Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Silence Isn't Quiet

[Title from Andra Day's Rise Up, which while amazing in its own right, is incidentally the soundtrack to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) Hockey Night in Canada's montage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs....#spoileralert which the Pittsburgh Penguins won \Ö/]

When a player is in a slump, statistically there is no guarantee that the slump will continue - or end.  Every play, every at-bat, every shot is a distinct flip of the proverbial coin, and the previous flip and the next flip have no bearing on the outcome of the current flip.  No one is "due" - for anything - if statistics has anything to say about it.

Of course, karma (and particularly adamant religious followers) would beg to differ with statistics.

At some point in late December or early January, karma slipped statistics a weighted coin.

This morning I was supposed to leave for five weeks in Israel.  Yet here I sit in Bloomington, dealing with a foot injury that I initially suffered on New Years Day.  It's my fourth stint in a boot in 6 months; this one ends in August.  And since it's difficult to complete 4-day, 70k hikes across Israel in an open-toed rocker boot, my doctor said no trip.

And so I am at very loose ends, which is not a good look on me.  Everything that comes to mind to do requires a foot.  Example: one of the first replacement idea was driving to the Grand Canyon to do the Rim to Rim (to Rim).  Or Yosemite.  Yeah.  I sense a theme.

What does this have to do with karma?  Since that original break so many moons ago, everything in my life has broken.  I actually said that to a State Farm insurance agent in late June, when in the wake of an accident on April 10 my car had been in the shop for pushing a month....and was facing a declaration of totaled.

My foot - four times.
My car - twice.
My acceptance into the next phase of graduate school - once.
The rabbit I fostered to behavior train has now been in the shelter for almost a year.
People who shouldn't get into Harvard did and people who should, didn't.
My trip.
And on and on and on.

People who should have gotten into Harvard decided that the Penguins were borrowing my luck, and then the day after they won, my luck would return and my foot magically heal.  Surprisingly - and I'm sure statistics did have something to do with this - that did not happen.

So, a slump.  Seemingly defying statistical reality and intervention.  Creating very loose ends at which find myself, and free-flowing time that is filled by pondering what alternatives would have shifted this reality one healed (or never broken) bone to the left.  The silence most definitely isn't quiet.

But maybe statistics isn't using illegal gambling implements.  As I sat down to write this today, the Ataturk Airport in Turkey was bombed.  Before settling on Israel, I was planning to go to Turkey - until it became clear that that is not a place to go right now, natch.

If I had gone to Turkey, I wouldn't have been there today; I was starting in Slovenia.  But I would have been somewhere over the Atlantic today, heading to the Middle East at 500 mph.

Was a broken bone the alternative that shifted this reality one bomb to the right?  Did my broken bone keep me safe?  Alive?

SIDE NOTE: I won't necessarily choose more peaceful travel destinations. Because statistically (with an unweighted coin) I am just as likely to get shot in my office in Bloomington by a lab mate's disgruntled ex, as I am to get blown up in the Middle East.  Maybe instead I'll choose to conduct comprehensive back-ground checks on my lab mates and their partners.

So, a slump?   [Is karma just the anti-statistical perspective taken on a single coin flip?]

Well one in the park home run does not a streak make....

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