I am in love with Meghan Daum’s essay from Sunday’s NYTimes, “I Nearly Died. So What?” It so perfectly captures my own irreverent feelings every time I hear one of what I’ve come to call “The Platitudes,” which perhaps I should put in ALL CAPS, so ubiquitous and “believe in them lest you commit blasphemy” have they become.
No, I do not think that a brush with death need wake us up to anything, and I definitely do not believe everything happens for a reason. I have too much life experience to believe that, not to mention the mincemeat the renowned statistician David J. Hand made of that in his book The Improbability Principle which, true confession, is waiting, as yet unread, in my must read asap queue. Still, I am 99.9% sure that Hand will win me over, predisposed as I already am to see logic where others might look for mystical magic. I am, it is worth noting, a highly spiritual person. I just don’t use the logic of spirituality — which belongs more to the nonphysical world than the physical one (in my opinion) — to run the practical aspects of my life.
I do, as it happens, let the mystical intrude upon my ordinary reality. As a writer, I know, for example, that when we step away from a problem, the answers come via a process that is nine kinds of mystical.