Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who Knows

Six of us were cramped up in that little cabin on the truck. For the past eleven days we've been there everyday, at least six to seven hours each day. Watching the little weight indicator on the monitor, hoping for an answer and hoping for it soon. The chunk of metal downhole just refused to give up. We'd been pulling on it, smacking metal on metal, looking for that rapid drop on the scale, waiting for it to come free.

At the end of the day we were tired, upset and seriously considering the possibility of redoing everything we had done in the last six weeks. And then we saw the 9000 pound drop, and the coil rolling back freely.

"Al hamdolillah!* " Everyone of us cried out with our hands raised at our chests.

Frank is Chinese and an atheist. Håvard is Norweigian, and he's not been to church since his divorce. Fazil is from Azerbaijan, I don't have much to say about religion there. Mohammed has spent the last five years in San Francisco, but he's a pretty devout Muslim. And so is Ali, but he's been in Saudi all his life. I'm also quite the God-fearing Catholic.

But it didn't really matter. Sometimes, you can have a ton of experience in the work you do. You can explain everything, plan ahead, do something you can to the best of your knowledge and ability. And still, sometimes, we find ourselves desperately waiting for a miracle that we know with all our technically programmed minds will just not happen. And yet, when it does, there is something in the way it all worked out that makes you wonder. In the same way that the world has its perfectly random order. Maybe this is what all of us can call God.

* A common phrase which praises Allah. Translated, it roughly means, "This was possible, by God's mercy."

The Space Between

"What's the reason you're being so weird lately?"

"I guess... I don't know. I'm really happy for you, I am. I was just... hoping, I guess, that this day wouldn't come."

"You don't have to distance yourself because of that. We're still who we used to be!"

"Then tell me things will be the same."

(cell phone rings)

"I gotta take this, buddy. You're right. Things are going to be different. But different doesn't always mean bad. Different just means different."