This probably sounds a little strange, but it was quantum mechanics that first made me realize that little things are just as critically important to the way things are as what we think of as big things. And now here it is showing up in an internet comic strip.
I’m been remembering some of the littlest things that have been so big in my life –
- the student who told me as I was leaving the university campus for the last time that my course had changed his life.
- the woman at one of those ghastly NY parties just several months after I’d left the convent where I was being seduced by a well-known man who I suspect had a reputation to rival Strass Kahn’s. It was a crowded room and she simply caught my eye and shook her head in the negative. Who knows how long it would have taken me to learn what she told me in less than five seconds.
- the stranger who stayed in his car parked behind mine until help arrived when my own car broke down at midnight in the middle of Harlem.
- the woman who did no more than put her hand on my shoulder as I heaved with the shock of physical pain.
- the child who offered to let me hold his teddy bear when his dad told him my mother had just died.
I guess I really have to reassess my youthful judgement that St. Therese of Lisieux, the patron of little things, was a neurotic obsessive . Maybe picking up little pieces of paper really isn’t quite as unworthy of my expenditure of energy as I have always thought.
Even if I’m still not all that thrilled about being a neatness freak.
I do wish you all a happy Christmas, though.
Or one that is meaningful, if “happy” is stretching it a bit far.