The other day I witnessed a car accident. Everyone involved was able to walk away, so it wasn’t a major thing. I was stopped at a red light. There was a car behind me stopped. Two lanes over in the turn lane was a third car. The cross traffic was moving at a normal pace. All these details enforce that it was clear there was a red light for us. I see in my side mirror an SUV coming down the lane next to me, and it is not slowing down. It becomes clear this thing is about to run the light. I briefly think that maybe it’ll shoot the gap between cars. It doesn’t. It hit the rear driver side of one car.
Often when I’m at a red light I will look at all the traffic passing around, or any pedestrians walking nearby, and I start to wonder about the people. Where are they going? Why are they going there? We all spend a great deal of time going to and from places. These moments we pass each other in our cars, is the most interaction we will ever have with nearly all of these people.
The people involved in that accident may have driven past each other a number of times and never knew it. That almost happened again. But through this seemingly random event, they were thrust into each others lives, if only briefly. Once all the insurance and repairs are though, these people may never interact again. But they will always exist to each other as that person they were in an accident with.
With an approximate population of 2.8 million in the Denver-metro area I spend most of my time, it’s weird to think that most of the people I interact with are such a small, small fraction of that. This also has me thinking about people who have been in my life but are no longer a part of it. I’m not one to put a lot into fate and destiny and that kind of stuff, so I’m not saying everyone comes and goes into our lives for a reason. But rather appreciate and try to take something away from whatever they bring.
I also wish I did more to go out of my way to meet and talk to more people. I don’t want a car accident to force someone into my life. It’s a weird thing for me to talk to strangers. I think about this, about how I want to connect to more people and I’m brought to this tweet from twitter user @ElusiveJ that got a lot of reposts among all the mourning for Prince, “Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.”
When these artists who have touched us all pass, we can’t help but to recount what they meant to us. How they helped us to know ourselves. You can scroll your social media feeds and see everyone has a different story, but in essence they are all the same.We are all connected through the art we experience.
While we may never meet, may never be any more than two cars passing each other on a busy highway, we will always have that same but unique moment with an artist we may have never met. This is an amazing thing about life, and I find it absolutely beautiful.
So, stranger, if you passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you? But should we not, know that there’s always that song, or book, or movie, or painting, that spoke to us both.