The Unforeseen Ripples We Create

Drip, drip, drip

[Spoiler Alert for Kevin Kline in 2002’s, “The Emperor’s Club”]

I ‘took’ Pat Hauldren’s Tai Chi & Meditation class recently at Savvy Authors [] and I place that verb in quotes for a good reason. I didn’t participate much. Mainly I lurked. (I did learn the online meaning of that term there, though.)

I guess I hoped it’d have an effect on me by the mere fact I signed up for it. By some magical means of osmosis.

This morning however, I had the kind of Nature-experience that I’d hoped to foster by taking the class in the first place. I was out on my back porch having a late-ish breakfast watching some birds have their necessarily-perpetual one. After they’d flown away and in between dog-barks and crow-calls I swore I could hear the drip, drip, drip of the garden hose that lay draped over the stone edge of and slightly into the pool.

I looked intently and if I’d had a ‘bionic eye’ (or ‘Terminator eye’ or a Battlestar Galactica’s ‘Cylon eye’) I might have been able to see low-energy sound waves emanating from the scene. Alas, the dogs and crows intervened – not to mention lack of said Eye – then some smaller birds returned to feed so I never will be sure if I did hear the drips or not.

Certainly though my full attention was at that point drawn – Zen meditation-like – to the ripple that formed upon impact. From there I quickly noted the ‘rebound’ ripple bounce back off the wall a short 6” behind the impact-point. As soon as I observed it I realized the scientist in me should have anticipated that very thing. The professional critic in me should have immediately chastised that scientist for falling down on the job – but it didn’t. So much for the Zen experience.

Instead, those unforeseen, unanticipated bounce-back ripples (and the shadows they cast, as well) spun off into a musing. A musing on what I had determined as the take-away message in a terrific (‘little’ & quiet, yet profound) movie we’d watched the night before called “The Emperor’s Club”.

Kevin Kline’s character is tremendously disappointed at not getting a position high on the prep-school food-chain he’d felt destined for. As a ‘lowly teacher’ he hadn’t truly recognized how deeply he’d already impacted countless lives. Neither did he yet fully see that by ‘losing’ the headmaster position he was embarking on a whole new season of teaching. And this new season would offer him the chance to help shape the children of his very first students.

What unforeseen ripples and shadows are you and I creating with the ‘little things’ we do each day or especially over a ‘season’ of our lives? What opportunities might we make right where we are ‘when one door closes’ or that ‘other one’ we so think we want fails to open?

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