Yesterday I was on my way to meet a friend I had not seen in a long time. A nasty winter storm was coming through, and perhaps because my everyday mind was busy with the task of driving in the mess, some other, less often awakened aspect had room to speak to me. It wondered about my friend and what news he would tell me about his life. Then it answered itself: He’s getting married. I considered where this thought had come from. Had I heard a rumor? Was I confusing him with someone else? But there was no explanation; the thought remained there like a flower blooming in the middle of the ice storm, something that shouldn’t logically be but undeniably was. I had no rational way of knowing, and yet, I knew.

I met my friend and asked him what was new. I’m getting married, he said. I listened as he told me not about what had been happening in the last 6 months, but about marriage itself, his history of relationships, why this one, and why now. He constructed an entire history of his understanding of love, fitting this new piece into an old, ongoing story, watching a new picture come together.

I listened, smiling, happy for his news, helping his story along in the space between us by adding pieces to it, reflecting on previous conversations about his struggles with love, his relationships, how he had grown and how this was now possible. Beneath that, my mind puzzled through the suddenly fragmented pieces of its own story of how it comes to know things, regarding the bizarre flower, trying to answer the baffled question: How did I come to know this?

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