Sunday, February 14, 2010

Man Plans God Laughs (Yiddish proverb)

If you don’t have children, you might still be under the delusion that you can control things. Children are God’s cure for this. When I adopted my daughter, I consulted a friend who is a renowned astrologer. She contemplated Mia’s chart and frowned. “Are you sure this is the correct birth date?” she asked. It was, as far as I knew. She started fidgeting, her eyes darting around the room as if looking for a quick escape. She stared at the chart as if willing it to change. She cleared her throat several times. “What?!” I finally erupted, making her jump. “What is it?” “Well,” she said, desperate for some way to soften what she saw, “let’s just say she is...well, beyond programming.”

That doesn’t mean I didn’t try. I had controlled things all my life. I thought I had to control things or things would not happen the way they were supposed to happen. But being in control required a lot of energy and vigilance. Eventually I wore myself out. Like a rock chip on a windshield, cracks lengthened and branched out over my delusion of control. Finally I asked myself, “What makes me think I know how things should happen?”

Here is a passage from “Another Roadside Attraction” by Tom Robbins:

"Down by the waterfall, Amanda pitched her tent–it was made of willow sticks and the wool of black goats. Having filled the tent with her largest and softest paisley cushions, Amanda stripped down to her beads and panties and fell into a trance. 'I shall determine how to prolong the lives of butterflies,' she had previously announced.

"However, an hour later when she awoke, she smiled mysteriously. 'The life-span of the butterfly is precisely the right length,' she said."

Over time I surrendered. I became wise in the ways of control. I had none. And it was good.

If you don’t have children yet or don’t plan to have children, but you still seek enlightenment, get a cat.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment is valuable and valued. Comment moderation is enabled to block spam, so please excuse the brief delay until your comment appears on the blog.