As much as I’ve improved at this over the past few years, I’m pretty sure I’ll never be someone who automatically goes with the flow. Even if I’m better about recognizing I sometimes have little control over the flow, something still compels me to periodically halt the flow to examine it. What if, I wonder, that rock right there didn’t exist, or it was shifted slightly to the left, or it was much further downstream–how would the flow be altered?
Fascinated by the idea that at this current moment, an infinite number of flows are taking place in infinite realities, I can’t help but wonder what alternate path I may be on in some other universe.
Last night, while making soup, I was thinking about it again because I’d just finished reading a book about a deadly flu virus that killed 99% of the earth’s population. And I was sick, so of course the thought crossed my mind that maybe I was the very first patient who’d contracted a fatal disease. How had I gotten it? Was it because I was out late on a date on a Tuesday night the previous week, therefore disrupting my sleep schedule? Was it from walking 20 minutes in the pouring rain in the Bronx on Friday? What about participating in my last race to qualify for the marathon this weekend–did I catch it while running? If I hadn’t done whatever that one thing was that made me get sick, would I survive, instead of causing the entire world to collapse?
So maybe my thoughts ran a little too far from reality, or at least the reality I’m supposed to be living in. I just find it interesting to consider the possibilities that every step we take, every breath we inhale, every movement of our toes, and every twitch of our eyebrows may be influencing without our knowledge. Is there a me out there who didn’t agree to a late weeknight date and therefore got plenty of sleep and didn’t come down with a cold? Is there a me out there who walked for 30 minutes in the downpour and caught a sickness far worse than the one I have? I know it makes no difference to this me, right here right now, since I can’t ever really know or, even if I did know, change anything for those other mes, but it still feels important to acknowledge that I am only here in this moment because of a series of countless, precise steps that led me here.
Luckily for the me who is writing this, yesterday I took all of the correct steps to create a soup that was edible. Or at least, it tasted fine to me–though that might not be saying much since I can’t taste things all that well right now.