breath, cherokee, connection, conscious consciousness, destiny, faith, fearless, grace, life, living, love, mtb, old maps, passion, postmark, reason, resurrection, spirit, spirituality, understanding, value, wisdom, wonder
“Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; it’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long ago before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose provenance dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequences echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.
And who among us, offered the chance, would not relive the day or hour in which we first knew love, or ecstasy, or made a choice that forever altered our future, negating a life we might have had? Such chances are rarely granted. Memory and grief prove Faulkner right enough, but Einstein knew the finality of action. If I cannot change what I had for lunch yesterday, I certainly cannot unmake a marriage, erase the betrayal of a friend, or board a ship that left port twenty years ago.” — Greg Iles
A week or so back, I watched a program on the history channel which chronicled World Wars I and II. At a point in the narrative, there was mention of an incident which occurred early in WWII, when a young German soldier came face to face with a British soldier. The German was unarmed, and in an odd twist of fate, the British soldier went against all his training, and allowed the German to go free. Under ordinary circumstances, it might have been reason to celebrate – a moment when war was ignored. But in this instance, the man allowed to live was Adolph Hitler.
Even the narrator commented on the passing of a moment that would have changed history, and likely the world as we know it.
For days, it left me thinking of the role chance takes in our life; choices and circumstances that, in retrospect, seem to have adjusted to our path rather than the other way around. Only a fool would dare to believe in something as mundane as coincidence.
“Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.”
Just last week, my brother posted a picture of my parents to his Facebook page. The photo was taken in the mid 50’s, my dad’s arms wrapped around my mother as they stood at the back of his 55 Chevy. In a conversation with my mother, I told her how much I liked the picture, but my favorite was one that sits on my mantle. The pose is similar, but my parents are standing in the middle of a cemetery, flanked by a tide of blossoms. My mother is pregnant, and filled with grief.
I knew the story. The picture was made the day my grandfather was buried (his birthday) a little more than a month before I was born.
But there was something I didn’t know. In talking about the photo, my mother remarked again at the pain of losing her father; that it left her broken and as if her tears would never dry. She often wondered whether her baby might drown. She said the stress caused me to arrive early. A child expected on November 11th showed up on October 22nd.
Later, I played back over our conversation and wondered how my life might have been different had I been born in November rather than October. I’d have lived my life as a Scorpio instead of Libra. I’d have started school a year later, likely changing the names and faces of lifelong friends. Different schools; different parties. The butterfly changes colors.
But what if I had been born right on time because my grandfather didn’t die in September?
One of my favorite movies (ever) is It’s a Wonderful Life. The story is one of ordinary lives and ordinary failures, and moments strung together to make a remarkable life. In moments, we live (always), stitched into the rope that is time.
Perhaps love is nothing much more than a string of coincidences that somehow become miracles.
Wendell A. Brown said:
Your message in your words brought a lot of reflection from within…the series of coincidences that happen in our lives many times when we think back did provide miracles and blessings. I can remember when my son Ian was born premature at 24 weeks, he had to stay in the hospital most of his life. I was always more shy and listened more than I would speak. I did not talk much at all!. But when I first saw him, I could only touch the inside palm of his hand, and massage it with my finger, and his nurse, she told me talk to him because he knows your voice! So for seven months I went to the hospital and spoke to him, and spent more time with him than anyone else in my life, hugging, and loving him every moment possible.. When other families in the Neo-Natal ward, ( which it was 32 of them), when their babies had problems I would talk to everyone there all the time, trying to lift and console them…I share that, because later on I realize it was not a coincidence that he lived that way and died early, for the time spent was measured in priceless moments, he brought me to speak to others easily and removed most of my shyness away. The miracle of his life even though 9 months in all, opened me up to share what lives within with others in a very selfless and loving way. My angel was a healing blessing to me and many others in the hospital and his love, made me better in so many ways. Thanks for sharing Bobbie…you words always move ones mind and heart! Thanks for always sharing from your heart!
