The Turning of the Wheel
April 18, 2008 § 4 Comments
The Wheel of Fortune has always been for me something of an abstraction. I understood what it represented – fate, destiny, changes, things outside our control – but had never really felt the effect of its slow, indifferent movement on my own life. Perhaps I was blind to it, or perhaps I believed that most things – most important things anyway – were all a result of my own efforts. After all, the Wheel of Fortune is the ultimate symbol of fatalism, which is a philosophy I’ve never really put much stock in.
Yet, in this month of April, 2008, at the age of 32, I feel the Wheel of Fortune turning for me for the first time. Suddenly, things are happening in my life which are completely outside my control. Suddenly, I find myself watching my life change before my eyes – slowly, yes, but no less resolutely. The future that I thought lay before me is morphing into something else entirely, like some weird virtual reality special effect.
It’s strange, but it’s not unwelcome. The Wheel of Fortune doesn’t wait for you to be ready for change. It doesn’t always come along at just the right time, when it’s convenient for you, and it doesn’t ask for permission to turn. It just rolls on in, does its thing, flips your life upside down, and rolls on out.
Fortunately for me, I see this particular turn of the Wheel as a blessing. Perhaps another time in my life, the Wheel will bring me nothing but heartache. Or perhaps, no matter in which direction the Wheel turns, it’s simply your attitude that determines whether it brings you good or bad fortune. Things are happening to me, yes, and I have very little say in what’s going on, but I’m not a victim, crushed under the Wheel’s heavy tread. Rather, I’m like a message in a bottle, floating in a sea of uncertainty. I don’t know where I’m going, or even if I’m going anywhere. I may fill with water and sink like a stone. But I float anyway, trusting the waves to take me where they may, if they may.
I quite like it.