With summer looming, I’ve spent the last six weeks helping Peach ease back into school. She’s doing SO well, she amazes me every day. And while she isn’t quite ready for a full day’s immersion, or riding the bus, or being there on her own without me nearby, we are totally stoked to have her eating lunch in the cafeteria again, going out for recess, staying for art each afternoon and working with her tutor. She’s even gotten back into a classroom over the last few days! Believe me, for a PANDAS kid who’s been out of school and homebound for six months, this is HUGE.
But, as you might guess, I personally have a lot of time on my hands right now, hanging out in the school lobby or sitting on the floor in the hall outside her classroom. I’m writing a bit, but I’m also doing some reading to pass the hours. And I just had one of those “Whoa!” experiences I’ve mentioned before, about all this stuff that’s swirling about in my head lately, thanks to a great little book.
I may ramble, but there is a point here… That’s how I roll.
So, I recently finished reading a novel that my seventh grader, Dragon, had to read for school. He’s a voracious reader, and is always bugging me to read something he’s excited about, but I’m usually too caught up reading books from more “grown-up” genres (like New Age thought, health, self-help or neurological disorders) to take the time to read a “kids’ book.” When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, is a Newberry winner, so I guess it’d be classified as a “kids’ book.”
After putting this little gem down, I think I need to heed my son’s advice more often.
It’s such a great story, and centers around themes of friendship, family, social status, and adolescent angst. I found myself identifying with Miranda, the main character. She’s a latch-key kid, growing up in the late Seventies, and being raised by a single mom. I was all three of those things, so I saw a lot of myself as I read her story. And for most of the book, that was enough to hold my interest. But this book also has a lot to do with time travel, of all things, and making connections… it really made me think.
There’s a part in the story where a boy named Marcus is trying to explain time travel to Miranda, who’s favorite book is Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time (I also loved this book as a kid.) Marcus isn’t really getting through to Miranda, so a girl named Julia, who is kind of Miranda’s nemesis, jumps in to set her straight. She explains time travel using her ring, which is studded in diamond chips that run all around it. Julia tells Miranda to think of each diamond chip as a moment in time, and that we just hop from one chip to another… I recall once on TV, hearing time also described as a loaf of sliced bread… it’s all part of the same loaf, but each slice is a slightly different version, or alternate universe, as some of you might call it.
But what if you don’t like the slice you’re on? Did you land on the wrong diamond chip? Now what??? How do you get to another universe; one you prefer to where you are now?
Did you ever see The Matrix ? Remember the scene where Neo goes to see the Oracle and he’s in the waiting room? There’s a little boy who looks like Buddha bending spoons with his mind… but then he tells Neo, “There is no spoon.” Neo, who is still trying to wrap his head around deja vu and glitches in the Matrix, is perplexed, but eventually he figures it out – it’s all in his perception, and once he changes his perception, he changes his reality.
A few years ago, just as things were getting really hard at our house, Guitar Man lost his little sister. She spent a couple of weeks in the hospital in a nearby city before she passed away, and had, after many days of being unresponsive, “come around” not long before I arrived to visit. I helped her eat her first meal in almost two weeks, and she proceeded to tell me about a near-death experience she’d had. I recall driving home from that visit later on, listening to a Goo Goo Dolls CD I’d borrowed from the library. It was a very surreal afternoon – not only had my sister-in-law (who was far from being a religion person) just told me she’d seen God, but the songs I was listening to all seemed to impart incredibly relevant personal meaning that day. And with thoughts about all those things mashing it up in my brain, I had a jarring epiphany as I neared home and drove through the neighborhood that borders my own… I almost slammed on the brakes… What if Harry Potter’s world is real? What if we are ALL potential wizards? And Muggles are just the people who haven’t figured out how to work the “magic” yet?
What if choosing which “diamond chip” you want to be on is as simple as DECIDING to do just that?
“I don’t like the chip I’ve landed on, so I’m going to apparate to a new one.”
I’m not sure where you are right now, but the chip I’ve been occupying the last year hasn’t been so great. Perhaps it’s time I stop trying to bend the spoon.
Miranda, in When You Reach Me, tells us that her mother believes there’s a magic thread connecting everything, and that you have to “lift the veil” that usually covers your eyes in order to see it… Since I began this spiritual journey, I see this thread all the time. You’ll see it, too, once you learn to recognize it. It’s there in the fact that a new movie based on A Wrinkle In Time came out in the theaters the same week I was reading When You Reach Me. It was there when my husband’s little sister regained consciousness long enough to tell me she’d seen God, then died less than 48 hours later. It was there in the lyrics to a song that I needed to hear at that very moment. It’s in the furry face of every groundhog I’ve seen since my mother died. It was there when Peach found a crumpled magazine ad under my car, bearing a message that she desperately needed to receive that day… “Perhaps I am stronger than I think.”
And it’s there in every coincidence, every moment that makes YOU think, “Wow, that was weird.” It wasn’t, really. YOU manifested it.
Abraham-Hicks has a mantra; “Everything is working out for me”… On some diamond chip, IT IS – you just need to believe it, to hop to the right one.
I’m thinking time travel is possible… it’s the Law of Attraction. Or as Wayne Dyer said, “Change your thoughts, change your life.”