Billions of Strangers and Infinite Entanglements
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Billions of Strangers and Infinite Entanglements

It's a small world.

23
Billions of Strangers and Infinite Entanglements

Our lives twist and tangle, knitting intricacies across the earth as we leave a crocheted path behind us -- stitched to the earth, stitched to our stories, and stitched to the beings around us.

Everybody that bounces around your periphery has a story that is tangent to your own -- or it intersects and changes your path completely -- the man on the train next to you, beads of sweat collecting in his furrowed brows, his knee shaking, the woman wrangling her children in the grocery store as you dodge around with your half-full cart, the girl selling cookies outside the convenience store who you avoid eye-contact with as you dip into your car, the plastic bags rustling and interrupting your silent escape. All of these brief impressions, these points of tangency with strangers, spawn out in spidery webs, stretching across the surface of the globe. But at one point, that moment on the train or in the grocery story or outside of your car, your lives were tangent to those strangers. Your lives just happened to be sloping in the same direction at that exact moment. And however menial this brevity of connection, your path has been stitched into that moment, the threads of your neatly tied up life (or messily knotted chaos) is momentarily entangled with the sweaty man, the over-worked mother, and the desperate girl scout.

It's a phenomenon I often think about, and struggle to grasp. Somehow, despite the magnitude of 7 billion people tip-toeing and stomping across this earth -- 7 billion strands braided with infinite stories -- the world can still feel small. Maybe one day that person you barely noticed will entrap you in their web again -- maybe the man on the train with the nervous knee-shake will end up being your father-in-law. Maybe the tired mom in the grocery store will be your best friend. Maybe that little girl you ignored will grow up to be your children's pediatrician. And you'll never remember the moment your lives first touched -- first knotted together.

Colum McCann's novel, "Let the Great World Spin," inspired by Philippe Petit's dazzling display as he tightroped between the twin towers explores this miraculous sensation of tangential lives. The novel takes on a dozen different perspectives, and each narrator is a stranger to nearly every other narrator. However, they all witnessed or heard about the tightrope walker, and somehow, from that insignificant point of tangency, their lives spiral out into a wide web of connections. This makes the story seem like a solitary journey, as each narrator expresses sentiments of loneliness, yet reveals the phenomenon of humanity that we aren't alone -- that we are tied to so many people we know nothing about.

As I'm still struggling to grapple with how everyone I encounter somehow might be connected to me -- as paradoxically likely and unlikely it may simultaneously be -- I move forward with my strand stitching into my past, the edge of my thread fraying, the needle dulling with each step forward, and I obtain a renewed perspective. As I knit my story across this earth, I'll look out for others' loose threads that silently and sneakily entreat me. However disparate all of our lives seem, we are infinitely entangled -- it is a beautiful mess that sews all of our loose seams together and gravitates us toward each other and the center of the universe all at once.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F05%2F25%2F635997873579436896-31532427_tangent.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=782&h=d0795a69b41184c14fb95edb7baf9c8901c37c523bd032ac3064bf3ddc4036a1&size=980x&c=3388389794 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F05%252F25%252F635997873579436896-31532427_tangent.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D782%26h%3Dd0795a69b41184c14fb95edb7baf9c8901c37c523bd032ac3064bf3ddc4036a1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3388389794%22%7D" expand=1]

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

6521
Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

11966
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

9763
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

9738

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

8526
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments