“Much of life can only be understood in retrospect.”

It’s a good thing that I took a vacation recently, or I would have run out of things to share! Driving around the countryside of Ireland, hours at a time, really gave me some great time to reflect on life, and pay attention to the small things.

Looking at my journal (the manly word for diary), I now have enough creative ideas to last another month!  In fact, I don’t quite know where to begin.  I guess I’ll write them up in the order I wrote them down – even though the later ideas are much more interesting if you ask me.  In fact, now that I think about it, the train of thought is taking me directly to my last day of my trip and a conversation I had with a random person somewhere on the street near Trinity College.  So I guess (as you will see) ironically, the first lesson I will share, was really the last one I learned.

It’s a beautiful day in Ireland, about 10AM and the weather is just perfect.  I am walking from my hotel to, well, I had no plans that day, so I was really just walking towards the center of town.  There I see a man sitting on the ground.  Well dressed in casual clothes, one of those really cool European book bags, and reading Moliere with his back up to a monument. Now, I don’t know anything about plays or playwrights (something that will be changing soon by the way), but I do know that the book didn’t look like a best seller, and as such, I was interested in talking to this person.  Something looked off, the clothes looked expensive, but they looked grimy.  So with no agenda, I walked over to him, and started chatting about his book.

A few minutes later, we are talking about life.

His story was that he was a owner of a Chipper (where they sell fish and chips; I didn’t know that either.) but then the recession came, and he lost his business.  And with that he went into a deep depression, and spent the next two years in a clinic.  Skipping over the fact that he got out of it by finding meaning, he is now on his way to becoming a psychologist, he learned an important lesson about life that he shared with me.

What drove him crazy (so to say), was that life seemed incongruent.  Things came and went, but there was no rhyme or reason to the parts of his life where they abutted.

However, what he learned, and taught me, was that really life can be seen like a movie.  The scenes don’t necessarily make sense from one to the next if you take two scenes from the middle, but if you watch the entire movie, you see that there is a common thread that runs through the whole thing, tying everything together.

So when things don’t make sense, he says to himself, “Of course they don’t, I haven’t seen the next scene yet!”

I think this is a powerful message that we can remind ourselves of in life, as we wander through time.

Leave a Reply