What both incidents made clear is, well, the role that happenstance plays in our lives, and how all your plans can so easily get shot to hell in a heartbeat. In both instances, I was on my way to do other things, and had planned out, well, at least the rest of the day. And in both instances, everything pretty much had to stop and that specific thing needed attending to.
It reminds me of that remarkable story-within-a-story in The Maltese Falcon, of the man Flitcraft who nearly dies from a fallen beam, and is spurred to start a new life (which ends up looking just like his old life). It’s a brilliant and bizarre detour in the novel, a long passage in an otherwise highly efficient narrative that serves almost as a primer on existentialism.
Anyway, such dramatic incidents always bring the immediate, the present, to snap into focus. It demonstrates just how tenuous all our plans really are.