It’s the decisions, the micro-decisions, the revisions to the decisions, the provisions to the revisions to those decisions, the divisions to the provisions to the revisions of the decisions, that spawn the people we are, the life we envision. We are the children of chaos put into what we trick ourselves into believing is order, we are the consequences of every choice, every coincidence that probably isn’t one, the resulting manifestation of every millisecond of time passing as its always meant to pass, a million tiny instances that put us where we are, right this very now.
You are here, your eyes reading, your ears listening to my voice read it to you, sitting where you sit, walking where you walk, driving where you drive, because of a choice that lead to another, an option that became a priority, birthed from a mother that was birthed from another, backwards through this timeline for eternity, you are here because all that could have gone wrong did not go wrong, and somehow, inexplicably, you lived. You are here because a street was crossed five seconds before a truck careened through, because lightning hit a tree and not your walking feet, because someone, somewhere, said Yes, instead of No. You are here because against the odds and pulls of the tides towards darkness, you endured, you laughed in the face of sadness, you held the hand of night and then let it go to waltz in the arms of another morning. You are here because you made one choice, or two, or sixty five hundred dozen others that carved out a new path on a new line, crisscrossing every other path for every other choice you could have made.
Soon you will make another, then another after that. Chaos is the language of this universe, and our decisions nothing more than we archaeologists scrambling to invent the cipher for translation. We stare at the stone walls of the life we’re living and tell stories of the pictures carved with precision, with revision to the decision of that precision. Then comes another, and the story shifts, another, and we look for new images to represent new words to try to eloquently explain what has no explanation at all.
Fumblers, we are, tiny ships on great big seas, ships sailing through storms and weather-worn hands grasping old wooden wheels as our masts rattle and scream like ghosts tortured in the wind. We look for land, aim our bows for the stars we see, the pinpricks of glow in the great curtain of dark, and arrive with quivering legs and such beautiful thirst.
We are sailors stacked like nesting dolls with the infinite numbers of people we could have been, those that resulted from minute shifts in minuscule situations, and it staggers us how small a thing can cause so large a metamorphosis. We are the butterfly wings that stir the sands of the Sahara, but we are the buried walls with hieroglyphics buried beneath them, we are the tornado kicked up by the flapping of those wings, half a world away, but we are the calm waters in some quiet creek cascading down a mountain too. We are the clay shaped creation and our decisions are the hands, the wheel, the water, that did the shaping.
You, you there lending me your eyes and ears, you of every possible chance to be something else, you are this, now, you are the you that came from a gentle “no” whispered to every other you, you could have been. What a feat, what an extraordinary accomplishment to wash up on these shores, to find this land, as you are. Forget the shakiness of your legs, celebrate the sand beneath your toes and drink deep the water that you find. There is no one else you should be, there is no other island you could have possibly found that would welcome your footprints as much. You are you, what a thing, the beautiful invention of a machine made over eons and epochs, millennia and the passing overhead of moon, of planet, of star.
Time is wasted, time spent unwisely, trying to change what we’ve already changed, time frittered away forgetting we can change where we go, but not where we’ve been. Next comes a million more decisions, a billion revisions to those decisions, and we are the only who can make them, who can read those pictures out-loud to those around us, who can spin the stories from the symbols made.
You will rise from this, seconds after the cessation of my incantation, and you will be faced with one, then another, then an untold multitude of more choices, from the grand to the microscopic, and they all are the threads that weave together the tapestry that will be you. Celebrate, please, the design you’ve made so far, and worry so much less of what the final product will one day be. It will never be complete, it will never hang on the walls of some museum, never grace some stark white walls, it will be knots over knots until we’ve no longer a word for time. Know this, and instead, make the choices that steer your ship, that turn your wheel, into the skies you most want to see, the storms or the harbors in the face of the tempests.
You, you there, perfect for what you’ve done, what you’ve chosen, what you’ve endured, survived, and risen from. You, that I love and honor, trust, and praise. You are you, exactly as you should be.
All the decisions,
revisions to decisions,
made us who we are.