Thursday, 9 May 2013

It’s All Random

It’s funny how quickly we as human beings can adjust and settle into a new routine. We seem to need routine, the constancy and security of doing the same things each day, somehow expecting that the continuance of pattern will protect us against the unexpected.

This belief we have that if we do the same thing daily it will make us safe is pointless, yet we do it even in the face of evidence to the contrary. We are comforted in our routine; we feel like we are in control of our lives and our world when we shape our patterns thusly.

The reality is that we can never expect today to be like yesterday, we have no cause to believe that tomorrow will be safer if we stick to our established patterns. No matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, we cannot change tomorrow or yesterday. We can barely change what we do today given the multitude of random elements that can change the course, not only of our history but of the history of all mankind. Control is a chimera; routine is a self-comforting hubris.

After only three days of “vacationing”, I have returned to my routine, rising at around 8:00 AM, having my morning coffee, typing at this infernal keyboard, and not even three full days at that. If my disease has taught me anything it is that no amount of human intervention, no exertions on my part, no routine; nothing I do or will ever do can change the randomness of life and death. Yet here I am in routine, comforted.

I am not a fatalist by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that I continue to be humbled by the minisculity of that which I can do when faced with the panoply of randomness that surrounds me, my efforts are akin to the buzzing of a mosquito against the ambient roar of a jet engine.

Today I have arranged for a car and drive to take me into Havana and to show me a bit of Cuba. Will he show up? I don’t know; it is, after all, Cuba. Where will we go? I don’t know; I am, after all, a visitor to this place. Will I be safe? No; safety doesn’t exist no matter how much routine we put in place. All we can ever hope to do is limit the risk; we can never escape it.

Randomness abounds; it gets us all sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time.


  1. Richard -

    I posted a huge long comment to your entry asking who was reading the blog, and it didn't take. I guess I wasn't logged in or something. This one is going to be short, so I don't lose everything if it doesn't take.

  2. OK. So apparently if I log into my Google account, my post will actually work.

    I've now read the entire blog. Well, 95% of it. There were a couple entries that I inadvertently skipped, and didn't take the time to go back to.

    Wow! You write amazingly well. I admire and envy your courage and spirit, and the bravery it takes to lay it all out there as you have done.

    I'm sorry I didn't get to this sooner. You went right past our place on your road trip between El Paso and New Orleans. I would have encouraged you to stop over for a visit.

    Even though we haven't really talked in 30-odd years or so, I still think of you as a friend, and hope you do the same.

  3. Hi Rob

    I still consider you a friend too, and perhaps I can get back to your neck of the woods. As you may have noticed in the blog, my older brother Adam lives in Lake Charles.



  4. I hope today was exciting for or not! Live life to the fullest!