“At random” is a phrase often used disparagingly in modern society. We have clocks, timers, rulers & tests to pin things down, to make things as precise and exact as possible. I am not knocking precision and order, but without randomness and chaos, there could be no order. And so I try to live a life open to random events. It has been a challenge, but I am getting better at it.
One of the tricks I use is saying Yes to as many suggestions as possible, barring impossibilities. The rewards are unexpected. There is a great Kurt Vonnegut quote that embodies this idea: “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
Years ago, when I was in my senior year in college, a friend of my brother’s wanted to drive to Ohio to have a reunion with her sister at OSU in Columbus during Spring Break. She had the car; she needed a second driver. I barely knew her. I already had loose plans for the week, but I went anyway. It was not a typical choice for me at that time. And after a week of watching a joyous family gathering (we drove out with their younger brother & sister, too), they decided on Friday to stay another week. I, however, had class on Monday, and no money for bus or train or plane. She was willing to drive back if I insisted, but I wouldn’t do that. They were all so happy together. So I decided to try to hitchhike to NYC in 48 hours or so. I couldn’t. Took me 60+ and I missed my class… but I had been in the throes of post-romantic breakup depression, fairly miserable and full of self-pity. Being “forced” to take action and hitchhike back completely changed my emotional state. I had been on the verge of quitting college. I didn’t.
Another trick is listening to my irrational urges. This was a little trickier for me to learn. I had to sort out the urges manifested by my so-called personal demons, and the ones that came from intuition. My urge to overeat is not an example of intuition. My urge to punch that annoying guy on the subway? Probably not my intuition. Sometimes genuinely intuitive urges are sort of goofy, and my logical mind tries to talk me out of them, usually adding “what’s the matter with you?”
Late last Friday evening I was waiting for the bus at 2nd Avenue, and I could see the bus down to 1st Avenue, where the bus was parked at the start of the line, waiting to leave when on schedule. And I had an urge to walk down to the bus. I tried to talk myself out of it (What if it departs before you get to 1st? You’ll miss it. What’s the rush?) but after a moment I was compelled, and launched myself across 2nd. I got no further than 50 feet down the block when I saw a credit card wallet on the sidewalk, so I swooped down to grab it, flipping through the cards to figure out how to locate the owner… and I thought to myself “Aha! So THIS is why I ‘had to’ cross the street.”
The driver’s license yields me no phone number. His other ID cards indicate he is a doctor. So I call my wife at home and ask her to Google his name. She locates his webpage, and 24-hour phone service. I call and ask them to page him. And as I stand there waiting for a call back, a guy starts coming down the block, talking on a cell phone and slowly walking in the gutter, staring down. I recognize his face from his driver’s license and call out his name. I hand over the wallet. He is truly and genuinely joyful. I am happy. He asks, “Is there anything I can do for you?” We chat. Turns out his medical specialty matches the needs of a friend of mine seeking a second opinion, and he agrees to see her, and consult, for free. He hugs me, and I grab the next bus home. Imagine if I had talked myself out of walking down to 1st?
As my wife has said to me, stuff like this “always” happens to me, but I believe it happens to all of us, all the time, but many of us are looking the other way when intuition taps us on the shoulder.
Listen for that tap. The rewards are fascinating.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Every other Tuesday evening, I am on Dawn Tevý’s Angels & Warriors BlogTalkRadio network, doing “Practical Astrology with Anthony Picco” at 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time, 7:30 CST, 6:30 MST, and 5:30 pm PST. It runs roughly 90 minutes, with an opening chat about astrology, and then we open the phone lines for a few quick spontaneous readings given to callers with questions about their charts & their lives. Yesterday’s show was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, but the next show is February 26th.