Snow day! Eclipse day! Let’s move some pieces of fabric around day! (exclamations day!)
Randomly. I was reading an article in the New Yorker by Joshua Rothman on decision making. In it he references Tolstoy’s War and Peace, where the Russian general is asking himself: what decision did he make that ended up with Napoleon almost at Moscow? The point is that rarely are decisions made in isolation. They tend to be part of a process, a series of events.
Rothman talks about how there’s a lot we don’t see. And there’s a lot we don’t know. As well, the past is not always a good predictor of the future. You can weigh and balance and entertain advice but …”(l)ife’s truly consequential decisions ‘can’t be understood on a single scale'”. We can’t know how we will grow and change.
And then, there are the truly transformative decisions…
You might have experienced one or two (more?) of them in your life. The writer mentions having a baby. To an outsider, it may look as if that decision ended badly: they see how tortuous the months after birth appear: sleeplessness, diapers, slow life. But Rothman verifies that, inside it, there is another reality. Somehow, the parental love that accompanies that time is so transformative that it outweighs everything.
I’ve felt that. And I see that. I witness that watching Nika and Scott with baby Cecilia.
I notice too, that their decision influenced my life. Until last spring, I was talking vaguely of possibly moving to Bath someday. Maybe. But then… Nika got pregnant.
The other day when I was walking with dear Peaches in a gorgeous wooded trail that is a full 3? 5? minutes from my door, I thought about how I’m here because of them. Because Cecilia was coming. It took this to get me to move.
So, I ask myself, “Did Nika get me to come here?”
Or was it Cecilia?