Thursday, July 31, 2003
So I got off work early this past Wednesday and instead of facing the 6:00 pm traffic rush (there was a Mariners game too), I decided to head someplace free and air conditioned. Despising the wretched temple of elitist capitalism that is Bellevue Square Mall, I went instead to the Bellevue Public Library... like so many things constructed on the bling-bling eastside, it's on the higher end of the scale of wealth. No doubt, vast dollars gleaned from rich Micro-serfs, $tarbucks fiends, and Biotech big timers went into actually putting up a building devoted to knowledge. The public library in my hood isn't nearly as nice or even half as big as this library.
Anyways, my first stop inside the library was the "Corner Book Shop" where the library clears out old books and magazines by selling them for cheap. I picked up two magazines and a book, each for 25 cents. One magazine was an issue of WIRED I missed on the new convergence of science & religion. The other magazine was an issue of Wine Spectator with a cool cover story on affordable cabernets... yum. The book I bought was for Shiv, called "The Book of Questions"... a book with 200 thought-provoking / conversation starting questions.
I'll even select one randomly right now.
QUESTION #146: If a thermonuclear holocaust would occur in precisely 20 years and no one would survive it, how would you change your life?
Wow, that's cheery. To be honest, I'm not sure what I'd change... definitely I'd rack up some serious credit card debt. Who's gonna be around to collect $$$ when I've been reduced to atoms? heh heh... it'd be almost a Fight Club-ish end to things.
Actually, a confession: Men in my family are notoriously short-lived and though I want to live a long life, I'm not counting on it. Not by a long shot. My father died before he was 50, for no apparent reason. He, as well as his older brother, and my grandfather - all dead from heart attacks. My father's oldest brother... dead from kidney complications. My mother's father... diabetic and dead from yes, complications related to his diabetes.
Thermonuclear what? There's already a sword of Damocles dangling overhead courtesy of my genetics. I try not to sweat it.
In truth, I'm not sure what I'll be doing 3 years now, much less plan for the next 20. One lesson that stands out to me from this past year more than anything is as much as people love trying to plan for the future, nobody can be sure what will happen. I graduated college just like anyone else expecting to find a job right away, at least in 3-6 months. I didn't work a permanent gig for more than a year and I was left to try to figure out why - only there was no why. To crassly state the truth of things: sometimes the circumstances of life just leaves you assed out.
Don't wonder if it'll happen... hopefully when it happens, you won't flip out too hard.
We hope for the best, do what we can, but in the end... believing the plans we make are not going to change is like building a house of cards in the middle of a hurricane and expecting it not to get blown away. We trust in a lot of little certainties in our lives, but when things aren't so certain anymore, what will be our reaction? Things always happens, that's the one thing you can count on as part of living in this busted world. I pray the people around me daily have that understanding of reality close at heart, because accepting the possibility of things not going according to plan is an important component of faith... at least in my opinion it is.
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Anyways, the wind is blowing ever so slightly in my favor at the moment. Imma enjoy it while it lasts and read my 25 cent magazines. Nothing like a cheap bargain to infuse some quick euphoria.
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