Last night I did my first evening lesson at the language school where I’ve got a bit of work. After the class I dived down into the metro to get myself back to the flat for a bowl of soup and then bed. I exited the metro and was making my way through the dark streets when all of a sudden something exploded on the pavement a few feet in front of me.
I stopped in my tracks.
Someone had thrown, with force, a bottle of beer out of the window a few floors up. I could hear shouting from above so guessed there was some sort of row going on. I could feel that little drops of beer had settled in my hair and was concerned that there may be shards of glass there too. Across the road, three young men, who had also seen the bottle smash onto the pavement, were calling to me, asking me if I was OK. I crossed over to them and we had a chat and a laugh as they searched my hair for glass – finding none. I thanked them for the impromptu head massage and carried on my way.
It wasn’t until I’d had my soup and settled down a little that I realised how close I’d come to a serious incident. If the bottle had hit me on the head I’d surely be in hospital now, maybe even the morgue.
A series of ifs presented themselves to me. If I’d:
• Walked a little faster
• Sat on a seat nearer the exit of the metro
• Not stopped to look in a shop window a few yards from the corner
I would have taken a direct hit.
Of course, there are other ifs; if I’d written up my post-class notes more quickly and got the metro before the one I did get, I wouldn’t have seen the bottle explode and this blog post wouldn’t exist at all.
Carlos Castaneda, in the Don Juan books, wrote of death always sitting on our left shoulder, ready to merge with us when the time comes. We never know when that time will be, though we all know it will come, some time. Ultimately we are all one breath away from death.
Makes you think!
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha!