“Dad and I think you should write.” you said, planting an annoying seed. Like a weed, it took root and gave me no peace.
It was in 2007 and we were talking on the phone. I was in New Zealand and you were still married to the ex and were struggling to raise good humans in a difficult situation. You were magnificent in this regard. You just got on with it.
I listened and then threw out some ideas for a book. You laughed and said that I should have a character in it that is you and she would be called Sophia. At the time I said sure. I could have a lot of fun with that.
For someone who has a hard time reading, you are pretty smart.
Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom. But wisdom isn’t book smart. It’s accumulated knowledge. If you believe in reincarnation, it’s the accumulated wisdom of more than one lifetime.
They say write what you know. I have been looking for a place to share my little stories from driving, and in fact from working all over the world.
The thing is, we all only ever get tantalising bits of wisdom. Sometimes when we look at art, or listen to music or read something that resonates – that tickles something deep inside. We long for more of that good stuff.
There’s just no way that I alone can build a full understanding of this incredible world and journey that we are all on.
So I decided to create this website. A website where people can share. Stories of connection, stories that help fill our collective wisdom gaps. Where I could tell funny stories from my strange life. They say write what you know.
I was thinking about this one day while I was waiting to get a rideshare rider on the north shore of Auckland. I was thinking of what the website would look like and who might be interested. I finally got a ping on my Uber app.
It was a woman named Sophia.
I almost cried. I drove to pick up an actual Sophia and wondered what she would be like. I imagined a sort of Mediterranean goddess.
I was wrong. I’m always wrong.
It was a tiny, serenely beautiful Asian woman. She got in my car and we chatted. As usual we were beyond superficial in a few seconds.
She is from a part of China that is very close to the North Korean border. In a small but confident voice she told me what happened to North Koreans who made it over the border.
Because sometimes Chinese people would help them and sometimes they would send them back.
Sophia, the outlook isn’t good for the ones who are sent back. The rest of that horrible story belongs with the lovely delicate Sophia.
Researching a bit for this website, I found an expression. Godwinks. Yeah, I knew you’d like that.
The internet explanation is “An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to a prayer.”
I like synchronicity better: “the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.”
Except, the longer I live the more difficult it is to accept the “no discernible causal connection.” It just all feels so connected.
Whether you believe the first or second explanation is less important than the delight we all take in serendipity.
Since I started writing this, in the space of a few weeks, everything has changed. The world changed. We changed. The need for wisdom, however, is the same. We need it and we all have a tiny piece of the whole.
So many times I’ve delighted in some little turn of events, some charming twist. I need a place to store this, beyond my ever-crowded brain. What if we could share these stories of connection? You know, those stories that don’t make sense on the face of it but offer a deeper kind of understanding.
The wisdom tap is always on. We just need to remember to take a sip now and then. Because we all seem to be so thirsty right now.
It’s nuts to launch a website during a global pandemic.
I guess I’m nuts.