How Would You Know — It Hasn’t Happened Yet

Boy, if that happened to me, I’d …

I remember saying that. If I was diagnosed with cancer, I wouldn’t go through all that. I’d rather die. I said that after my husband died, after watching him fight the good fight for five years. According to medical science he was a survivor. He’d made it five years from his diagnosis … and then promptly died.

It was easy to say that I wouldn’t go through that, that I’d never fill my body with radiation, or pump it full of chemicals, that I wouldn’t go to extreme measures to stay alive. The moment in time, filled with that choice, hadn’t arisen yet. I hadn’t heard the word cancer and my name in the same sentence.

How do we ever know what we are going to do? We spend tons of energy trying to figure everything out, attempting to stay ahead of the head-on accidents of life, and yet … we never know what we will do when the moment comes.

My moment wasn’t cancer, it was a heart glitch, a pretty serious one, the kind that can put you in an ash can. I wasn’t fond of medical facilities after practically living in several of them for five years with Ken.  I didn’t want to poison myself with pharmaceuticals. That was a big one for me. I didn’t want machines running the show either, and here I am today, with a pacer/defibrillator inside my chest and three different pills that I take twice a day.

The pills were the toughest sell for this body/mind. Both rebelled. It seemed to take forever to shift gears from poison, avoid, quick … run to needed, remedy, functioning and alive.

What’s interesting is that if the events of my life that I’d lived through before, the data points in the decision field, had any power, I would probably be dead instead of writing this story.  

You see, it’s never what you think. You simply can’t know what will happen. You can’t even know what you’ll do. There are so many variables – personal and collective – that you can’t see, and this moment’s outcomes hinge on so much more that a mind can wrap itself around.

If programming chose, it would be simple math, but it’s not – it’s what is going to happen as well as what already has – the pull as well as the push. It’s the collective’s story as well as the personal – the pie and its pieces. It’s the mystery unfolding as well as what appears to be known – the infinite and the finite expressions. It’s a million little things converging as this moment.

It’s humorous to me that humans spend so much time trying to figure it out, to get ahead of the curve, and when the curveball finally comes, we dip instead of dropping, zig instead of zagging. The times we actually align with the pre-programmed response, make us think that all our mental masturbation actually worked.

After more experiments that I’d like to admit to, I’ve concluded that it’s a total waste.

Will that stop the chatter, the going round in circles inside my head? Probably not, but it does seem to bog down the gears a bit. Maybe they will eventually grind to a halt, jammed by my unwillingness to engage the insanity.   

Why should I bother? Life makes the choices for me. I can’t predict what will happen next. I do not know what event may trigger or restore me. I don’t know what will happen to pad my landing or harden the fall. I am not a spreadsheet filled with neat little columns of figures that add up in a particular way, that will pop out the perfect response at the perfect time … and you aren’t either.

 What if you can’t know, and that’s okay?

What if not knowing, rather than making you a loser, affords more comfort and security than you thought possible. After all, it’s what’s actually here. Going with what is has got to be easier on the body and mind than scrapping for what isn’t. It’s like being certain the grass is blue, when it’s so obviously not, obvious when you are willing to risk a look. ‘I can know’ is like that, fields of green obscured by blue hope, set smack dab in the middle of acres of stress and tension.

It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, how many hours of sleep you lose going over and over the possibilities, or how many lists you make comparing the pros and cons – you don’t know what you will do. You can’t. That’s the design in this sim, this holographic blue ball spinning through the illusion of time and space.

Image: Joey Havlock

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