“Sometimes things just click,” Nancy says. She was speaking of her fall about three months ago, which broke her glasses, which required an eye exam, new glasses, and the optometrist eventually driving them here to her (on my sixth or seventh day in Oz) whereby he was available to fix the broken arm of my own glasses in exchange for nothing more than... a pot of gold! Yes, one of Nancy’s famed homemade marmalade jars! “See, it all was meant to have happened just so you could get yours fixed,” she beams at me. “Thank goodness I fell!”
Yet in his book, ‘Flow,’ Csikszentmihalyi had it right. Check it out! (ha!) When we are in accord with our surroundings there is a synchronicity that is ethereal, as though friendly ghosts and angels are attending (should one needs differentiate between the two.) The right photo, the right document, the right amount of time before the interruption, the right words, the right flow! These are the attendees of the moment by moment interaction with the process. And then some well-intended soul will come knocking on the window to one’s insights, and jar into the harmonious graft of it.
“Just brought your magazine in for you,” he says. (He needn’t say “mate”; his accent is as thick as the far-off-bush.) Nancy speaks over my shoulder as I reach for it (since she was not there at the first one or two knocks and I’d hobbled from my chair and awkwardly come out of my zone-of-focus to go answer the I’m-wanting-something of the knock-knock-knocking on the back door window). Nancy says, “Oh, I’d left it on the porch for my granddaughter, you see. She’s coming to pick it up. Thanks very much, though. Kind of you. But I’d like it left there.” Taken aback for just a second or two, the man rallies. “Oh well, I’ll go put it back then. Didn’t want it disappearing on you, did I?” And since the whole thing is not my affair, I turn and go back to my work.
Work. It pleases. It consumes. An inner locus of focus will not surcease until a project is done. And in such state of interaction it is as if the kismet of chance, fate, and opportunity marry in a dance of magical concord. Among literally thousands of photos I am enabled to pluck out just the one we were looking for, find the right document, come to the same conclusions. And the machines and the intricacies of scanning and cutting and pasting and photo-fixing and organization and... Well, it all just ‘clicks’. Yes? Or why else does one bother to cajole at inanimate objects?
Even so for the censored letter! It seemed to materialize right when we needed it. Yet at its mercurial revelation we each paused. Nancy had a story to tell. That letter was written to her beloved twin brother, Denys. Yet since correspondence was permitted to and from the Prisoner of War Camp, Stalag Luft 111, the Gestapo opened every letter and with a thick black line censored ‘sensitive material’. Then they sent it straight back to the address of origin, unread by the intended recipient. With no explanations! Nancy’s letter was thus returned. But she would write again. Loved ones were expected to be long-term prisoners, most possibly until the horrid war ended! But now, checking up on the dates, the letter in her hand was written just four days before The Great Escape! Yet nobody on the outside knew that any escape was planned! Especially not that the 50... But by the time Nancy got this old letter back Denys had been shot, dead. To this day the single thick black mark across a line of hers on the page, like a mourning band, conceals some sentence. No explanations! But the Gestapo must have known! Yet it would take many weeks, even after receiving that letter (with its many officious stamps) for her to know that her precious brother would never be able to receive one of her letters again, let alone write one to her. Ever. Or write to anyone else. Ever.
There. You see. Even flow, at times, stops.