On Track With Destiny

TrainRegardless of your beliefs ‒ justify it in whatever way you have to ‒ if you stick to a particular path long enough the universe is likely to tap you on the shoulder one day and say, ‘Tag! You’re it!’

Oftentimes, beforehand, you are unaware that things are about to change. Be it good, bad or indifferent; stay on the same track long enough and you are going to collide with the train of destiny.

I’ve lived in Tasmania for ten years and I knew when I arrived here that I was moving into the path of the Roaring Forties. For the uninitiated: Tasmania lies smack bang in the path of the Roaring Forties – westerly winds that whip around the Earth between 40 and 50 degrees latitude (where there isn’t a lot of land to slow it down). So I knew the risk that I was taking; just the same as someone choosing to live in California must realise the ever present danger of earthquakes.

A storm tore through our neighbourhood last Sunday night. Passing through in a matter of minutes, it was quite selective, ignoring most houses only to trash the odd one, here and there. We are of course always aware of these little flash storms, how could we not be: the Roaring Forties, et cetera, usually in a limited fashion, can be quite vicious. We generally discover the next day who the unlucky victims have been. Last Sunday it was our turn.

We heard it coming from the west, like a stampeding herd of wild horses, as we sat waiting, with bated breath. Cutting a swathe across our house, the wind tore ridge tiles off and lifted half of one side of our roof from its moorings and then dropped it with a bang! Tiles were tossed and blown away, others slipped down the side of the roof, scattering into the garden, while still more wedged in the gutter. But it could have been a lot worse. Sixty houses were hit, with one losing its entire roof ‒ blown completely off ‒ inside ceilings gone also, and walls were knocked down.

I’m one of those annoying individuals who, regardless of how crappy things get, believe we create our own reality… believe that whatever happens in our lives, in one way or another, is all down to us, individually or en mass. It could be said that I am not having a good year; Mother Nature, it seems, has served me a couple of curve balls. However I still have my health, the house insurance was up to date, and compared to the collapsed house not so far away the damage was minimal; our insurers had people on site to do temporary repairs almost within the hour.

Some of the other things that have happened this year have been much more devastating, but without going into them, I’ll just say that there were plusses and minuses involved in each and every one of them. I’m not saying the good outweighed the bad; what I am saying is that life is like that: things change and you have to rebound from the events in your life or be forever at the mercy of the fickle finger of fate.

What has any of this to do with writing? I hear you ask… Everything! There are more people today who label themselves as writers than ever before, and that’s alright; there are more people, period, than there has ever been before. To call yourself a writer you must write though, you know… write… stuff; regardless of how many other things and events happen in your life (you know, the old excuse: life gets in the way) you have to continue to write.

It doesn’t matter what you write. In terms of the content of your writing, what you write is really only important to you, but you must write, and continue to write… something. And if you hang in there long enough, applying yourself of course, then dear friends a writer you will be. And if you stay on track, with persistence (and perhaps a little luck), out of the blue one day you will meet the train of destiny… immortalised perhaps, but please be succinct when making requests of the universe, better to be around to appreciate it; many have found immortality posthumously!

Author: T.D. McKinnon

Scottish author T.D.McKinnon ‘Survived the Battleground of Childhood’ in the coal mining communities of Scotland and England before joining the British Parachute Regiment at fifteen where he remained for five years. He has trained in the martial arts for most of his life and had five Karate schools in Scotland before immigrating to Australia. He writes across several genres and has completed five books that are all available as eBooks. He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his wife. Learn more about T.D.McKinnon at his website and Amazon author page.

22 thoughts on “On Track With Destiny”

  1. TD, so glad you didn’t get Mother Nature’s knock on your door in a more forceful manner! But you’re right–it’s less about what happens to us than about how we respond to it. Using the ups and downs of life for the seed of our writing is one way of coping and putting it all into perspective. Now you know you can describe perfectly the sights, sounds and feeling of having a roof almost torn off. You never know what story may need that. Glad you’re ok and taking it all philosophically. Very thoughtful post.

    1. In regard to Mother Nature knocking, you are so right, Melissa, and I certainly do appreciate that. And what other way can we seriously take the experiences life deals us, while still remaining reasonably sane, but philosophically? And for the trifecta, how right you are: for a writer, everything is grist for the mill.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Melissa.

  2. This post came when I needed it most. I’ve just been lamenting how life is in the way of writing. Marketing is in the way of writing. But I do have some spare time. So maybe I am in the way. Time to fix that. Glad you didn’t lose your whole roof. Or worse.

    1. For me also, Julie, this was a wakeup call. I too am realising (not for the first time I might add) that there is always time to write. It may mean sacrificing other things, but that’s what we writers are duty bound to do for the sake of our art.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Julie.

