Unseen Hand


I was driving home from my writer’s group. It was after dark on a Sunday evening so tragic was light. At the place where the highways split, I found myself sharing a lane with a green sedan on my right, who clearly intended, against all better judgement, to jog left two lanes to continue North instead of exiting westbound like myself. When I failed to bend myself out of shape to accommodate his lane invasion, he sped up on the ramp, cut across the lane in front of me, and plowed across the gore point onto the northbound highway. All of this took place in under half a minute, at sixty miles per hour, and within about six feet of my front bumper. I didn’t apply the brakes. I wasn’t doused with a surge of adrenaline. Afterwards, I continued on my way as if nothing had happened: because, of course, nothing had.

I found myself realizing, with a detached sort of fascination, that if a single thing had gone wrong in that interaction that my life would have branched in a completely different direction. In another near reality it was likely I was still back on the gore point with a bashed in bumper. At the least I would have been inconvenienced. At the worst I could have been dead. And here I was in this reality without so much as a raised heartrate.

I found myself wondering whether this kind of near miss might constitute an intervention: a stroke of luck, the hand of a guardian angel, a moment of grace. I found myself wondering whether this sort of benevolent intervention might be quite common in life, but that we don’t see them because they’re the things that don’t happen. I wonder how often my life has been guided by unrecognized absence in the past, and if I will ever truly be able to recognize how lucky those moments of grace have been.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on February 27, 2018.

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