Last evening I had a close call. It could happen to anyone.
As an example, while making a left hand turn, a driver doesn’t notice you and travels too fast. This happened to me. There is also the possibility that I was a little bit off my timing. Left hand turns can be tricky. Nevertheless, we came close to a crash, less than a half km from home – not more than 6 inches apart by the time we ground to a halt. We looked at each other through our windows and for a moment time stopped. She backed up so I could carry on through the intersection. We all knew how close we had come.
But the “hole in the net” was there and we slipped through. Nothing happened.
How often does nothing happen to you? Everyday there are people getting the dreaded phone calls, the accidents, the firings, the rejections. But maybe, not you, at this moment.
Remember during 9/11 when we heard all the stories of people who were saved because: their bus was late; an appointment got cancelled; the car broke down or someone got the flu. It is not unusual in our day to day lives, to experience near misses that save our lives or get the early diagnosis that improves our health outcomes or perhaps the chance encounters that change things for the better.
When I attended an International Morita Therapy Conference at UBC, in Vancouver, I was struck by the advice one of the Morita Psychiatrists gave in his presentation. He suggested that we take a few minutes everyday to take stock of “what didn’t happen.” I wasn’t in an accident; I caught the pot before it boiled dry; I remembered my passport while I was still in the driveway. How fortunate are those near misses – the ones when nothing happens.
Could Have (an excerpt)
It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.
You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.
You were in luck — there was a forest.
You were in luck — there were no trees.
You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . .
So you are here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn’t be more shocked or
Written by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Symborska, trans. Stanislaw
Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1996)
Note 1:) October has arrived and I hope to make the most of it. By that, I mean, notice the changing colour of the leaves. It seems simple to say but it is much harder to do. I don’t want to “miss” a single day this autumn. Taking time to notice.
Note 2:) Please don’t hesitate to be in touch, if you have questions or suggestions.
Note 3:) Thank you for coming by every Wednesday. With appreciation, Trudy