T.A. Barnhart

carpe bucko

this means nothing

I never know what to think when stuff like this happens to me. I do find it a lot of fun, so there’s that.

This week’s plan, agreed on with my therapist, is for me to go to a coffeeshop daily and do something creative. I don’t have a studio or office, but even at $5.50 a pop – today’s menu is tea and a molasses cookie – that’s a lot cheaper than a studio or office. But the first thing I had to do today was take my bike, via bus, to my bike shop and get the front tire looked at.

Which is when the odd things began to occur.

#1. Voice

As I waited for the next bus, having missed the first one by only a minute, I began to think about how I would use today’s outing. I hadn’t remembered to bring the external hard drive that had some files I was using to create a longer project, so I was going to have to just do something from scratch. Fine; an opportunity to write and work on finding/creating/developing my voice. Which is exactly the term I had in mind: my voice.

(And yes, that’s foreshadowing.)

Jump ahead twenty minutes and a second bus, and I’m listening to a podcast where Mo Rocca is talking about his early career. And he talks, of course, about how a series of events led him to get past scripted comedy and to find/create/develop his voice.

I swear, I honestly did think explicitly about my voice while waiting for the first bus. And Mo Rocca was waiting to tell me more about that process on the next bus.

#2. The Catholic Sentinel

Mo’ Rocca, as in “more Mo” Rocca. As he talked about his experiences that led him to finding his authentic voice, he spoke about his family growing up and how his parents would base what he and his brothers could watch on TV on what they learned from the weekly Catholic Sentinel. Not more than five minutes later – and yes, I’m guessing you know where this is going.

Not more than five minutes later, a woman gets on the bus and sits opposite me (facing me, on the sideways seats at the front). She pulls out and begins to read, because of course she does, the Catholic Sentinel.

Tell me how often you see someone read the Catholic Sentinel on public transit.

#3. Conclusions

I have no conclusions for this. There is no inherent meaning in these two coincidences. When I was a Christian, such things would have been proof of God’s guidance. I know some people who would just as devoutly ascribe that intention to “the Universe”.

Me, I have no fucking idea. The entire enterprise of consciousness is so incredible, I think it’s possible that meaning is created by the mere existence of humans – but those meanings are limited to humans on the same wavelength. Someone living in the Amazon jungle of Brazil would have little comprehension of much of what passes for “meaning” in my head; I would have only the slightest understanding of what living that life means for those people.

And neither of us would really have a clue about why Mo Rocca would talk about those things and I would hear his words when I did. But it happened, it was fun, and I still have a long way to go in developing an authentic voice.

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T.A. Barnhart