A few of us name it probability; these much less at peace with the randomness that governs the universe could name it “God.” However nevertheless we title it, there are moments in life after we really feel its workings deeply and search to make that means out of them — that’s a part of our creaturely inheritance because the sensemaking species, the pattern-seeking animal. Hindsight is the enchanted loom on which we weave the sample of our future, threading collectively fragmentary reminiscences and probability occurrences right into a factor of cohesion, from which a form and a narrative emerge — a narrative we name destiny. Out of the blue, we discover in our previous omens of our current — synchronicities that turn into signposts, pointing us to the place we had been at all times meant to go.
On this haunting sense of fatedness, the determinism of science and the predestination of spirituality converge.
As a result of love is the supreme magnifying lens of our human expertise, by all of it of our hopes and fears are enlarged with life; by it the smallest coincidences swell with that means. It’s after we fall in love that we come to really feel this eerie fatedness most acutely — one thing James Baldwin illuminated as he reckoned with love and the phantasm of alternative. Out of the blue, each smallest serendipity is rife with assurance and each discovered overlap in yesterday’s shadow — the stuffed snail you each snugged as your most beloved toy eons earlier than you knew of one another’s existence, the tune you each secretly liked in highschool, the shared aversion to pickled radish — a promise of blissfully joined tomorrows.
Lengthy earlier than she furnished the best definition of affection in her prose, the Nobel-winning Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012) winked at its elementary chance-nature in a playful and poignant poem about how lovers solid the spell of fatedness on one another.
Szymborska’s beloved poem, translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak — her longtime translators, whose work prompted the poet to exult in “that uncommon miracle when a translation stops being a translation and turns into… a second unique” — comes newly alive as an illustrated e book by Italian graphic artist Beatrice Gasca Queirazza.
On the pages of Queirazza’s Love at First Sight (public library), the textual content of Szymborska’s poem unspools throughout a magical-realist sequence of illustrations, woven collectively by the floating leaf that emerges because the poem’s central image for the serendipities we learn into love.
The strangers who populate the pages — melancholy, dreamsome folks all shifting by the world as if distracted by some unseen preoccupation — remind us that any two folks could cross one another’s path at any given second with out realizing who they’d turn into to 1 one other in some future season of being, unwittingly enacting the poem’s closing verse:
is barely a sequel, in any case,
and the e book of occasions
is at all times open midway by.
Complement with Szymborska’s poem “Life Whereas-You-Wait” and her very good Nobel Prize acceptance speech about the connection between uncertainty and creativity, then revisit David Whyte’s poem “The Truelove” and Emily Dickinson’s poem love-poem to nature reimagined as an animated tune.