“If I’d been someone else in a different world I’d’ve done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.” —Jonathan Safran Foer
I don’t put a lot of weight in my horoscope. Unless I really like it. At that point, I consider it a direct message transported just for me by way of a newspaper. Being a part of the newspaper industry, it is not my place to question, but only to respect the medium. When I really like it.
This also means I like words. Visual words like spiral. Rich words like illuminate. Flowery words like cerebellum. (What that part of the brain controls isn’t important here, it]s just a really cool word.) And mystical words like serendipitous.
Irony is a good word, too. But there is a point when serendipity wins out over irony. It started when I was walking around a bookstore with one book in my hand for at least 30 minutes. This is the book I would buy. It must be, I had been carrying it around for 30 minutes.
But at the last minute, I stumbled across another one. The cover grabbed my eye. It looked familiar even though I’d never read it. So, after a second glance, I swapped the book for that one.
I took it home and start reading. Seven pages in I find a phrase that stuck in my gut. So I reread it. I really liked it.
The next morning I sat at my table with the Sunday paper—the big one. And my coffee—also the big one. I leafed through the whole thing, minus the comics, before I turned back through to find the horoscopes. Mine was good. And I immediately thought, “Wow, that sounds a lot like the part of the book I read last night.”
So I cut it out and put it in my notebook. A keeper.
I went to church after that. The theme for the day, to very loosely summarize it, was the breaking of bread, there in that particular building and anywhere else others might be doing the same. Sharing, in a sense, directly and indirectly.
The thing that stood out to me was the round-about reference the pastor unknowingly made to both my new book’s passage and the horoscope I had tucked into my notebook an hour or so earlier.
That was number three. Three serendipitously illuminating hints that spiraled into my cerebellum. (I knew I would find a way to work those words in.)
In my mind, these things shouldn’t be ignored. And so, what appears to be my lesson for this day, week, or whatever length of time, was found in these:
1. (book) “First of all,” he told me, “I’m not smarter than you. I’m more knowledgeable than you, and that’s only because I am older than you. Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children and children are always smarter than they’re parents.”
2. (horoscope) “Make note as you go. Later, you’ll pass them on. Always share knowledge; your immortality depends on it.”
3. (sermon point summarized) “If you have the chance to share your knowledge, do it. Or you will regret the lost chance.”