There Are No Accidents

Waking up


Ornament of white, upright duck wearing blue boots.
An excellent example of paying attention: Miss Duckie in the kitchen at Evergreen.

Rob is listening to jazz in the kitchen while he makes soup. I‘m trying to concentrate, so I shut the glass door to my writing room. The sounds subside.


Words flow. I type quickly, animatedly. Delete. Copy. Paste. Do an online search. Stare out the window at a baby magpie experimentally digging in the grass for delectable insects. Type more words. Disagree with Grammarly.com – that know-it-all online grammar expert that has a habit of automatically underlining my sentences in red.


Then I make the mistake of getting out of my chair to top up the coffee plunger with hot water and slam my body into the glass door I’d forgotten I’d closed.


Shock waves emanate from the door – and from me.


It’s unexpected! It shouldn’t have happened!


It wakes me up.


It’s like falling over in the playground and grazing both knees as a child. It’s like tripping on an uneven footpath as an adult, tap-dancing in an attempt to remain upright, handbag flailing the air, dignity gone.


It’s a simple reminder to pay attention. Full attention.


I recall visiting a clairvoyant for the first (and almost last) time. She ushered me into a sanctum dimly lit with candles. An overpowering smell of incense drugged the room. We sat opposite each other as she ran her deep-seeing eyes over my person, then dealt cards that would spell out my future – with no intervention from Grammarly.com. One phrase that emanated raspingly from her red lips has stuck with me down through the years:


There are no accidents.


So, I can’t say that me slamming into the glass door was an accident. It was a deliberate result of everything that went before. The moment couldn’t produce anything else. I’m not saying I was meant or destined to hit the door. It was just an inevitable result of me shutting it and forgetting I’d done so. I could’ve topped up the coffee plunger without causing shock waves if I’d been paying attention to what I was doing in that moment. But my mind was elsewhere – still mentally writing, still disagreeing with Grammarly.com.


The bump on my forehead is subsiding.


The resolution to be present, to act mindfully, is growing.


With love, Marlane



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