The Art of the Everyday: January 11 – This is your life: If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.


Never. Never would I read it.

Knowing is wonderful; but chance is beautiful.

The random contingencies that tie us all together in this mysterious journey we’re on.

And chance is inherently risky. The risk that whatever path we take, or decision we choose, it may come with pain. With real, hard, unintelligible suffering.

No matter what agency we have, chance also means that pain might still come. And knowing about it isn’t going to change it. We don’t make choices that make our loved ones sick, or be in an accident, or suffer. That causes people to die too young, too old, or at all.

Like beams of light, these things cut through our lives; delineating a “before” and an “after.” A dichotomy that cannot be solved, no matter how much preparation we have.

But the unexpected, the risk, also brings the most joy. The freedom in allowing life to take shape in front of you, and meld itself into a wonky, beautiful, crazed amalgam. A weird, glorious mix in which we can revel, appreciate and laugh at the absurdity.

The unknown in life also allows us to give grace to one another. To provide an extension of ourselves, as we understand that we don’t understand.

If we knew how it would all end up, would we be so open? So generous? So loving?


Like talking to a crazy guy at midnight at Skidmore Fountain, PDX, just wouldn’t be exciting…


2 thoughts on “Chance

  1. Oh my gosh, this would be like knowing how your going to die. Better to be in the dark and just do one step at a time. Besides, I don’t believe in fate – I think our actions determine our future – so since it’s not set in stone, there would be no book.

  2. Great point – the whole ‘book’ aspect suggests a level of predetermination I just don’t jive with either. My favorite film series “The Three Colors Trilogy” delves a lot into our connections/chance/life.

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