Small World

Dear J—

In my particular theology you travel through all the lands on the It’s a Small World boat ride until you get to the last glittering area, filled with lights and uniting all the particular children of the world. I call it the afterlife, bu you’re free to think of it as any particular utopia of your choice. I like to believe this not in some fervent dislike for the ride (it may be my favorite at Disneyland: the ride is always cool inside and the lines are mercifully short and efficient, plus I like the song so repeating it doesn’t drive me bats) or the cast but because it fits with what I’ve been told in churches and religions: this is what you’re supposed to expect if you’re worthy.

We use the concept of a small world to refer, in shorthand, to the phenomenon of running into people you know; it’s one thing to have that happen in places you know you’ll both go (not so surprising to run into other parents at school events, for instance) but it’s the serendipitous meetings that keep sparking and spinning away, much as the small modern Texas of McMurtry (Danny Deck!) keeps showing us the same set of characters in different settings and combinations. The world of our lives is smaller than you might imagine and chances are … chances, like running into the girl you are crushing on at the bookstore. What are the chances? Take your chance.

When you get down to it Spokane isn’t that large of a city that you’re not going to run into anyone you know before too long; same with San Mateo or the neighborhood or you know, everything and everything else besides. I pinch myself and remind my eyes that we’re already in the last area, getting ready for … well, not the end certainly but so many more years of service and wonderment at our circumstances, our chances, our everyday miracles and the ones who populate it.

Mike

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