Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Universe is talking to me

I used to be quite into signs. Not your run of the mill STOP signs or GIVE WAY signs. No, that was my brother's fetish for a while in his misspent youth. He actually collected quite a stash including one of those flashing yellow lights you sometimes see at road work sites. In the end his conscience won and he returned them all to the council. I must ask him how he actually did that without incurring a dirty great fine.

I digress. Signs or sign-reading is something I spent my awkward youth (in my case read 14 - 29 yrs of age) playing with God in my head. For example, "If I see a number plate bearing the letter 'C' and the letter 'J' then I am destined to end up dating Jim." Or, "If I make it right through the intersection before the lights go amber I will get the job." Or, "If the next song on the radio is [insert appropriate song here], he will one day love me." In hindsight I suspect that God was more often than not absent during said discussions.

Thankfully I grew up, began to trust my own judgement and leaned a little more on God. Just as well for I'm sure you also see how poor my life choices would have resulted had I continued using the sign-reading method of life direction.

Sign-reading Incident No. 1
Then a few weeks ago when we were in Melbourne (a whole other post just not today) I went to see 'The Very Long Engagement' with my sister Nan. Now, not only is this a beautiful, enchanting and often harrowing film, to my delight, the leading lady Mathilde, is a master at sign-reading.

After seeing her fiancé off as he heads for the battlefields of France during WWI she tells herself as she runs through a field that if she reaches the bend in the road before the car bearing he beloved, he will return from the war alive. Or, if the train she is on reaches the tunnel before she is asked for her ticket, her beloved is still alive. The film is scattered with sign-reading like this as Mathilde relentlessly searches for her long lost love, Manech. A brilliant film I would not hesitate in recommending to anyone. It was so good I saw it twice.

The film struck a chord in me as it reminded me of my own sign reading, and through Mathilde, I saw I too sought signs because I could not face the harshness that life often delivers. Mathilde sign-read because she would not let herself believe her love was never coming back. I think this is something we all do don't we? Like when you are in a hurry and every traffic light is green. Don't you think to yourself for just a minute that maybe someone is looking out for you? Or that maybe things will get a little easier. Or that this might just be the start of a string of good luck? Or is this flawed way of thinking just for the eternally optimistic among us?

Sign-reading Indicent No. 2.
There are roadworks happening on my usual but route to work so I am having to take a different route. On a couple of consecutive days last week the exact bus I needed happened to be at my stop just as I arrived. Not one to miss an opportunity to believe something good might actually be coming my way I decided that my timing is getting better. Or perhaps, just perhaps this might just mean that God is letting me know that His timing is near and always perfect. When you are in the business of trying to conceive this is the only train of thought you are going to get on.

Sign-reading Incident No. 3.
Watching Meet the Fokkers last night with a work colleague, I was struck by another series of signs in one of the first scenes. Our stars are heading to the airport to spend a weekend with their respective parents who are meeting for the very first time. From the moment they step out of their apartment, the signs seem to be working for them. From the green lights all the way to the airport to the upgrade to first class. Not wanting to jinx the weekend they are reluctant to voice their hopes that somehow, the universe is trying to say something good this way comes.

So I've been inundated with sign-reading over the last month but I have so far refused to acknowledge that it means anything. Or to give it all any credence. Or to believe that it there is any substance at all to its insistence. Or to look for other signs rather than wait for them to find me. The waiting is hard though.


Anonymous Faith said...

Green lights - I wish! I tend to see just the two shades; red or amber. Great post.

7:25 PM  

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