So I was just walking down the street when some nice person I don’t know gave me a nice kind smile and said “God Bless You” kind of out of nowhere. At first I thought, “How nice and friendly, I love small towns” and I transitioned from there into “What a strange and archaic greeting.” Did he want my money? He had been crouched against the side of a building, but that was just because he had been stooping to help his dog. Had he been flyering for Jesus? (By this time I’ve continued well past him, and am just working back through the encounter in my head) Nope, no pamphlets. The closest I ever got to that key insight into the whole thing was that he must be a Shaker or Amish guy recently departed from his closed community of a dozen families and their quaint ways who has just gotten into his first big city of 5,000+ people and hasn’t yet learned that you’re not supposed to say Hi to everyone. But I didn’t actually finish that thought—it was around there that I realized from a still-damp hand that I must have sneezed.
Maybe this is what it means to live a life of the mind.