Whatever you believe in, whomever is responsible in your heart for the creation of this big blue marble we all live on, there is one inescapable fact, nothing is random, there is order to all the “Matter” that surrounds us. For me it is the work of God, The Master Weaver. Now in my heart and in my experience my God is a loving God who desires our happiness, all that is necessary is that we say YES to that happiness, yes to the blessing of life and trust that the path of our life is seen and has been designed by a power greater than ours. Understanding that good things happen to bad people and that bad things happen to good people has purpose. Believing that as one door is closed, another door will open if we are paying attention. Life isn't passive, it is active even when it seems to be just bumbling along. I do not believe in randomness, that things just happen for no reason. This is just one true story to illustrate what I am writing about. I promise, this isn't a deep theological rant.
My son Zach finished his Master’s Program this year and came out for a visit. His area of study was in the arts, emphasis on poetry. During his trip here, he wanted to visit the museums of Dallas and we found ourselves at the DMA, Dallas Museum of Art. We spent the better part of two days there. Now, for a blind person you would think that spending hour upon hour at a museum would be torture, however, spending that time with my son was amazing. Not because it was a father’s chance to do something with his son, it was because visiting a museum with someone who studied art! Zach took time explaining each exhibit and I spent time being me. When I say that you have to know me. I engage everyone I meet like they are a long-lost friend greeting them as though I am happy to see them again. The reason this is important to the story is because on that day my son saw something he had seen many times before but this time it stuck. So as he taught me about art, I taught him about people. I taught him so well about how to treat people that at the end of the day one of the museum’s docents allowed us into an exclusive “Paid” exhibit for free. This artist was someone my son greatly admired and he was impressed that we got in gratis.
We concluded that day and the next day at the museum before finding ourselves at the Sculpture Garden. I began to see my son pick up some of my habits when it came to meeting and greeting people and on that day, I smiled a bit inside. We had a great time there as a sculpture garden is a bit friendlier to the blind because they don't mind so much if you touch the work. This is something that a museum like the DMA would frown upon, I imagine touching a Picasso, van Gogh or Jackson Pollock! I don't think so. Anyway, we found ourselves back at the DMA, I could tell Zach loved the place. As the week progressed we decided as a family, Zach, Kelly and I that we would head downtown to a park for a light lunch and some time spent outdoors enjoying the Texas spring weather. Now, this is where destiny blows the doors off of the theory of random, where the Master Weaver’s pattern for your life is revealed just a bit. If you aren’t looking you might miss it. As we sat in the park enjoying the sight and sounds Kelly leaned forward and said, “I’ve gotta go to the doctor.” Kelly had been dealing with an eye irritation for several weeks but it was right then at that moment she decided to declare she had had enough. Rather than asking Zach to come we asked him if he would be ok at the park while I accompanied Kelly to the Doctor. He said yes and we were off. After our appointment, perhaps an hour or so after, Zach called and said he had a story to tell us, I could tell he was more animated than normal. He said that we would have to wait because he was going to call his wife first on his walk back to our loft. Fast forward to Zach bursting through our door to tell us one of the most wonderful experiences he had ever had in his life.
It seems Zach didn’t get enough time at the Dallas Museum of Art and after Kelly and I had left the park, he returned but this time with a purpose. He wanted to know if the museum had plans to exhibit the work of poets. He employed my way of speaking and dealing with people and bing bang boom he found himself talking to one of the museum’s directors who informed him that they were having a poet do a reading shortly for patrons of the museum. She asked if he would like to attend, free of charge of course. He graciously accepted and found himself sitting just feet away from a famous poet he had studied during his MFA. To his surprise he got the chance at the end of the reading to ask the poet a question. Naomi Shihab Nye, if you are not familiar with her work a quick internet search will reveal some beautiful, rich and powerful poetry. She is a world-renowned poet who has received multiple high-profile awards for her work. She was intrigued by his question and after the reading invited my son to attend an after-event cocktail party. They had the chance to talk, she asked what brought him to Dallas and he told her it was for a visit with family and explained that he had spent a couple of days at the museum with his blind father explaining the art to him. At this point Naomi reacted very exuberantly sharing with him that her husband was working on a project specifically for the blind and their experiences with art. It seems this began some years back when Michael Nye was doing a show in Europe. He was approached by a docent at the museum and asked to explain his work to a group. He graciously accepted and was shocked as it happened to be a group of blind patrons. This served as his inspiration for his current work. Naomi asked my son if I would be interested in talking with her husband to which my son replied of course. As the event went on Naomi and my son engaged in wonderful conversation exchanging email addresses and the promise of future conversations. This is key, a young man struggling in a world where very few ever get recognized was asked by someone known worldwide to send some of his work to her. Zach had found something, someone, who could and since has given him validation for all the years of schooling, all the words and ideas committed to paper. What some would cynically call a random occurrence was in fact a founding thread in the Master Weaver’s Tapestry that is my son’s life.
