Something is twitching in the fabric of the universe today.
Getting an early start on my morning chores, I decided to treat myself with a walk to a local coffee shop. When I do this as a routine, I always take the same path through the neighborhood. This morning there was a creepy old man with a loud transistor radio (those things still exist?) walking right past my house in the direction I normally take, so I crossed over to a parallel street. By doing this, I found a yard sale with some unusual items that made me smile, which I would never have seen otherwise. Thank you, mysterious stranger!
My route to the coffee shop rejoined my original path ahead of the creepy old guy who continued to slowly shuffle along behind me. His radio was momentarily drowned out by the blare of music from a passing car, but the noise quickly faded away and I continued walking in the peaceful sunshine. At the corner, a bicycle suddenly came up behind me and silently crossed the road with me, then disappeared.
At the coffee shop, there was a new girl behind the counter, instead of the usual Korean woman, whose face is the only one I’ve seen there in the past two years. The girl commented to another customer that she had not worked the morning shift in a long time. I got my coffee and retraced my steps back home. At the corner, a bicycle suddenly came up behind me and silently crossed the road — the same man on the same old bicycle at the same corner, now going in the opposite direction.
My route also passes a row of newspaper boxes. I picked up the free weekly press of local cultural interest. On the cover was the word “Existence”; it was a book review of David Brin’s latest novel. Before I left the house this morning, I was reading about a new television show on the nature of existence, so naturally this caught my eye. I was getting the sense that the universe was nudging me somehow, so I remembered to mentally ask it what I should do about my lack of a career. Looking down at the sidewalk, I saw a business card! On the back was the following quote:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France
Well. I suppose now I have no choice but to follow-up and learn more about the company on the front of that business card, right?
By the way, that television program is called “Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design” (based on his book, I assume) and it airs tonight on the Discovery channel, three episodes in a row. The description from the online TVGuide says, “The nature of reality and the meaning of life are explored in the opener of a series examining existential matters.”
I think I’ve had enough reality for one day, and the day isn’t even halfway begun yet.