there is a syndrome, i forget the name, where when you hear something or read something you think it’s a sign. You think a line on a billboard is speaking directly to your life, the random song that comes up when your ipod is on shuffle is an omen, the story being told on the news when you first turn it on is related directly to you. There is an actual name for seeing the world in this way. Sometimes you wonder, is it God? is it coincidence? fate? or entirely in my head? Or all of the above.
Anyway, I started thinking this because this morning as I sat down to do some reading, still working slowly through Ulysses, I came across a Passover passage. Now, obviously it’s just coincidence, where I happen to be in a book I could have read at any point in my life. But reading it today gave me that grounded and satisfied feeling that I am doing what I should be doing, I am where I should be. Even if that is just manifested by reading a book on the morning of a holiday.
AND IT WAS THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER
He stayed in his walk to watch a typesetter neatly distributing type. Reads it backwards first. Quickly he does it. Must require some practice that. mangiD kcirtaP. Poor papa with his hagadah book, reading backwards with his finger to me. Pessach. Next year in Jerusalem. Dear, O dear! All that long business about that brought us out of the land of Egypt and into the house of bondage alleluia. Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu. No, that’s the other. Then the twelve brothers, Jacob’s sons. And then the lamb and the cat and the dog and the stick and the water and the butcher. And then the angel of death kills the butcher and he kills the ox and the dog kills the cat. Sounds a bit silly till you come to look into it well. Justice it means but it’s everybody eating everyone else. That’s what life is after all. How quickly he does that job. Practice makes perfect. Seems to see with his fingers.