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Chance encounters


“I was on the way home and it was the morning of September 11 (2001) — not that I knew at the time what that meant — and a girl was jaywalking across the street and we kind of both stopped at the same time and waited a really long time,” said Paltrow.

She said she and the woman did “this stop-start thing” for a time and began to laugh before the woman finally went on her way.

The woman missed her train and was late for work – on the 77th floor, WTC. She lived and wrote to Paltrow ten years later to tell her how meeting the actress saved her life.

It’s this type of scenario that makes me wonder about unrealized or parallel realities, where, what if, every possibility that could occur does occur – and it’s these branching off of possibilities that creates the alternative realities – what if this moment of trying to navigate the sidewalk between two people – was enough to create separate realities from that moment forward.

A reality where the woman arrived at work, and possibly died or lived through the horror rather than miss her train and miss the event. A reality where the two women didn’t meet and delay each other.

In a way, thinking that these other realities exist, takes a lot of pressure off the idea of having a purpose in life – since then the purpose is to simply experience – and we do that as naturally as breathing in and out – and if there are multiple realities or universes, then we experience everything that it’s possible to do within one life because all the possibilities play out, across the universes.