29. “Lazy Eye,” Silversun Pickups, Revisited

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Yesterday my late grandfather spoke to me through shuffle.
I’ll just let that sink in for a minute…

Do you believe in the mystical? In the afterlife? I’ve always been of two minds, which is true of a lot of things for me. The rational side of my brain says, no way. We’re all congealed space dust and one day we’ll once again be uncongealed space dust. But I think part of being rational is knowing that anything is possible.

Way back in high school I decided that was the ruling principle of my views on life, the universe and everything. I declared myself a Possiblean, a term I thought I cleverly coined (turns out there actually is a philosophy called “possibilianism.”) My slogan, which appeared under my high school yearbook grad photo, was, “Anything is possible until it hasn’t happened.” Meaning, if when the universe ends there’s something that hasn’t happened, then it was impossible. But until then, anything can happen.

Yesterday something amazing and comforting happened. Pure rationalists will say it was coincidence, and that’s fine. But I’m going to say I’m going to believe that it was a message from beyond. Because I want to, and because it’s possible.

I wrote about this gorgeously dynamic song last year: Post No. 14. About how it reminded me of when my grandfather died and how it was an inspiring time of family unity, much to his own credit.

I spent much of yesterday’s morning commute on the train feeling pretty down. Just the stuff of human experience, the specifics don’t really matter. What matters is that I was really severely bummed. But at the EXACT MOMENT of my most extreme desperation, when the negative thoughts were at their peak, this song came up on shuffle. The song that reminds me of him, the song that prompted me to write about his life and his influence on me.

Gramps was a worrier, too. But he was a survivor. He would’ve empathized. It was kind of an emotional five minutes and 55 seconds. I just kind of held my face in my hand, in shock but also feeling comforted. As my birthday-mate Brian Aubert sang the closing refrain, “I’ve been waiting for this moment,” I gave a nod of thanks to Gramps. I guess he’d been waiting for that moment to put a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

There was a 1 in 5,366 chance of that song playing at that moment, based on the number of songs on my phone and the number of songs that shuffle had played before it. If you believe random websites, the odds are better of being struck by lightning or dying from strangulation.

I like to believe this was real. I’m going to believe it. But, regardless, it left me feeling less desperate and gave me some comfort, and that’s a good thing.

I’d really love to hear from anyone else who feels like they’ve received comforting messages from beyond. Use the comments or tweet me @myshuffledlife.
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