Today two – not just one, but TWO – plastic chairs literally shattered under me. Really bad? Really good? I’m not sure yet.
I have never heard of such a thing before. Yes, the legs sometimes weaken and you find yourself leaning off to the left or something, but you can usually catch it. You don’t have to wait and fall over. And the cure is fairly simple: stack two weak plastic chairs on top of each other and your 250 pound men are once more secure as they slosh down their beers. Here in Panama cantinas and restaurants stack chairs that way all the time.
Now, these two plastic chairs that shattered were only four months old. The legs did not “weaken;” I actually wound up sprawled across on the floor surrounded by broken bits of plastic. Both times. The first chair (on left) lost a leg and the seat split, back to front along the side, and I went boom. The second chair blew apart half an hour later, at the same time that I was thinking I had at least a couple of months of use left in it because it had been inside most of its life. It’s demise was even more dramatic. It lost all four legs and you can see for yourself what happened to the seat. And again, there was a very surprised me – completely unhurt – dumped on the floor in a tangle of broken plastic.
In contrast, I have some chairs on my deck that are three and half years old, and except for cosmetically (they have faded and are a bit marked up from heavy use) those old chairs are just fine. Sometimes I catch one beginning a ‘lean’, but I just straighten myself up and it stops.
*Why on earth would two chairs I bought four months ago simply shatter for no apparent reason? I put no extra strain on them. I put no unusual amount of weight in them. I didn’t torque them, bending over to pick up a dropped pen. They weren’t even sitting outside in the sun for more than a month. No reason, I say. None at all.
Quantum physics fascinates me, but since I can’t add and subtract reliably, (now that is a story that needs changing!) I am reduced to the popularizations for study. One of my favorite books is by Greg Kuhn, Why Quantum Physicists Never Fail. His explanation of the new paradigms is incredibly lucid, and I can’t recommend the book to you more highly. It’s fabulous. (He also has a series of other books, addressing specific life problems within the new paradigms. Although you could just get one and extrapolate across the process, I say why reinvent the wheel?)
But I digress. I am thrilled that my chairs broke, because I can see several of the new paradigms at work in the incident, and since my next book is going to be an attempt to tell a tale from within that structure, why, lookit that! I provided myself with a perfect starter/test incident! Not for the book, but to figure out how to do it.
One of the things Greg Kuhn drives home is the need to tell ourselves better stories about things that happen to us. (See example in previous paragraph.) Very little is inherently “good” or inherently “bad.” How we perceive it is what makes the difference. Rather than defend that here, I’ll let you read the book, and proceed instead to tell you why it was not “really bad” to have my chairs implode.
“Common sense” says that my two chairs, both of which I used nearly every day at my computers, now being history is a “bad” thing, because it means I need new chairs. But the fact that I, not a guest, was seated in them when they blew up and I landed on the floor was awfully “good.”
The next reframe takes a bit more setup:
OK. So non-linearity affects time as well as logical progression. The chairs are/were obviously both old and new at the same time (doo-dee-doo-dee), for even though they were newish, they were obviously brittle and broke apart like fragile beauties under the tires of a car driving through an antique shop. And under the rules of quantum physics cause and effect does not always play out the same way – you will please notice I did NOTHING to provoke these chairs into exploding like they did. Nothing, I tell you! (See paragraph marked with *.)
Outer reality is a function of our inner reality in the new paradigms – what we repeatedly tell ourselves carves neural pathways, which become beliefs. Beliefs build expectations, and expectations result in what happens to us. (This is not hooey; it is scientific fact well-documented by really smart people.)
Now, if truth were told, some little time ago, I observed my chairs and thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have all new porch chairs? I’d really love a coordinated set.” Now, that’s not a belief, but it is a perfectly formed request to “the Universe.” And here comes the belief that opposes it’s manifestation: “But I’m thrifty. I’m not going spend money to replace things that are still functional.”
Hmm. What other things do I tell myself over and over that have settled into beliefs?
“Exposure to sunlight rots plastic.” There’s one I can easily pull out. And I did leave them in the sun for a few months before I brought them indoors to use.
No, I didn’t expect the chairs to go “blooey!” But it is said that “the Universe” has a sense of humor and the results we get don’t always show up exactly how we thought they might. However, I invite you to look at the photo I posted with this blog and tell me if you see anything remotely functional there? Have I successfully removed all usefulness from those chairs?
OMG! Did I unconsciously plan the whole thing?
Hey! I get my new “coordinated set!” Can’t risk having the other chairs explode under guests, now can I?
I love quantum physics.