g a t h e r i n g s

The Roulette Wheel

The universe always provides. Clearly, this is not so. I just have to think beyond myself. For most of the world, it is simply not so. Food, shelter, medical care, work, a day without violence … they are all out of reach for millions and millions of people across the globe.

So, I think about things from this very privileged place, even as life is sometimes overwhelming for me, or I am frightened, sad, angry, filled with regret. And it’s true that the fact that others, most others, live a harder life than I do doesn’t change what I am dealing with. But I am clear that I live as I do – fundamental factors in place -- with the blessing of the roulette wheel. I have done nothing to deserve it (just as others have done nothing to deserve having to navigate hell each and every day).

The universe is as it is, and we are at the mercy of it’s inexorable forces. In my privilege, I try to be in accord with the random nature of nature, at ease with my lack of understanding and others’ lack of understanding, even when I and we call it something else. I get into trouble when I think I can control the universe as it necessarily means something strange: I have special access that others, most others, don’t? Spiritual, intellectual, socioeconomic access? I do not get the difference between this and the very ideologies of those leaders and groups so many of us would agree are/were dangerous. I try to be friendly with my simple luck.

So, I know that I am lucky. Lucky to be writing this little reflection on the universe, lucky to be in good company, lucky to smell dinner cooking, lucky to be annoyed with my dog. And I have problems too. My friends hear it endlessly. Oh, I am lucky to have them. Truly.

My point is pedestrian really, a continued resolution: to make something of my good luck, to try not to complain too much, to give more to the world than I take, to leave it in a little better shape. My good fortune doesn’t feed a starving child or hold the bullet back from an old woman’s head. But I will plant a seed or many in the spaciousness of my good luck, try not to do violence in my home or community, and use my voice in the best way that I can for as long as the wheel is with me.