O, Wendell, I have no doubt about one thing. We are always where HE intended us to be. And from our sorrow, we learn compassion and understanding. The worst thing to happen to us isn’t the worst – unless we refuse to find in it, the presence of God, and tears as much His as our own. We cannot know loss without having known love, and I am grateful that you were there……with those struggling so. Your light filled that place, and as hard as it was………that time with your son – o my, what a glorious gift. Even now, you bless me with the telling…….and I see well the light that is him in you. ❤
If I may ask, would you know about Anthroposophy and its founder Rudolf Steiner?
I do not, but it sounds as if I should………… You think?
I think he might be quite an enrichment. Just have a look into Wikipedia for a first impression. Then decide.
About Steiner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner.
About Anthroposophy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophy.
You have summed up the illusion of times hold. Now break it like dropping a crystal vase on a brick floor!…bob
Very fine and very interesting. You’ve mentioned your preference for verse over prose. Well, the prose is a pleasure, far from prosaic, and takes us out of our quotudian consciousness. (you made me look up quotidian too)
Thank you, Stephen. I’m trying to do more of it since it’s a medium that most find less mysterious than my poetry……… 😉
This is one of my new favorite posts of yours. I was reminded of the movie “Mr. Destiny.” One small change in a timeline can alter the course of a life. But, perhaps this was the way it was always supposed to be. You were destined to arrive earlier in every imaginable plan. The Universe makes no mistakes, nor has excuses for altering a plan that was set forth. Your thoughts are brilliant, deep and beautiful. I, too, arrived earlier into this world. I believe (wholeheartedly) that had I not come in two weeks earlier I would have died. I spent most of my life with one foot into this life and the rest of my body elsewhere. Finally, rooted and grounded, I have learned that there are no coincidences. I was born an Aries rather than a Taurus. I was born exactly at the right time and so were you. I love your thoughts, Bobbie. Thank you for sharing them always….mucho love to you….Millie
Indeed……..I couldn’t have said it better. This place that holds us……….it holds us extra sweetly. ❤ Thank you, dear Millie.
Your prose delights and gently works its way into the soul on the streams of beautiful words that you connect with golden links, Bobbie. This is a wonderful piece; I so enjoyed reading it. Much love to you.xo
Thank you, Angela. I typically read a piece of poetry to my students at the close of my classes, but this past Saturday, I read this instead……..and I think (I know) they loved it. Perhaps there was some realization of divinity in those moments. You bless me. Thank you. ❤
Both Einstein and Faulkner were right, in their own ways. Really enjoyed your treatise on their viewpoints, and your own, Bobbie. As for poetry, it may be your forte…, but you can write prose with the best of any of them!
I’m sure they were both right……..and likely, both wrong. Ultimately, this (this time) is all we have. The wisest know to fill it with love.
“Perhaps love is nothing much more than a string of coincidences that somehow become miracles.”….
Perhaps you’ve uncovered here, something truer than true, darlin’ girl. It really resonates ! ~Love~
Every ordinary thing is but a miracle unnoticed. The fool that thinks this is all an accident……well, I wonder how much he pays attention. 🙂
He always pays attention… xo
Jane Thorne said:
Your prose and Wendell’s comment move me more than I can articulate. I feel that we stitch our tapestries with love and like your parents photographs, they are many layered stitches. Love always to you my special friend. I ❤ your prose. xXx
Thank you, dearest Jane. I truly believe that we are far more than even our best guess, formed over time and lifelines, weaving and grieving. And every one we know (we love) becomes a part of our story…..and the story that lives beyond our life. What an awesome responsibility, but O, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BLESSING! ❤ I love you………….and I love your part in my story.
Jane Thorne said:
Yes, I feel it too, there is so much more to this and it is an incredible blessing. I am ever thankful that we are stitching together. I ❤ you. xXx