The great Pasqualina, fortune teller supreme who stated that a wise Virgo should always listen to their Taurus told us “what is for you won’t go past you.”
For the longest time I rolled my eyes at such a statement believing people could and would say anything especially something that provided ample space for interpretation.
If you didn’t get what you wanted there was no reason to complain because you were dancing with destiny and you weren’t met to be with so and so or live in the great house while working at the great job etc.
Things happened that lead me away from certainty in faith and and pushed towards a conviction that such a statement was nonsense.
Destiny was fiction and all we could rely upon was whatever limited ability we had to influence various circumstances and situations.
It would be easy to say the great lesson of my forties was you could get sucked into a giant machine and be ground up and spit out.
That is the pessimistic and cynical version.
There is another that adopts a middle ground between science and something else.
It a position that makes those who live in faith and those who live in science crazy. I know because both have accused me of straddling a fence but I have no issue with it.
Nor do I need for them to agree. I don’t wear a sweater because you are cold and that is ok.
Earlier in the week I was told I should have started screaming because I was clearly drowning.
They were correct about one thing, I was drowning.
I didn’t scream but I yelled…a lot.
I didn’t panic either but I think I flailed around quite a bit and things only changed when someone recognized my silence as I sank beneath the water.
“You would have drowned. What were you thinking?”
“How to fix this?”
“You should have asked for help.”
“There wasn’t time. I was too focused on trying not to to drown.”
For those who don’t speak ‘Josh’ I wasn’t literally drowning. There was never a question of biological death but there was a significant amount of pain and stress.
“What was your plan?”
“To figure it out and to make it work.”
“Good plan, but it lacks substance.”
They told me they didn’t think sarcasm was appropriate and I told them I thrive on the inappropriate and the unconventional.
We bounced two or three ideas around and then they told me they could throw me a life line but I would have to follow their lead.
“I am better at walking next to or nearby than following but if I must…”
“I’d ask if you want my help but I’d get a dumb answer.”
“I have a couple of people I’d ask really ask for help and I haven’t asked them. I don’t like relying upon others.”
They laughed, said “me neither” and gave me my marching orders.
The almost 20 year-old and I are talking about life and for a moment we talk about girls.
He asks me about those who were and those who could be and I smile.
“There are women you know nothing about who know me. I had a very full life in many ways and could life could have gone in other directions.”
“Do you ever wonder or worry about it?”
“Everyone does from time to time. I have learned to roll with what comes. It is how I have survived 51 years of living and a number of significant challenges the last few or so years.”
I see the wheels turning in his head and smile.
“There will be more changes. I don’t know how they will all play out or exactly when, but they are coming.”
I pause and tell him there is an expression, “what is for you will not pass you by.”
“Dad, what is that supposed to mean?”
I smile again and tell him it doesn’t have to be literal.
“Change happens and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Friends will come and go and people we love will die.
Pandemics, civil unrest and all murder hornets are a part of life though not all of us live through or with them.
The best thing we can do is figure out how adapt and adjust to what comes. Sail with the waves or fly above them when you can and when you can’t plant your feet.”
I forced myself to take most of Saturday off. Walked 3.5 miles, installed a new toilet seat in the master bathroom and worked on some puzzles.
Eventually I found my way to the computer and began manipulating spreadsheets searching for data entry mistakes.
Found about 53 and set it all aside because I felt a combination of anger and elation.
If I am correct I may have solved a problem but it is one that never should have occurred. I am very good at causing my own chaos and want no help.
I am incorrect I have a significant amount of work to do. The beauty of the spreadsheets is they will yield data that helps connect the dots in a hurry…if the data entered is correct.
This is one of those moments where I sure hope that the things I know are correct because if so there is some pretty damn good stuff on its way.
We’ll find out soon if I am dancing with destiny or in the fire.