History's notorious predilection for returning to the scene of the crime, over and over, has caused me plenty of grief and anxiety. Small wonder, then, that I would spend the bulk of my waking hours searching for loopholes and exceptions—events and situations to derail and confound historic precedent—so that I might go back to bed, finally, and get some sleep.
This morning, as I sat dredging the annals of memory, a small bird fluttered to a stop alongside my right ear. Addressing me in a quavering falsetto, the bird expounded at some length. I'll summarize.
Bird: "I say! It seems to me you're in a bit of a pickle. May I offer advice?"
Jeff: "Go for it."
Bird: "Very well. Your apprehension at being trapped in an endlessly repeating sequence of events is understandable, but proceeds from an assumption. History is not linear, statistical analysis cannot quantify the immeasurable, and every mundane incident is constructed of the same raw materials that also allowed the events of 1962."
Jeff: "You're losing me."
Bird: "I use allowed deliberately. The intent of the few is no match for the intent of many, but ambivalence is not intent."
Jeff: "You're saying history only repeats itself because we allow it?"
Bird: "Quite. Majority indifference, so to speak."
Bird: "Just so."
With that, the little bird launched itself into the blue. As I watched, an eagle dropped from the sky above. I shook my head, and went inside to watch TV.