Wednesday, July 28, 2004

cosmic aether

For an apatheist*, cynic, critical thinker, realist, etc. I have a weirdly strong belief in the cosmic aether. Not the stuff that was widely thought to be the medium through which light and information traveled in space, but a metaphysical aether. The stuff that connects us all in the weird creepy way that makes you answer the phone, "Hi, mom... yeah, I just knew it was you..." or makes every obscure movie you reference obliquely show up on cinemax the next day.
The aether has come up twice in conversation at my house in the past two days. Once in reference to the job market, and once while talking about how best to get through downtown without hitting any red lights.
See, the way it works is this: You throw something like an intention, a job application, a personal ad into the aether. The intention/application/ad hits the aether and makes little aether ripples that slowly work their way through the universe, eventually sparking an event that ripples its way right back to you. It just does. It's magic.
Here. Let me flesh this out a little more. [ed. note: people who use the expression "flush this out" need to think about what that really means. ok? ew.]
Let's say you're looking for freelance work in, say, the field of marketing writing. So, you send out your cleverly made advertising postcards to 100 small companies for which you've uncovered the name of the appropriate person in the appropriate department and for whom you have a telephone number with which you can make a follow up call in a week. That's 100 little intention pebbles that you've just thrown into the aether!!! Of course none of those people are going to be interested in your work. So what!?!? You've got the ripples still working for you!
Inevitably, after applying for 237 jobs, or sending out 100 marketing postcards, or putting up 3 personal ads, you have irritated the cosmos with so many ripples that it's going to spit something back out at you like some cosmic aether hairball. Poof. Some friend calls with a freelance gig totally unrelated to your mailing. Someone finds your resume online on a site you haven't updated in 4 years and they call with a great job opportunity. You meet someone in a museum who can quote the same movies as you and thinks your few extra pounds are damn sexy. Doesn't matter where you throw the pebbles, just freakin' throw 'em!
The other aspect to the aether is that it has something of a schadenfreude-ish sense of humor. You know, you carry an umbrella every day in your car for a year, and the day you take it out, it pours and you're wearing a suede jacket and you're going for an interview. Lesson: always carry an umbrella. If you want to get through downtown without hitting any traffic lights, try to write something down on a small piece of paper that requires stopping for "just a sec'". Green for miles...
The aether is feisty. I think that's why I believe in it...
*An apatheist is someone who really just can't be bothered with believing in a god... Yawn.


NicoleAllee said...


Another example: it's how you always end up working with people last seen, oh, about 7 years ago, when they were taking over your job. Or needing to look someone up to contract for you three years later.

This would be why the whole Do You Change Your Name When You Get Married thing is a PITA. What if said contractors have no idea who Mrs. Pope is?

Another way of talking about Aether: the Universe tries to be benevolent. It just doesn't always understand us with our crazy not getting our hopes up too high don't think about getting it or you'll jinx it kind of thought processes.

Was that last a sentence?

Anonymous said...

There was actually an article in a magazine I read recently (Scientific American?) about how _something_ with a million to one chance occuring likely to happen, say, about once a month, simply because there are _so_many_ possible coincidences that could occur. -- Andy