Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.
The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
This is a moment:”
— Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward Angel)
When I left New York behind and took to the road in the summer of 1990, the future appeared as a blank page in front of me. I had little idea where fate would take me, or where I even wanted to go. I just knew that the past was a flaming wreckage that I had created myself, and that moving forward was my only option. It wasn’t what I would have chosen, if I’d have had any other choice.
Drifting South along the length of the Appalachians from New England, to Birmingham I had no idea what to expect. The deep south was a great unknown, somewhere I only knew through Hollywood, and TV Movies which either centered on slavery, or the civil rights movement. The first 4 months on the job were very hard. I struggled to fit in culturally, and socially. It would take me well over a year to make the transition from college to the responsibility of adulthood, and during that time I would grope further and further westward. Eventually my journey would bring me to Minnesota, by way of 40 other states.
If I think too long upon the circumstances that brought me here, I begin to realize all of the random events that had to happen to make it possible. At any point along that journey, a phone call, or a change in work, might have steered me in a different direction, and I would never have arrived at that night, February 8th, 1992 when a series of chance events would bring me to a seat at a table next to the future Mrs. 20 Prospect. With so many random events needing to occur in such a unique order to bring me there, how can I believe it was anything but fate?
If it hadn’t have been for those last 6 months of college, I would have most likely never broken free of the orbit I was in around Western New York. Like a marble rolling around a bowl, I would have eventually come to rest back in the center, and I’d be there still. But the speed at which my marble spun eventually led it up to and over the rim of the bowl. From that point forward I would bounce and roll like a pinball, before coming to rest here in Minnesota. How can I believe it was anything but fate?
To think otherwise is to invite madness, and anxiety. What if I had turned left, rather than right? What if the flight had been delayed? What if a boiler tube in a power plant in Hoyt Lakes Minnesota hadn’t ruptured and brought about the need for my visit that February weekend? Where would I be today? (Living alone in a shack in the woods drinking whiskey out of plastic bottles, most likely ;-))
So fate delivered me to that place at the table. From that point on the future was in my hands. Despite my fumbling, and stumbling along the way, I have succeeded beyond hope, to this time, to this place, to this moment. I have been blessed beyond all reason.