No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. -Aristotle

You should never doubt what nobody is sure of. -Willy Wonka

In the end, we all become stories. -Margaret Atwood

It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning. -Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Futility of Why

Sometimes not knowing the reason for what happens bothers me more than the happening itself.

Yesterday, on our way to my mother’s house to pick up the cell phone charger my son had left behind last weekend during our stay when we lost power, we had stopped for a red light. Chatting, waiting for the light to change to green and when it did, I had shifted into first and stalled. The truck behind me slammed into my car. Not exactly how I wanted to move forward but nonetheless, we had been hit. That was not the plan.

This was the plan:
My sister was to be my company on the hour-long ride to our mother’s house, after which we were going to make a brief stop at a small fabric shop then head home, when my son and I would continue on to meet my daughter and her boyfriend at a Chinese restaurant to celebrate her 23rd birthday. After, we were going to see the new “Alice in Wonderland” movie.

None of that happened. (I am purposely leaving out the details of the ambulance ride, lost driving glasses and pink-heart earring, financial cost of retrieving my car from impound, and psychological dismissal of all this because I am obviously trying my hand at deflection.)

Today, although my neck and back are subtle reminders of the fact that yes, there was a car accident and yes, I was involved in it, I have to wonder why it happened. I believe everything happens for a reason and although I will typically over-analyze until I come up with the most reasonable conclusion, this one has me stumped. Me, my son and daughter, her boyfriend, my sister, her husband and son, the other driver, the police department, ambulance and rescue personnel, the goose-neckers, and all others tied into this one accident took home a bit of something they didn’t expect.

My reasoning for this one is maybe it isn’t advantageous to come to a conclusion in a world where things don’t really end. Whatever happened simply finished happening although much flows in its wake. The ripples don’t stop. Life doesn’t stop as things keep happening to keep it going. Maybe that’s what it is, something to keep us thinking, moving, and going forward, something to keep us asking “why” but not really providing us with an answer.

I guess not knowing why isn’t such a bad thing after all, but I bet I don’t stop over-analyzing.

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