Stranger than fiction

For all my efforts penning tales of make-believe through the years, it turns out that reality is often stranger than fiction. Over and over, occurrences — coincidences to the secular mind — which can only perturb. Of course, the believer recognises these coincidences as our provision and decree, granted us by Ar-Razzaq, the Provider.

But spend too long imbibing a worldview that we reside in a physical world comprised of matter alone, and surprising events can be difficult to digest. The one inclined to think about these things, but raised in a secular space, might concluded that we’re residing in a simulated metaverse and have just encountered glitches in the system.

Yet, in truth, we’re surrounded by those coincidences. Life itself is filled with them — a miracle, when you really think about it. I mean really think about it. I mean that we’re sitting on a rock floating through the solar system and those simple building blocks of life (which are not at all simple) even came into existence in the first place, let alone survived long enough to birth the incredible natural world we find around us.

Pondering all this, what reason do we have to then be surprised by the weirdness we keep on encountering in our lives. Like reaching to ring someone, and they ring you. Like thinking of an old friend not seen in years, and they step into your tube carriage. Like thinking of something you need for the home, and then receiving it as a gift out of the blue. Like wondering what happened to someone you were once fond of, then discovering you’d been crossing paths for years.

The novel I drafted over the winter turned out to be restrained in comparison to reality. If an editor were to look over an account of my life, they would scrawl red lines through whole passages, advising, “This makes no sense.” They would say, “Your imagination is really running away with you here! Make it more realistic.” But of course realism is often not realistic at all, because it ignores all the weirdness of the human experience.

It presupposes that we were put on this earth for no other reason than to work, drink beer and watch football. That we evolved over four billion years from simple prokaryotes into miraculously complex lifeforms capable of the most astounding scientific and creative endeavours for no reason at all. We are just matter, our friends tell us — just an assemblage of molecules and chemical reactions.

No, but life is stranger than that. Life is stranger than fiction. Well mine is, anyway.

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