Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our Fragile Connection

"I am as vulnerable and fragile as it is possible to be."
  Rachel Hunter

This morning, my daughter comes down to the main house from the Vortex (it's the smaller house we call the Vortex as straight pictures look crooked and balls roll uphill - well, not really), and asks if we paid our phone bill.  She had called the house and gotten a disconnect message.   A little worried, as we've got a lot going on right now that requires the phone, I start checking everything and surmise that it is not our shoddy inside lines, but indeed a problem with the phone company.  That is a relief. In the 24 years we've lived here, I've strung several phone lines, and now all but one has been eaten by critters.  I'm told they're attracted by the electrical current that runs through them.  Either that, or they're trying to tap into our lines to make free long distance calls.  Damn critters.  But fortunately, it wasn't us this time.

So I call our phone company, of course using my pay-by-the-minute cell phone, and begin the exciting process of trying to talk to a person.  Trying to keep the phone close to my ear so I can hear my  "options", with a finger poised to poke whichever button I need to connect to whichever of the apparently unlimited options, I finally get the voice which tells me how long I have to hold for...11 minutes.  But they do offer the option to call me back. I choose that.

Thankfully, a few minutes later, they call me back and I explain my problem. 

"Well, it looks like somebody cancelled your phone service 2 days ago."
"Yes. Your service has been cancelled and ported to a different telephone company."
"Did someone recently switch your service?"
"WHAT?!  NO. We've been with you for 24 years. The last thing we'd want to bother with right now is switching our phone service."

Finally, an hour later, after numerous long holds with the most God-awful muzak in the background, one accidental disconnect, and my cellphone restarting itself, and "hold please, while I talk to my supervisor (another department/the porting department), here's what happened, as best we can figure.  Some IDIOT got stopped at one of the street-side phone company sales booths and convinced to switch to the new company.  Not having enough brains to know their own telephone number, they evidently gave ours instead.  This started an irreversible process called porting.  Even though the new order was cancelled (probablly immediately when they remembered their own phone number), the fuse had been lit.  My  phone company was now unable to recover my phone as a PASSWORD had been placed on MY phone number, which nobody knew.   At one point in this hour long phone session, it looked as if we might have to be issued a new phone number.  Fortunately, that wasn't necessary, although we may have a new account number.  All this cuz some idiot couldn't remember his own phone number, and we end up having to deal with the time, money and energy.  Even now, our phone has not regained service so it's a waiting game.  We can only  hope.

But this bizarre scenario made me think of just how precarious and fragile all our connections are.  Just as we assume our telephone is going to work in the next few minutes, day after day, we assume that our body is going to continue to work, day after day.  There are SO many things we take for granted, including the fact that I'll wake up tomorrow, or make it through the day without being hit by a meteorite, have a massive heart attack, or swallow and choke on a fly (it COULD happen). 

For instance, several weeks ago, my son was rear-ended in an auto accident.  Fortunately he wasn't  killed, but he has sustained enough damage that he's got multiple doctors, a physical therapist, a lawyer and an appointment with a spinal surgeon. For the foreseeable future, he's not to do any lifting, which makes his livelihood as a farmer a bit precarious.

A few years back, I had a heart attack.  I didn't even know it at the time.  I just knew I was in a lot of pain for a week or so.  A month or so later, getting some tests to hopefully determine the problem, after taking my EKG, the technician asks, "When did you have your heart attack?" 
"WHAT?!"  (I say  that a lot.)  Evidently the machines can tell better than me that I had a heart attack and even in which part of my heart. - everything but when. But that can probably be determined by when I was in so much pain!  That was a wake up call!  (Fortunately our telephone DID work then, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten that wake up CALL - rimshot)

So at any moment EVERYTHING can change.  And in most cases, there is nothing you can do to stop it.  I mean, there are always things you can do to prepare, but there are no guarantees. It's like that famous jogger some years ago - the epitome of health, who drops dead one day of a heart attack at 35 or something.  I take ridiculously bad care of myself and I've made it to 60. But there's never any way of absolutely knowing what's next. So what do you do? 

Just like a dream which can disappear at any moment, everything we know is subject to a very fragile reality. All we can do is appreciate what IS there in the moment, and SURRENDER to everything that arises. To me, ultimately it is all the will of God, and although I could worry or fret or prepare in a thousand ways, my  control of the situation is basically nil. So for me, the best course of action is chanting God's Holy Name, happily and constantly.  Works for me anyway.

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