1. Mineralogy. having the form of a bunch of grapes: botryoidal hematite.
Some say that the more things change the more they stay the same. But there’s this quote I painted on the ceiling of my new house after making what seemed like the most senseless move from Cali to Kentucky to start a new career. In a fit of desperation and something worse than buyer’s remorse, I climbed atop a rickety ladder, certain that I would probably fall and break my neck and be remembered as someone who was ignorantly risking her life for something vastly inferior to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
But in a moment that felt like the beginning of a midlife crisis, I remembered words that my grandmother used to say to me, a quote she’d read long ago.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.”
Not one to believe in coincidence and always straining to make sense out of the most random occurrences, I painted the words in sunset orange paint that was overpriced, but bought with the intent of brightening my new home. I read it often and would panic less about cashing out my 401K and selling everything to start my business.
When I read that quote I would feel a little less crazed. But then I would start thinking about how stable my life used to be and end up lecturing myself about the stupidity of my actions in the office supply store, only to have others stare at me quizzically and then avoid eye contact with me altogether.
On a completely regular day, in which I was once again lecturing myself about good sense, I finally encountered the end of my argument as I stared at envelopes and mumbled to myself.
“Well, I doubt that,” said a booming voice behind me.
I whipped around to see a smile that perfectly matched the voice.
“I’m–I’m sorry… are you talking to me,” I stammered.
“Yes, you asked if you had completely lost your mind, and I thought it might be good to reassure you that you hadn’t.”
I nodded, completely confused.
“If you completely lose your mind, chances are you probably wouldn’t question your sanity,” he said, calmly, as if we were having a normal conversation about the weather.
I nodded again, weighing his logic.
“Roger,” he said, extending his hand.
I nodded some more before realizing I needed to shake his hand.
“Sorry…Mel, well, Melinda, but everyone calls me Mel…”
His grip was strong and reassuring and his hands rough like he worked outside. In my embarrassment I felt encouraged by the thought that my obsession over my biggest mistake to date wasn’t seen as overwhelming to someone else.
I stared up wordless at Roger trying to think of something normal to say.
Looking back, I think it’s extremely strange how things can change so drastically in a matter of moments. One meeting or one conversation and your life seems to offshoot in this completely different direction you never expected or dreamt of because your internal dialogue was too distracting.
You can go from feeling defeated, crazed, and alone to meeting someone and realizing that your interests in life and in each other overlap and fold upon each other like those botryoidal patterns of a gemstone under a microscope. Interwoven and too complex to know the end from the beginning, my heart became enmeshed in my new everyday and I enjoyed the mistake that led me to cross paths with my future.