But the tale does not end there, no, the Master Weaver was not finished with this section of tapestry. Michael Nye and I did in fact correspond. He shared his forthcoming book with me, sent me the foreword and we have plans to meet. But it was the book foreword that contained yet another thread of the Master Weaver’s tapestry. Kelly was reading it to me, something she does often especially when I grow weary of the digital voice that reads to me every day. As she read the foreword she read the name Michael Hingson. Now if you have red my AIRA story then you know the name Suman Kanuganti, CEO of AIRA is someone I had the pleasure to meet and spend time with. The name Kelly read that caught our attention was Michael Hingson. You see Suman had followed up with our meeting by putting me in touch with Mr. Hingson. Michael Hingson is another amazing individual, he is the author of “Thunder Dog’” and “Running with Roselle.” Both are best sellers and tell the story of a man and his guide dog. I know what you’re thinking right about now, so what?!? Michael Hingson and his dog survived the events of 911. Michael and Roselle were on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center when the planes hit and his story didn’t end that day, it began. I have had the chance to sit down with Michael Hingson and his new guide dog Alamo. We had dinner and I am now being drawn deeper into the AIRA family. It was an honor and a blessing to meet Mr. Hingson, listen to his pearls of wisdom regarding the events of one of the most tragic days in this country’s history. Listen to the work he is doing now, not just with AIRA but as a motivational speaker and unrelenting advocate for the blind. If you get a chance I would encourage you to look for his books and visit is website. His books are available for the blind as they are for the sighted. I look forward to my new friendship and the new threads the Master Weaver will purposefully intertwine.
The moral to this story is a simple one. When one door closes another door opens. Too often in life when a door is closed we find ourselves stubbornly standing there, banging on that door hoping it will reopen. The truth is, that door is closed, that part of your life is over and if you are awake and open to change, if you are paying attention, there is another door open awaiting your arrival. Don't be a cynic, don't be one of those people stuck in your path standing in front of a door that closed long ago. Don't be one of those people who believe that change is a result of “the random” or a punishment. Be that curios soul who ventures on, explores the path seeking the doors that are open understanding that change is inevitable and designed to enhance your life. For me, now, when a door closes I don't spend time lamenting the fact that change is now the order of the day. I embrace change, I know that the door that has closed is just my life moving from one page to the next and I can’t wait to see what is on the next page. For my son, the door to college closed and he met someone who can mentor him as he begins to navigate the world of the arts. For me, if you have read any of the parts of my story then you know change is and has been happening and the story of my life hasn’t been written, it is being written, woven one thread at a time by a God who simply wants me to say “Yes” to the blessings showering down on me. Nothing is random, everything has a purpose and a meaning, it is incumbent upon each one of us to find the next door, to have the courage and faith necessary to walk through it and to be a part of the Master Weaver’s Tapestry rather than stand in opposition of it. Kelly and I have committed to this year, 2018, as being our year of “YES!” yes to doors closing, yes to the doors that open and yes to greeting change with a smile. Yes, to whatever the next thread in our tapestry may be. My challenge to you is to give “YES” a try, when a door is shut, find the next one that has opened. Be certain that by moving forward your life will unfold in the most amazing ways. Make today the first day in your time of YES!
Below, photo of the Divine holding the earth.