This is what it sounds like when I think out loud. Everything happens for a reason, my mother says, which makes me want to shout THAT’S SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIX ANYTHING ON YOUR OWN or feel crappy about not getting that job or a hurricane destroying your house or your butt falling off

and she says, you know I’m right, and I say how could that be right, mother? Do you remember that shoe you had? The black flip flop, with the white stripe on the side, that you kept for a year, 12 straight months, hoping the other one would show up? Do you remember the day you threw it out? And how the other one showed up a week later? “What does it mean?” you kept asking. Nothing.

Maybe we should all keep the half lost item. I have a box full of earrings that have no partner. Some of them I can’t bear to part with, and the rest have a place to stay, so it seems cruel to kick them down the chute. Still purposeless. I’ll never find their match. Unless I threw them all out today. Then that other box that exists out there, with all their little friends, will show up on my doorstep.

We can’t keep everything though. We have to let go. If everything happened for a reason, wouldn’t it feel like we weren’t even in control of our lives? But then something brutally coincidental might happen that makes you think it might be true. And where do you go from there?

My father texted me today to say Happy Valentine’s Day. He loves me every day, he wrote, not just today. I read this exquisite quote, that I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like, “I never want human experience to feel alien.” Let’s immerse ourselves in this experience. Just because something happens that you don’t know how to deal with, doesn’t mean it’s abnormal. What we feel is everything. We’re all pitifully flawed humans. Isn’t that something?  Maybe my dad isn’t perfect (for example, it’s been about four years since we’ve been in touch). But how can he be?

I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everything happened for a reason. I prefer this one, where we’re constantly plunged into situations that will one day be familiar, but will never fully make sense. Such randomness is life. Is there anything better than that?


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