The nail on my left index finger keeps splitting vertically. I don’t know why. Some soothsayer might read the sign of a deep internal flaw in my psyche, trying to get my attention.
The pattern on the carpet runs diagonally from where I sit. But if I turn my head, it becomes vertical. Just a slight adjustment of my view. And if I glance into the narrow space between the book displays, there is chaos for a moment before the pattern appears.
The mind loves patterns. It thinks it understands something when it sees them. Never mind that the whole thing is a fabrication. The truth is neither chaos nor pattern.
This morning a gray curtain of rain fell continually outside my windows on the world. The house was dark, even at 11 a.m. I fancied I felt the force of gravity pulling the rain drops fiercely down, or was it? My mind tells me the rain is falling down, but what if it were falling up? Am I sure it’s not? I see what I expect to see. What do I miss?
The other day on a whim, I decide to recycle some bags of plastic bags. I grabbed them and took them upstairs. It was lunch time and I was thinking how much I’d like a sweet potato, but I didn’t have any. I dropped the bags on the floor in the mudroom and one went thunk! Bags don’t thunk, I thought. I investigated and what did I find? A sweet potato!
I wonder how often a gift waits for me to discover it. I wonder how often I don’t know where I’m going until I get there.
Does the split in my index fingernail warn me I can’t keep it together, no matter how hard I try? Or is it the universe laughing at me for excavating meaning out of nothingness.
Well, that’s what we human beings do. And now I’ll file my nail, solve the problem, and forget about it, while the mystery beneath persists and waits for another chance to catch my eye—or my sleeve, which is how I got started on this in the first place.