Ever have one of those days? Everybody does. It’s a real bummer of a day (bummer is hippie speak for misfortune). It’s one of those days when you say to yourself, “Why me?” or “Why now?”
You’re up before the sun “working in a coal mine, going down down,” and someone says, “Lord! I am soooo tired. How long can this go on?” Not that you actually work in a coal mine (unless you do). We’re talking metaphor. We all work in a coal mine of one kind or another. Even those who don’t work, work in a coal mine of a kind.
It’s on a “one of those days” day that you look for a sign that there’s more to life. Not that you’re superstitious. It’s just that when life is boring, pointless and terrible, most of us look for a sign that there’s more to it. Even those who don’t believe in miracles look for them.
But few people see signs these days and those who do are maligned. We might crave a vision but all we have is TV. It’s not because the signs aren’t there that we don’t see them.
We don’t see them because we’re either not paying attention or we lack imagination. It takes a special kind of sensitivity to subtlety for a person to see signs and put it together.
In 1989 two math professors wrote “Methods for Studying Coincidences” in which they outlined four sources for most coincidences: 1) a hidden cause, 2) the psychology of a person, including memory and perception, 3) multiplicity of endpoints, including the counting of “close” or nearly alike events as if they were identical, and 4) the law of truly large numbers – given enough events, almost any coincidence is bound to occur.
They found that most puzzling coincidences arise in the mind of the observer. Therein is the magic! That’s the answer! You alone see the sign! You create magic by tuning into it!
If you pay attention and if you lighten up and if you go for silly walks now and then you will become familiar with wonderful oddities (for complete instructions see: Ministry of Silly Walks) .
Call it coincidence. Call it ironic, moronic or divine. Call it just one of those things. Beyond rationalization, confabulation and logical explanation, there are times when weird things happen and you are in a perfect position to see them (see earlier post: “Enjoy What Is And Take What Comes“).
Let’s say you’re on your way to get your blood tested. As you peddle past a pretty storybook house with a fountain, you’re reminded of fairy-land pictures you’ve seen. The thought occurs to you that you and everyone you know will soon be dead.
It sounds gloomy, but at this moment it isn’t. Knowing that everything you know and have ever known will soon be gone has a way of putting things in perspective (see earlier post “Enjoy A Bad Day“).
What’s the worse case scenario in any situation? You could die. But you know that’s going to happen anyway so, as Dire Straits put it, “Why worry?”
No sooner do you have this realization when you see a sign. But it isn’t the sign that catches your attention. It’s the sign spinner. Stopped at a streetlight, you watch the sign spinner. Suddenly life doesn’t seem so bad.
And you hear music coming from somewhere. It’s Tommy James and the Shondells singing Draggin’ the Line which goes, “Makin’ a livin’ the old, hard way.
Takin’ and givin’ my day by day.
I dig snow and rain and the bright sunshine…
My dog Sam eats purple flowers.
Ain’t got much, but what we got’s ours…
I feel fine!
I’m talkin’ ’bout peace of mind.
I’m gonna take my time.
I’m gettin’ the good sign…”
What you thought was going to be “one of those days” changes into something beautiful when you open yourself to connection and possibility.
Jump forward: now you’re in a lab cubicle waiting for a nurse to take your blood. You’re listening to the Moody Blues sing “Tuesday Afternoon” and you think, “That’s funny. It is a Tuesday afternoon!”
The nurse comes in and prepares the syringe. You avert your eyes and on the wall you see a picture of a fountain. It looks like the fountain you saw earlier by the storybook house that reminded you of pictures that you once saw of a fairyland of love. They say that fountains symbolize joy and peace and water is the sign of calmness. All you know is that you like water fountains.
You may look back on your life like a Dickens’ novel. Life seems planned but little accidental meetings and experiences turn out to be main features of the plot. At this minute, looking around at the world as you do, you suddenly have an insight.
You marvel at the wonder of life and in so doing, enjoy it.