I’ve been thinking about infinite timelines. Not because I’ve been reading Albert Einstein but more likely because I’ve been watching Rick and Morty. And because on another timeline in an alternative universe, my one-year old cat Fish is dead and I killed her.
Recently, without me realizing it, Fish got stuck in the second drawer of my shitty dresser. The drawers are always getting stuck. I tried to close the top drawer once, twice and then paused, preparing to slam it shut as hard as I could. Something stayed my hand though.
I’ve had trouble controlling my anger in the past. The release brought on by a slammed door or a smashed electronic device always made me feel better. Or so I thought. In this instance, the relief I may have felt would’ve immediately given way to unimaginable horror. In another world (a version of hell), my little cat is dead and my partner isn’t talking to me, perhaps ever again.
Why did I keep my anger in check on this particular occasion? I don’t remember what I was thinking at the moment. Maybe a confluence of factors, or lack thereof, had something to do with it. If I had been having a bad day or even if I was hungry, I might’ve given into my frustration with the crappy furniture. But I had just had dinner and instead I calmly pulled the top drawer out to find the cutest cat ever blinking from on top of a cashmere sweater that I never wear.
I suppose you could say that God intervened in this moment. Buddhism might recognize it as a triumph of wisdom over emotion. A quote which seems to be following me around lately might be worth considering at this point. It comes from a man known colloquially as Rashi. The internet says he was a medieval French rabbi and prolific interpreter of the Talmud: “Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you.” Indeed. That especially goes for stuck dresser drawers.