Under the endless expanse of a starry, summer night’s sky when it feels as if you can look unobstructed into God’s own imagination, how often have you marveled at the sheer scale of His projects and the mind splitting complexities of His hobby projects? Even though this world’s greatest thinkers have been able to get their abnormally brilliant human minds around a few of the governing principles that order our Universe, and express them in formulas of science, we have yet to be able to do anything more than predict when planets and comets will be visible to us again as we lay in the grass, looking up into the cosmos.
After centuries of keen observation and reflection, humans have learned how to accurately predict the ocean’s tides and the rising sun, down to the minutes and seconds. We can build bridges suspended by steel cables and fly with a little help from a combustion engine and taut nylon. Despite these achievements, we are confronted regularly by the irregularities of our incomplete understanding of the forces that keep us fixed on our planet’s surface, and that keep the atoms that make up our bodies from completely disbanding in an agitated bout of entropy on a hot August afternoon.
Despite the fact that we know that a year is three hundred sixty-five consecutive days, our calendars require a hiccup every four years to help us maintain our correct position in the solar system. Although the Earth revolves around the sun, its course is not a perfect circle. As we spin each day, around and around, counting down the days until the weekend, or until our summer vacation, the Earth wobbles on its own axis.
There are few things in our world that are truly fixed and unchangeable. Although Fate, by law, cannot be controlled nor manipulated by mortals, and is free to ride roughshod over your heart, it is not immune to the effects of other immutable laws of the universe. Murphy’s Law for instance has a way of forcing Fate to change directions when they collide, just as Sir Isaac Newton explained to us hundreds of years ago. It could even be argued that Murphy’s Law is the only immutable law of the universe when expressed in its simplest form: All that can go wrong, will go wrong.
In the next chapter of Fate & Longing in Lisbon, Afonso finds himself helplessly caught between the musings of Fate, the hope of Divine intervention and the inertia of Murphy’s Law. As he desperately tries to save his job as the Postman of Alfama, he takes his first steps on a slippery slope that proves even more slippery than the limestone cobbled staircases that traverse the steep hills of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood.
On a rainy day these steps can become treacherously slick, void of all friction, leaving pedestrians, and the postman, subject to the violence of gravity, caused by a wobbling planet on an imperfect trip around a hot star–which is just about to burn our hero.
Click here to read the next (and all) the released excerpts of Fate & Longing in Lisbon to be released in ebook form via Amazon Kindle on Friday 29 May.
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If you are enjoying Fate & Longing in Lisbon, you may also enjoy The Tales of a Fly-By-Night, a collection of crazy-but-true travel stories, also by V M Karren. Click HERE to learn more.