  3. I’ve sailed in the Roaring Forties, and the Furious Fifties. It’s some of the most exciting and terrifying water on the face of this great blue ball. It will test your will, your body and every ounce of skill you have.

    Every place has it’s ups and downs. The tropics have malaria and ebola. People freeze to death where I live. No place is perfect. Aside from the storms though, and the jokes other Aussie’s tell, Taz is one of the most beautiful parts of Oz. I loved it and could easily see living there. Glad the damage to your house wasn’t worse.

    As for destiny, I’m with you on a few points. A lot of it comes down to the choices we make. The rest is a combination of random chance and the second law of thermodynamics, which states that things tend toward chaos – entropy. I certainly don’t believe there’s some master plan or divinity decreeing who lives and who dies. Nothing is planned, ordained or certain.

    The best we can do is strive towards our goals. If we make reasonable choices and work towards them, the likelihood of meeting our objectives increases.

    1. Yes, yes and yes on most of your comments, John; the selections we make about where upon this wild, beautiful planet we choose to encounter our particular life experiences, in regard to our current corporal engagement, help to determine the kind of person we are. And on your last point I will, respectfully agree to disagree on what part chaos has to play in the nature of reality.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, John.

    1. Experience frequently reminds me, Yvonne, how lucky I am, and yes… kicks me in the butt (as you pointed out so eloquently). In the scheme of things, comparatively speaking, we (most of us at least) have nothing much to complain about, and plenty for which to be grateful.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Yvonne.

  4. TD, thank you for this super post. I have heard from several authors recently who are becoming disillusioned with their efforts.This post will help them hugely. I’m off to share with them. 🙂

    1. I think that every writer has disillusionment waiting in the wings for the opportunity of an entrance; even icons like Hemingway were haunted by it. That is one of the reasons why writers in general are held in such high regard: they constantly subdue their demons.

      Thank you so much for dropping by, Carol, you are such an upbeat person that I’m sure you brighten the day of anyone you meet.

  5. T.D. McKinnon – glad you made it through with minor damage compared to what ‘could have happened’. Those storms can be scary, and you are right in saying mother nature selects odd and indiscriminant places to land and destroy. We have seen this many times in our area (Memphis is on the edge of tornado alley) the destruction caused to neighborhoods is devastating too often. It was frightening the first time I heard the horn blow, and we were all sent to stay in an interior hallway at work – all of us from the office and manufacturing floor, swished together waiting for the tornado to pass. (that was in Olive Branch in northern Mississippi) Like you said, it is a choice we make when we move into certain areas. Funny how we decide to stay, even after feeling terrorized during that moment of panic. I have also experienced hurricanes while living in Florida, but at least there, we had more warning… good luck to you Sir, hoping you will stay safe for a long time so you can keep writing 🙂 Thank you for this post, reminding us the importance to keep writing.

    1. Tornado Ally… Wow! By comparison, that makes our little windy corner seem… well… just that: a little windy corner. Now, you do know what scary winds are. And yes, you get the picture, we do make the choices that create our lives, define our limitations or expand our expectations.

      Thank you so much for dropping by, Elisabeth, and commenting.

  6. Holy bujeesus, TD–that must have been exciting (scary exciting, but exciting nonetheless)! Glad to hear you and your lovely wife are doing fine (as well as your other 4-footed lodgers). I’m also glad to hear your philosophical nature is in tact. Such an inspiring post–stay on the same path and eventually you’ll be smack in the middle of it…er, well, you know what I mean 😀

    1. While listened to its approach, as the furries scampered under impossibly low objects, too low to admit anything; Zoë looked at me wide eyed, expectantly, I do believe I was smiling. I must admit that, for an old adrenaline junky who doesn’t get much these days, it lit up my circuitry, momentarily. Enjoy the ride… Reap the whirlwind.

      Of course it certainly helps that the night did have a comparatively happy conclusion. Sow the wind, DV, keep on writing, and who knows what whirlwinds we will reap. Oh, and thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, .

  7. Ugh, I’m glad the damage to your house was not worse, TD. And I share your awareness of fate – we get some strong winds here too as we’re on a ridgeline, but it’s the fires that often come with those winds that scare me.

    But as you say, those are the choices we make. I just hope that my particular date with writing destiny happens while I’m still compos mentis enough to recognize it. 😉

    1. Yes, you live in bushfire territory, AC, that must be the scariest experience; the choices we make. And as far as literary destiny goes, yes I would like to live the moment, if it is to be. If not… C’est la vie!

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Meeks.

      1. -grin- Yes, the choices we make. I just hope my blind belief that ‘she’ll be right’ extends to both the bushfire threat and that date with destiny.

    1. Outlook, like everything else, Dale, is a matter of choice; I too am sorry we were singled out for attention by Mother Nature but glad we obviously didn’t need too much of a boot up the backside.

      Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Dale.

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