Not Supposed To

Yesterday we had two visitors to the garden and no, there were not dwarves. The mole is back after a few months and this morning there was evidence that a badger had been rooting at the base of the holly tree. Maybe we should get an infrared activated camera trap after all. The nearest badger set is about half a mile away, it has been unoccupied for a few months, but yesterday we saw it had been re-occupied. And one of them returned our visit. By half ten this morning we had done our Christmas shop, filled up with breakfast at a café and fuelled up the car. The day to day carries on much as usual. But from time to time “weird shit” happens. It is not supposed to, but it does.

A lot of these not supposed to things have happened in my life. For example, only a loony would quit a “tenured” then ~£50k a year job at a top university, but I did, and it was a little out of the blue. Nobody saw that coming not even me. What does one do when something which is not supposed to happen does? Well one can go, “that was weird” and then get on with life as “normal”. Or one can research and otherwise look into it. As these not supposed to events mount, I suppose it makes you wonder about supposition in general. If you hit a paradox, what can you do?

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”

 As quoted in “Niels Bohr : The Man, His Science, & the World They Changed” (1966) by Ruth Moore, p.196

I have found that these not supposed to events are rich with learning, you might call them a glitch in the Matrix. Things are usually weird because we lack contextual framing. If our context is wider, less seems weird. Trying to fit some of my stranger dreams and visions into the context of an erstwhile science academic fails. I have had to look further afield. In looking the contextual framing expands and weird shit seems much less weird.

The whole idea of supposed to relates to the notion of what I call “acceptable life trajectories”. These lives are how things are supposed to pan out. There is an assumption. When I was talking with the fund raiser girl the other day she wanted to know why I did not stay on to become a professor. I could not explain it to her fully, that would have taken hours. To her my life trajectory was unacceptable to her suppositions. Babies are not supposed to die young, and someone is not supposed to die of cancer the day before Christmas, maybe just after New Year would be OK. It can be easy to feel victimised by these not supposed to events. But as they say; “shit happens, man”. How we respond varies. Trying to corral life to a trajectory is less and less easy in our modern times, there is more uncertainty.

Having cued this up:

How many not supposed to events have there been in my life?

What did I make of them?