephantine facade to the sleek and pathological ride of a cheetah? Does the music have the concordant synchronicity such that it is neither an annoyance nor a distracting disturbance? Or do we even take note of the loud cacophony of the blaring entourage, or merely as a backdrop to the excitement in the very ride we undertake?
Some recent intellectuals have argued that human beings comprehend their interaction, environment, place and significance in this world, only through the thought-process of analogical thinking; that the intersection of words, linguistic culpability and attachment of language games to encounters with the objective, impervious world of reality, becomes elevated to that Rorschach moment when the obfuscating inkblots of an objective universe otherwise indistinguishable from the insular parallelism of one’s own conceptual constructs suddenly explodes with insight and vigorous apprehension.
That was the problem with the nascent approach of existentialists; somehow, we all recognized that something was missing. But instead of taking a right turn, that missing “something” took the wrong path down the corridors of Foucault and Derrida, and allowed for deconstruction to embrace the self-destructive charisma of nothingness. How we understand the world; what we impart to it; the self-image of whence we came; and the walking pictures we carry about in the chasms of our psyche; they all matter, and the narrative of our lives become written the longer we survive in this anachronism called “life”. We have become misfits in a virtual world of our own making.
The metaphors we establish within ourselves; the analogies we create to comprehend; the novel within each of us and the narrative of carefully chosen ideologies; all cumulatively define the essence of our being. And thus as we ride the carousel of life, or watch ourselves ride from a distance, matters little to those who have decided to sit this round out; and yet, they, too — whether from afar or in a slumber of repose, must by necessity hear the music which plays regardless of whether one rides the circularity of the metaphor.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, of course, such an analogy can be a poignant reminder of the current state of turmoil. Perhaps the analogy takes on greater significance if we posit a mechanical failure — of stoppage of the rhythmic ride, and where the music also blares a discordant trumpet of shattered symphonies screeching with discomfort down the sensitive eardrums of the bystanders.
Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal positional duties, have a clear choice to make: Stay on the broken carousel; get off and walk away with nothing; or, of greater benefit and reward, to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application and submit it to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
If the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, and has the minimum years of service in order to become eligible, then it is time to consider that it is not the carousel of life that has broken, but merely failure of the operator to take into account the suitability of the particular vision with the individual embracing that concept. It is not always the rider’s fault; sometimes, the faulty ride itself has miscalculated the algorithm of synchronizing the music to the roundabout. Think of it in terms of the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz — but then, that is for another blog altogether.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire