Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chapters and Destiny

  I like to read every night before I go to sleep. It's a great way to wind down and escape the banalities of real life. Typically, I'm deep into some Stephen King novel, but in between those, I read a variety of things- from nonfiction to movie novelizations to scientific studies. Lately, I've been reading old Star Trek books. There was one in particular, called "Log One," that I had purchased sometime back in the mid 80's. I remember seeing it on the shelf at the bookstore, because these "log books" went all the way up to nine or ten. To my knowledge, I never actually read it. Well, I ran across it again recently and decided to give it a go. I was surprised to find that the original copyright of the book was back in the 70's and that this was a third printing.
  After finishing (and thoroughly enjoying) Log One, I decided to go online and see if the other logs were still in print. I found Log Two online and bought it for the hefty sum of one cent plus $3.00 s/h. What a deal!
  It came in the mail yesterday, and I was happy to see that it was a first print, copyright 1974. This book was printed the year I was born.
  As I looked over the artfully camp cover, I thought about the life of this book. We were born in the same year. I went about the business of growing up, and the book was printed and shipped off to some bookstore somewhere. Somebody bought it, eventually, and had it in their own book collection. Somewhere down the line, it was either sold, or given away, maybe lost somewhere and found by somebody else. Down through thirty eight years, my life went on as the book journeyed to who-knows-where. Ultimately, it ended up in some warehouse where it waited for me to buy it, using a technology that hadn't even been invented when the book was printed. It's just incredible sometimes to think about how things end up in our hands. It's astronomical, all the things that had to line up to make that happen.
  Granted, I have much older books in my collection. I have an Edgar Allen Poe book from the turn of the 20th century. I found it in a very old bookstore in Scotland. Think about where THAT book came from, and how it ended up in my hands. It was printed a couple of decades before the Titanic sailed. I love that.
  Our lives are like that, aren't they? Novels. Stories filled with characters, broken into chapters. Good times and bad. Tragedy and triumph. I saw a great quote on a friend's Facebook page recently that shared that sentiment:

"When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anybody who leaves you, and it doesn't mean that they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over."

  I believe that quote applies to anything in life, really, not just people. Places we love, experiences we never want to end. Hell, there was once a chocolate mousse in Paris that I didn't ever want to be done with.
  I don't know what really prompted me to write this entry. Just expounding on the intricacies of life, I suppose. They're pretty amazing when you stop to think about them. Just the sheer fact that you're alive- YOU, right now- is a greater odd than any lottery that can ever be drawn.
Enjoy it.

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