My dear friend, Betty, shared with me this morning about how Clover, her 21-year old daughter who is a remarkable singer and vocalist missed her scheduled bus home from Port Authority because the bus company failed to alert her that the regular gate had changed. For this one departure. So her daughter now unexpectedly had hours on her hands at the Bus Station, neither the fabbest place or nabe in NYC to hang. When out of the blue comes a lifelong family friend, who is known in the family as "Uncle Dave." Now Clover and UD naturally become immersed in a conversation about whatever they were talking about, which obviously included what's going on in Cloverland, when a woman sitting next to them touches Clover's arm and says, "Sorry to overhear and interrupt, but my sister is looking for a vocalist for her band, you two should meet." When Clover got home and checked out the Sister's music, she was blown away by how amazing an artist she is. And whatever ends up happening, who knows. My point is that Serendipity and Synchronicity did their thing.
It ever ceases to amaze me how events like this unfold, the Sliding Doors of Life, as I always call them. The way life happens on its own terms. People often tell me - sometimes with frustration, pretty much always with love - that in conversations with me, I often "don't stick to the subject." "I didn't know there was a subject," is often my response. Meaning, I get that when you're in school, there are classes with subjects, and you don't go to Chemistry to learn Italian. Or that when there is a serious conversation to be had between people, when there is a need for singular focus, there is a "subject." However, for me, in life the subjects and the moments intertwine, intersect and take us in unknown directions. What we thought it would be, what bus Clover thought it would be and how the rest of her day "was supposed to" unfold, didn't happen. Something else did. It's called the moment. The present. The moment of the present. And they happen all the time (yes, each moment). And now for the last several years, when I "miss" that Subway, or find myself where I wasn't "supposed" to be, I try to get away from that all too old and familiar place of "Fuck, I should have left 5 minutes earlier." Which starts me down a path that is anything but good for my inner voice. I now allow myself, way more often than not to just let whatever IS to unfold. In Life's Time. Because so often when I do, something else wonderful, some person to talk to or interview, enters my life, to take me on a Tributary that is different from "the Subject." And then the next, and then, the next.
It's why I also so often abhor the overuse of the dreaded word, Mistake. I hear spiritual ;leaders and teachers use it, and it just feels dissonant. In the way that people often mean it. As in, "I made a mistake marrying that person" or some similar sense of "I fucked up." I get the notion, of course, of the feeling and the intended meaning. Yet in a bigger picture kind of way, I find it so necessary (and a challenge at times, of course) to push back on events or choices that we made, that didn't work out as we "expected" or "hoped for" or were "supposed to be" as MISTAKES. Especially when we scratch below the surface and look at what happened next, we often find that something or someone quite wonderful, very UNexpected, came to our life instead. Life changers. Magic. Other opportunities and possibilities. Those Mistakes can become blessings, and always provide lessons and growth. If we allow them, even we get out from the narrowness of our perspective.
For me, who lived most of my life in the past or the future, neither of which exist at the moment, this ongoing path to understand what it really means to be here now, right now, moment-to-moment, has been both a challenge and the greatest gift I could give myself.
Definitely not a mistake to embrace the missed buses in my life.