I became acutely aware of gravity, that I have the ability to lift my feet just enough from our planet that I can go wherever I want, but I’m also held, just enough, so I don’t fly away.
Of course, there’s a problem with walking in the dark, alone. We’re told it’s dangerous, so I do my best to head out around sunset, so I start out with a little daylight and can justify it’s still safe.
In the darkness, there are fewer distractions. The brilliant red and gold leaves on the trees and the deep purple pansies flowering in October don’t compete for my attention. Show me a spot of color and my mind often spins into a kind of awestruck trance or a stream of random questions. “Aren’t pansies only supposed to bloom in the spring? Why are they blooming now? Oh, my God, look at those clouds. I don’t think I’ve ever seen clouds with that intense shade of pink. Damn. Forgot the camera. Again. Maybe if I stare at them long enough, I’ll remember them forever.” And, of course, an occasional car passes by with insolent headlights and foul exhaust, but the comings and goings around houses and buildings are less frequent, details have retreated.
I’m a compulsive multi-tasker, so I always hope that I can work on my writing while stretching my legs after a long day at work, but sometimes I’m unable to get away from ruminating about the garbage of the day or making plans, which I keep trying to tell my mind could wait until I’m cooking or cleaning. But, once in a while, I get lucky. The vast emptiness and quiet that’s surrounds me allows me to clear my mind and it opens as if I’m a conduit accessing different connections. Like I’ve tapped into another force at work in the eternal unknown that enables me to utilize some other kind of power. Perhaps it’s the other 95% of my mind we’re all told we don’t use, I don’t know, but ideas begin to flow.
And, once in a while, I get a jolt.
Like the other night when my youngest daughter was with a group of friends in Seattle and I wanted to go for a walk before it got “too late.” You know, since 7:30 dark isn’t as dangerous as 9:30 dark. So I called her before I left because I didn’t know if I needed to pick her up. Sometimes one of the other parents brings her home but, if you’re kind of nerdy like I am, you know we get embarrassed about all kinds of things, and this time I didn’t want to “be embarrassed as the friend’s parents drove by with my daughter.” Like I was shirking my parental duty, I guess, even though it’s on their way.
As I reached the corner where I usually turn north to make a roughly 35-block c-shaped loop, I decided to go west on the road that closes the “c” on the south end, then hooks a bit to the left before it comes to the next road, a main arterial. But, when I reached the main arterial, I decided I didn’t want to walk along it, since the probability of breathing car exhaust would increase substantially, so I turned around and retraced my steps. As I reached the intersection of the street my daughter and the other parents might be driving on, I thought, “Why am I being so ridiculous? I’ll do the second half of the loop. At least I’ve reduced the odds of crossing paths in half.” So, I turned north, then east a few blocks later, walking down the gentle slope at a leisurely pace and, as I reached the next intersection, where I would turn south to head home, I looked to my left and there was my daughter, walking with another friend.
Can someone tell me the odds of having something like this happen?
That I would leave my house at exactly the right minute and “first decide to, then decide not to” walk a different loop? As my daughter approached, she mentioned she’d taken a couple of minutes to stop by and say hi to another friend who lives along the way, so she was delayed by X number of minutes, just enough that we met on the intersection that would take us home.
The same thing happened one other time, about a year ago. My daughter was with friends and had gone to Seattle that time, too. Her friends live a couple of blocks from us and, that time, I’d decided to walk in the direction of their house, having no idea when they would be arriving, and they pulled into their driveway at the same time I reached it.
So. What? Does it “mean” anything?
I think so, because, at the same time, I was reading about some other facts of life that star gazing often causes us to consider.
My oldest daughter happened to pick up the book, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, when she was here during the summer and I’d started reading it the night before.
I’d also been working on a query letter for my book and had written a statement I felt a little stupid saying (again the dweeb thing where I hate to say something that isn’t correct). I’d written about how my experiences are driving me to challenge everything I believe and I thought, “Well, I can’t honestly say that. I believe in gravity and things like that.”
But, the next night, I found myself reading about a concept in Hawking’s book that challenges current thinking about gravity. [The “principle of equivalence” was actually developed by Einstein and states: a gravitational field has a “relative existence…there is no such thing as a force of gravity.”] (1)
I thought, “Okay, so the things I’m learning are challenging everything I believe.”
And, for me, it feels like something is going on—running into my daughter, which would not have happened if either one of us made one different decision; thinking about gravity as part of a larger question (maybe because the movie “Gravity” is in theaters now, too), but I had a book in my hands at that moment that addressed my question—and I can only explain these things by believing that God is truly active in our lives.
When I used to read about serendipitous moments, I thought they only happened once in a lifetime, but these things have been happening to me a lot. Not daily, but enough that I keep taking notes and the notes are piling up.
I share a number of other events that are similar, but even more remarkable, in my memoir, events that have helped me more clearly understand who I am, which, in turn, enabled me to develop unique ideas about the nature of God. It’s been a fascinating study on the importance of knowing ourselves.
I don’t know why these things are happening to me and I don’t know where I’m headed exactly, but I’m beginning to believe the ideas I’m developing have immense gravity.
(1) Boslough, John. Stephen Hawking’s Universe. New York: W. Morrow, 1985. Print, p 30-32.
Note: My apologies for the length of time between blog posts, (and, hey, it hasn’t been that long in the scheme of things), but I work full-time and sometimes more when projects demand it, which meant twelve days in a row over the last week and a half and I’m just getting started with that particular project. And, since I probably need more justification, Guy Kawasaki says we’re insane if we try to keep a blog going while writing a book (although you’ll also find a lot of posts in favor of it, like this one).
When I got started I explained that I was not actually going to be blogging, that I was going to be “zlogging.” Not concerning myself with how often I blogged, that I would blog when I wanted to, when I had something to share, but posts get buried unless we link them to another one.
My site isn’t about content curation—there are enough other people doing that. I also know most people expect that bloggers will happily share tons of content constantly for free, that’s the kind of world we live in, but some people are getting paid by advertisers and I’m not. So, all I can do is hope is that you might consider at least a little payback by letting me know if you appreciate what I’m sharing or that you’re looking forward to my book.
Or, if you know how to calculate the odds of a meeting like my daughter and I had, I’d love to know!
Also, please check out the other posts about my spiritual journey and experiences.
It’s been a struggle to figure out how to tell my story. In 2012 an experience occurred that compelled me to try. In 1998 I had an experience that was profound, but I didn’t know what to do with it. In 2002, another. When I left my marriage in 2004, my life shifted dramatically, but I kept dismissing everything that was happening because that’s what I was taught to do, to not believe that what was happening to me was coming from God, until 2012, then an experience happened that I couldn’t ignore.
Since April 2014, a couple of remarkable experiences have occurred that are helping to show some of what I am experiencing. I believe what I have to share in my memoir will help shift how people see God and that shift will have an impact on unnecessary harm that’s being inflicted on many people around the world. I understand there many people who now follow spiritual concepts that revolve around how we think— and they involve ideas that we don’t need to think, we need to just be; that we can think our way to becoming rich; and that all anyone needs is love—and I will be sharing my thoughts about all of that soon.
I hope you’ll follow! There’s so much more I want to share!
Please contact me if you would like to share your e-mail to be put on an e-mail list. I will be starting a small newsletter soon and will only use e-mail for announcements of posts or progress on my book.