There’s Mischief Afoot In The Universe

It’s Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, and as ever, there is mischief afoot in the universe.

A few months ago, my sweetheart and I were talking about the nature of the universe. He’s a physicist, and boy howdy, does that crowd have opinions about this.

Quantum mechanics — the insanity of tiny particles absolutely refusing to be measured and then insisting on turning up where they should not be — seems to be keeping particle physicists awake at night in existential sweats.

I’m quite a bit more ‘woo’ than him, and so it was with some glee that I worked up to asking him if, given the utterly inexplicable nature of these quanta, he thinks the universe has intent.

I don’t think he’s ever thought so hard about anything I’ve ever asked him.

“Yes. I think it does have intent, and that intent seems to be mischief.”

I cannot tell you how much that answer tickled me.

It delights me to think that out there in space, it’s not silence that reigns supreme, but laughter.

I think our job as writers is to keep an ear out, always, to notice the echoes of that laughter down here on earth.

Sometimes the joke might be on us (apparently the quantum mechanics gag still hasn’t gotten old).

But sometimes we’re in on it. Sometimes we’re right in the midst of one big universal wink, and all we have to do is notice it.

That’s all writing is. It’s a tool for noticing, so that we can really get it on the fun life has to offer.

When we take time to notice, to actively pay attention, and to puzzle out what it all means on the page, we get to see mischief unfolding in real time.

We get to see where we’ve done mischief to ourselves, and where we’ve been taking things so seriously that no fun can get in at all.

Writing weaves us into the fabric of the world. It is an active choice to physically engage with this little corner of the cosmos. It opens up so much opportunity, and maybe most fun of all, makes us an accessory to universal mischief.

I can think of nothing else I’d rather be, and I hope you’ll be right there with me next time that laughter echoes on by.