Saturday, January 31, 2009


my son has an idea for an invention.
he thinks this should already exist, and can't imagine why someone hasn't figured it out yet:
he wants to invent rear/side mirrors for your car that A, eliminate blind spots, and (more importantly) B, eliminate the "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" issue.
I've done my research, and understand it's all about convexity, a necessary aspect of that passenger-side mirror due to the distance it is from the driver.
however, seeing as our technological advances in the past few years have become astronomical, I see my son's point.
I think he should go for it, work that out, and make himself a nice little fortune. I think he'd share, at least a little, because he's that kind of kid. in a conversation about having a million dollars or so the other day he actually said---implying that there is a limit---how much money does one person need?
keep an eye out for a change in the way we view things while driving our cars.

what really made me think of this, however, is a comment from someone I met last summer. he used that very phrase, warning me in a teasing way to keep an eye out for him. keep your eye on that rear view mirror, because objects are closer than they may appear.
which leads my little brain off on a wiggly path of connections: we are never as isolated as we think. how many times do we bump into people we used to know or used to know us? who know someone we know, or who are related to a friend? as we get older and meet more people, this grows exponentially, and before you know it, there is a loosely woven web connecting almost everyone we know. 6 degrees of separation and all . . .
and how many times to we cross paths with each other, nearly meeting but not quite, following in each other's footsteps, forging paths that someone we know will someday travel?
I believe in some form of fate, and that much of this connecting and crossing and weaving is meant to be. and I would give just about anything to --- just for a few moments --- sit up above and look down upon it all, gazing and finding that I am gaining an understanding of the big picture.

a week ago my son had to write a paper on whether or not he believed in fate. he asked me for some help, and I asked him which side he stood on. I don't believe in fate, he said. we talked for a bit about how to structure his discussion, and then he left to go work on it. I reflected on his words, and his position, and where he is in his life. I have no idea if I believed in fate when I was 16, and I will do nothing other than respect where he is right now.
but I do hope that one day, whether he invents his perfect side mirror or not, he will have experiences that make him realize that at times, people, events, and experiences are closer to our own lives and existences than they may appear.

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