You can always predict the course of your life from where you are standing. And you will almost always be wrong. It’s like a game of statistics: political projections of the national budget 10 years from now. Those numbers depend on the status quo. If all the current trends continue exactly as they are moving now, at exactly the same rate, the numbers will be right. Except they’re not. Everything changes, we get new leaders, and the monkey wrench gets thrown in free as part of the package.

If predictions were reliable, Europe would be one big Communist Bloc by now. The entire globe would have run out of oil. California would be in the ocean. And I myself would have spent the last 30 years married to a preacher.

It’s a matter of where you’re standing when you make your prophesies. Ask me one year, and I would have been a famous jazz singer with long white hair and a cult following by now. Ask at another point, and I would be a bag lady.

The early predictions called for dying young. This was excellent. Never getting old or disillusioned, going out with a big bang – drama and tragedy and all my potential still intact – it sounded like a good deal to me. After I somehow passed 25, the predictions got darker. Certain expectations dropped out with the decades: college, then marriage, then kids. Later, the dream house disappeared. Eventually, the future held no money and no men at all. Worst of all, it didn’t include any publishing.

Now it’s all changed again. The college and the marriage and the house were reinstated at the absolute last minute. The logical prediction at this point would be Happily Ever After. But I know better than to count on current trends. The book that looks so promising on my computer monitor could flop; the economics that hold us up depend on the strength of my husband’s back and hands and arms, and we are aging every day; even if we stay together one of us might sour, or die, or get Alzheimer’s. I don’t know. But I don’t have to know.

It doesn’t matter what happens next. I have finally learned that the Universe will provide. If it provides karma for me to pay, I might not be so happy for a while (but not forever; eventually one is paid up). If I am too comfortable and haven’t grown in a while, things will get shaken up and I will roll around till I reach a new level, like it or not. If I am learning what I need to learn, fulfilling my potential and following my intuition, I will be well taken care of and well content. The Universe knows what it’s doing. It always has. We just didn’t always see eye to eye on whether that was fair.

It makes me happy to build my castles in the sky, but I know that when current trends alter, I will too. What I can predict now is that things will change, and that I will moan and complain as I adjust my trajectory, and that I will survive. That’s the one trend I can count on – my survival. Because the Universe doesn’t make temporary people: each one of us is around forever.

We were meant to be always casting our hearts over imaginary horizons. We were meant to charge into battle before all the scouts come back. We were made to correct our forward course, moving like self-guided missiles in a zig zag pattern toward a goal that shifts back and forth ahead of us, like shooting gallery ducks. We just hitch ourselves to the brightest star we can reach, and when it burns out, we suspend ourselves breathlessly in space, freefalling till the next bright star comes shooting by for us to capture.

It’s not about the destination. It’s about the ride. And we ride the sky until there are no more stars; then we fall, like feathers, wafting seamlessly back to wherever we truly belong.