Saturday, August 21, 2010


It’s been a few weeks since I posted here.

Real life got in the way. The webpage to which I’d moved this blog proved useless. Then my internet connection inexplicably frayed. Then my computer crashed. Of course, I could have picked up a pencil, but at that point I was afraid it would fall apart in my hand. Then I lost my wallet.

Do you believe in omens? I see the world as a Rorschach test, an inkblot onto which we project our own thoughts and feelings. One way I learn what’s going on inside me is to look outside. This disappearance of my work and interests and even my ID cards, then, got my attention. I looked up at the moonless night sky and said, “I get it. I’m not supposed to do much now.”

So I’ve been taking it easy, gardening and hanging out with my family. My wallet turned up, and everything gradually got repaired. Now I’m starting up again. I suspect, from previous experiences, that my perspective will be slightly different, and might surprise me. 

That’s the way I operate, and I was sure most other people did, too, till I ran into my friend Tom. He’s a brilliant retired computer specialist who still does a little consulting. He told me he suddenly lost all his contracts, so he spends his time now zipping resumés all over the country. He was wild-eyed and almost shaking, he was so anxious to get back to work.

I asked him, “Do you have any fantasy about why this happened?”

He gave me a look. “Just happened. What do you mean?”

“Sounds like you got hit with a two-by-four. When that happens to me, it makes me consider changes. I mean, have you just stopped for awhile to take it all in? Are you exclusively intent on getting back to your life as it was, or are you wondering about new possibilities?”

He gave me the look again. “Stuff just happens. Like you think what happened to me was meaningful?”

“Only if you do.”

“Hey, I gotta go do a bunch of xeroxing. See you later.”

So tell me: am I weird, or do others scan the universe for navigational tools, too?


  1. This happened to me this summer. At first it was nerve-wracking, then I began to really enjoy it: the pool, the sun, the geese flying by (I live in Maryland), the garden. Then a friend got bone marrow cancer and I have been "on-call" for a month.

  2. I don't scan for signs, but sometimes they can't be ignored. However, it usually does take the equivalent of a 2x4 upside the head before I starting thinking about the message. We humans persist in thinking we're all powerful and always in control of every aspect of our lives. Oct 2008 - Hello, cancer. That one got my attention.