Monday, March 29, 2010

Mozart’s Radio and A Man With a Gun…


Do you believe in destiny?

OK, let me ask you another question: have you ever had someone aim a gun at you?

It happened over two seconds, but in those two seconds time really stopped: an instant made eternity…And my reaction was not what I thought it would have been. Not at all…

Let me tell you the story first…

I was driving with artist friends along the main highway north from Yarmouth after what, in hindsight, was a strange day of mis-turns, confusing adventures and disappointing hunts along abandoned roads. It was 7 pm and dusk was edging in; the sun had just crept behind some grey clouds as if to hide. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and we were in deep discussion (we usually are), this time about the members of Fleetwood Mac.

As we approached a pedestrian over-walkway, I felt compelled to look up; I don’t normally, especially when I’m busy talking (in fact, I’ve been known to pass exits and turn offs...Just ask Toulouse!). What I saw shocked me (but I only registered the shock after). Standing there (as if he’d appeared out of nowhere) and facing me was a hooded man. He aimed a rifle at me.
At ME (I later confirmed with my friend who was driving--whose sharp skills of observation were honed in the military--that he was aiming his sights at me initially; she’d looked up at the same time).

Time collapsed.

As if in a dream, I raised my hand and whimsically gave him the peace sign.

Then we sped on, leaving the gunman—and the surrealistic experience of having “touched” his whimsical insanity—behind us.

By the timeI had fully reacted with my conscious mind, my friend had already passed at least one exit. We knew he was long gone, not to be found. We kept going.

We exchanged knowing glances. What had just happened? (Did what happened really happen?) It was surrealistic and otherworldly—as though a portal to a “different world” had opened and I’d caught a glimpse of my surrealistic journey of mind, heart and soul through crisis and enlightenment. I call them God moments.

That man on the bridge reminded me of Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf. Hesse describes the tortured life of Harry Haller, a middle-aged intellectual who identifies with a “wolf of the Steppes”; a man adrift and alone in a world that is incomprehensible to him and offers him no joy. He is a half man and half wolf who belongs to neither world. The "gunman" reminded of the scene in which a drugged Haller is in the “Magic Theatre”, opening doors on new surrealistic worlds. In one, where humanity and machines are engrossed in a bloody war, he climbs up a hill and takes random pot shots at drivers, sending cars crashing and careering over cliffs. Later in the book, Mozart enters with a radio that plays a bad version of Handel. When Haller recoils at the poor rendition, Mozart rebukes him, telling him that what he hears is still the divine music of Handel. It may be distorted, but it can still be recognized. Life may distort the ideal, but it cannot wholly erase it.

Haller wishes to be tried and killed for his sins but is instead sentenced to "eternal life." Mozart consoles him, telling him he must keep listening to the wireless (radio) of life until he can learn to be like one of the immortals, to "reverence the spirit behind it" and also to laugh at its absurdities.

So, what is destiny?

Did we get lost on those back roads and linger at the seashore or over supper so we would encounter this gunman at precisely that time? So he would aim his rifle at me? So I would give him my peace sign and trump him with my own message?

Moments like that are recognized in chaos theory and quantum mechanics as inter-dimensional nodes in a multiverse, when/where ANYTHING is possible within a fraction of a second. Left or right. Up or down. Light or dark. Start or stop. Talk or shut up. Laugh or cry. Live or die. They are crossroads in time-space that provide limitless opportunity. They are what I call God moments, to heed or not...

Each of you has felt it: that otherworldly “knowing”, of resonating with something that is more than your visible world: when the hairs on the back of your neck tingle as you write that significant scene…or tremble with giddy energy as you create that perfect line on a painting…or glow with a deep abiding warmth when you defend a principal…

… Or see God's face at the end of the barrel of a gun in one insane moment … and live.

These are all God moments and God's poetry.

Robin S. Sharma wrote, “The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant, friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away... As you live your days, so you will live your life. It is easy to get caught up in the trap of thinking that this day does not matter much given all the days that lie ahead of you. But a great life is nothing more than a series of great, well-lived days strung together like a beautiful necklace of pearls. Every day counts and contributes to the quality of the end result. The past is gone, the future is but a figment, so this day is really all you can own. Invest it wisely.”

Love and live the very best you can. Cherish your moments and think them into beauty. You never know who’s heart you might touch by simply “being”. You will never know and you don’t need to.





11 comments:

Dalifan said...

Pretty creepy, to say the least;-)
It's really interesting how point of view can create a different feel to the same story!

But I think we are in agreement that the feeling was the same for both of us, shock and horror is differing amounts!

Great post Nina!

Teresa.

SF Girl said...

Yes... interesting what shock does to oneself...It took me a long time to register what really happened. Almost like a comedy routine... "Oh, did you see that?"

Would have been very different if he'd pulled the trigger...

Toulouse LeTrek said...

Well, like I told Teresa, I'm just glad that I stayed in the backpack...Like the quiet poet in the back seat, I saw nothing!...
Ton ami,
Toulouse :-3

Darlene said...

This "shooter", sure isn't the kind of guy you want to take to a picnic and meet Grandma!!!!

SF Girl said...

LOL! You're sure right about that one, Poet in the back seat!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Well put together, Nina. It also amounts to seeing your life flash before your eyes in a second.

SF Girl said...

It certainly does, Jean-Luc...Well said...

An incident like that sure helps put one's priorities into perspective.

I don't know what happened to the fellow... I made inquiries and no other "incident" like that was sighted. To not take away something from the experience is to miss an opportunity to connect with one's deeper self.

Footsteps said...

The "insignificant" events that alter the intersections of time and place, our mindset when we reach a particular moment, random distractions... I see nothing "random" in randomness of a magnitude to change (or end) a life in such a significant way!

SF Girl said...

I so agree with you, Heather... I don't believe in "randomness"... just in patterns unrecognized. That is what chaos is to me and what chaos theory in fact describes. Fractals, synchronicity, autopoiesis, morphic resonance... they are "coincidence" described. And, yes, "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy..."

Maureen said...

Great post. I'm glad you're safe. I am trying to figure out destiny, fate, chance, coincidence etc. I like everyones suggestions here, especially the idea that we understand so very little and that there are many wonderful forces around us that that we don't even know how to tap into yet but maybe one day we will. Life feels good when I read comments like the ones here :)

SF Girl said...

I'm so glad, Maureen. Thanks for your comments. It is moments like these that bring us closer to God inside us and what is really important.

Keep the faith. :)