Q: If you saw or experienced a miracle would you know it?
Would you dismiss it as: That’s unusual or Wow! What’re the odds of me seeing or feeling that way?
I choose to acknowledge unlikely probabilities unfolding before me as a miracles.
Miracle: An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a devine agency.
But it’s really semantics isn’t it?
Where scientific interpretation would adjudicate that finding Guns and Roses concert tickets on the street, while wearing your favourite vintage Guns and Roses sleeveless t-shirt, is a low probability occurrence.
Whereas I, a spiritual individual, would call that a miracle.
Low probability or miracle?
As they say in Thailand, “Same Same, But Different.”
Good. Had to preface with that because I’ve been in miracle soup the past few days.
I’m trying to understand the world, not the various points of contact between spiritual and scientific impasse.
Understanding the world, as only I am capable, comes from exploring the known.
The frontier of the “known” is of course the “unknown“, that’s where the art of interpretation becomes a survival tool.
I’m on the frontier like I’ve never been.
Both culturally and environmentally.
And I’m seeing and feeling things that I can’t describe.
It started with a cloud.
It was sunset, the sky was awash in both color and shapes typical of clouds at sunset.
Then colors started appearing above this particularly massive cloud formation.
The colors became iridescent, pinks and greens and of course orange.
Very similar to the color scheme of the Auroras.
It grew in its influence on the skyline.
The shape of the cloud looked like a person wearing a hat holding an index finger to their mouth in the manner one would to request, or demand, quiet.
Was it the African priest I was sitting with or Alains various Christian home decor that held my subconscious hand in justifying the imagery as religious?
Or was being with both of these men an extension of the clouds formation?
I don’t know?
Dan Harmon said recently in a podcast, “the common theme both nature and nurture share is that we (the individual) aren’t in control of either.”
We can unpack that later.
So, there I am sitting with a priest and a Christian boat officer looking at iridescent colors I’ve not seen in daylight before, pulse out of a giant cloud shaped like a person shushing me.
Let’s not read into it.
Then it rained.
The storm started with a very warm breeze, like a touch.
Then a heavy mist, less rain, more aggressive humidity.
A very unusual occurrence, as the storms here are terrifically extreme.
I shower in the rain here.
I take my soap and my shampoo, find a place out in the open, usually on the roof of my CarHouse and rub my semi nude body with the bar until I feel clean.
It was awkward initially because I was being watched by lots of people, but the necessity of being clean is a priority for me, washing with river water near the boat is sketchy.
So watch away.
I found myself standing barefoot on the barge, soaked, warm and clean. Looking deep into the distant night soaked void I knew to be jungle and fast moving water -within the water, creatures beyond understanding.
In the distance flickered bolts of rose colored lightning. Far away portions of the heavy night time jungle were momentarily awash in soft pink light.
The frequency was so fast I thought I was watching a tape of the storm in fast forward.
It was the best shower I have ever had. Putting to shame all those times I leaned pathetically against my shower wall, closed my eyes and let hot water scald my skin while fogging my tiny bathroom.
This was special.
Less a miracle and more of a complete pleasure for my being.
The next day I was playing Mangola (the bean game) with my friend Celeste when he was called to the other side of the ship.
He returned quickly and said “You must come, bring your camera, do you have your camera?!”
After following him around to the back of the boat, I saw the biggest catfish, the biggest fish, I’ve ever seen, period
It was laying in the boat moving intermittently.
I think the giant fish was using the life it had left sparingly, so as to extend the experience of existence for as long as possible.
That was my interpretation.
I’m empathic no doubt, but does that ability work on fish?
I think yes.
It was a point of succinct meaning for me, an unfortunate instruction for me to take pleasure in moments. All moments. Even if surrounded by twenty starving Congolese, with rope tied to the inside of your mouth and are unable to breathe.
Especially this moment.
Your last moment.
After the boat man who captured her received adequate payment, he stabbed the giant in the belly pulled out some guts and long parts of meaty flesh, threw them in a blue bowl being waved around by the horde, quickly jumped into his small wooden canoe and floated with the current from the boat as the mob screamed at him to finish the job.
I don’t know why the fisherman did that?
Did he want to be the one to kill the creature?
Did he think if it lived it would bring celebrity to the person who bought it?
I mean, it was already a celebrity on the boat, people were taking selfies with it and touching it.
If people will pay to see a jailed chimpanzee why not a 70 pound fish.
Whatever his reasons, he was incomplete in his buchary.
After the humiliation of being partially gutted the fish was still gasping for water.
Wanting to live.
Wanting more moments.
It’s a strange thing to learn something so very fundamental from a fish.
But I did, and in sharing it, hope you do too.
If so, I consider that a miracle.
I’ve been interpreting a lot of seemingly random coincidences these past couple days.
Sardines mixed with ramen noodles have not been enough to calorically satiate my weary brain, so off to bed, at 8 pm, I went.
Through the barge bazar, through dark, wet corridors and unknown languages, again.
Just as I arrived at the blue tarp tunnel leading to my CarHouse, I saw the small family that sleep under and behind my CarHouse dancing and singing along to music, by dim flashlight.
So I joined them.
We danced on the river.
The woman started making bird calls that were so authentic in their pitch and tone that I stopped dancing just to clap in appreciation.
So the woman did more, I loved it.
I looked so far up I was bending backwards.
I needed to absorb as much of the Milky Way as possible. Seeing stars in their plentiful, albeit impossible, formation filled me with a sense of humble acceptance and raw appreciation.
Then fire flies or lightning bugs or whatever type of flying insect with the ability to glow delicate electric green, swarmed the boat.
The reflection of green light and stars off the still water, paired with actual stars and insects, created a fabric of disbelief.
It was alien.
All the while this woman is talking like a bird and her little beautiful daughter is dancing with so much life, loving her mom, being proud of her mom, wanting to be her mom.
Even though they sleep under my car and don’t have enough food, they have a bond of love that I could literally see.
It was more beautiful than the stars and bugs and river and music.
It was shattering.
I excused myself. Entered my car and cried.
Feeling that way, is my miracle.
Oh, and Moms bird language is also a miracle.
“One in Ten to the power of forty five thousand.
It’s a number not just larger than all the particles in the universe, it is larger than all the particles in the universe if each particle were itself a universe.
The probability of your existence is equivalent to the probability of two million people getting together each to play a game of dice with trillion sided dice.
They each roll the dice and they all come up with the exact same number.
Meaning the odds you exist at all are basically zero.”
–This quote was lifted from The Reality Bubble by Ziya Tong.