Many years ago, forty-seven to be exact, a rock band named Steely Dan produced an album (vinyl in those days) titled: “”Pretzel Logic.” The band’s creative brain trust of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker used the word “pretzel” to suggest a “circular” reasoning which can sometimes be fallible in the explanation of how something happens. However, if the components of a circular argument are logically valid, because the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. I submit the classic example of if A then B, and if B then A. I further submit for discussion in this article the argument that “ choice” begets “chance,” they are not mutually exclusive. What Fagen and Becker may have missed is the deeper meaning of the term “pretzel.”
Historically, dating back to the 17 th century, a pretzel was a symbol of good luck, prosperity and spiritual fulfillment. And here is a 21st century story of how “choice” and “chance” merged and created a loving relationship rarely experienced between two people. One could say it defied “logic” of any kind, with the exception of “spiritual” logic.
Larry and Gayle were two actively-aging seniors, divorced and in their sixties, who started the new year of 2020 in search of real love. Real love had been elusive for the both of them. They connected on an online dating site and during an uplifting and flirtatious phone conversation they were quickly captivated by one another. Gayle shared something with Larry about fifteen minutes into the call that would have scared most men away; “ I have Stage IV breast cancer Larry and am a four-year survivor. I maintain hope for a cure and continue to do everything I can control to keep it from spreading .” Larry paused before responding , and thought back to his own Stage I colorectal cancer diagnosis four years ago. “Gayle, I sense you are a woman of strength, courage and depth and I really want to meet you in person.”
And so it began.
Connections in life are never random. The universe brings people together for a reason; in Gayle and Larry’s case, it was the need to align mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually with another and experience real love. Gayle’s powerful “choice” to embrace life and love despite her cancer inspired Larry to “choose” to discover more about her on their first dinner date.
It was a dark and rainy night and Gayle took a few wrong turns and was running late. She texted Larry and he offered to stand on the street corner that led to the restaurant entrance. After a few minutes, Larry spotted Gayle’s blue SUV approaching and jokingly put his thumb out in a hitchhiking motion. Gayle stopped her car, opened the right side, front passenger door and said, “Need a ride handsome?” Larry and Gayle’s eyes met for the first time and it was instant chemistry. Gayle’s strawberry blond hair and sky-crystal blue eyes contrasted Larry’s dark brown hair and brown eyes in an intoxicating way. They made their way into the restaurant and over the next three hours shared more deeply with each other; Gayle told Larry he was “handsome.” Larry told Gayle she was “beautiful.” The night ended with a short kiss on the lips and an agreement to see each other again.
Gayle and Larry’s “choices” gave real love a “chance” to blossom like two lotus flowers out of muddy water. The mind has no answers and the heart has no questions. They “chose” to listen to their hearts, followed its beat and danced to their own rhythm of love. Over the next 126 days Gayle and Larry, “beautiful” and “handsome” as they called each other, experienced joy, romance, respect, admiration, caring, intimacy, compassion and real love for each other.
They decided to live for the “today” not the yesterdays or the tomorrows. And for the first 63 of those days, Gayle continued her practice of self-care that included holistic approaches to boost her immune system, clean nourishment including proper supplementation, bodywork, plenty of sleep and dancing; Argentine Tango and ballet.
Larry and Gayle made the ‘choice” to have fun, seek adventure, be one with nature, LIVE and enjoy all the beauty of San Diego together. HOPE was eternal and daily discovery through texts, phone calls, audio messages, love notes, cards, poems and sweet kisses was exhilarating. Gayle often sang that simple and meaningful lyric from the song “Nature Boy” by Nat King Cole to Larry:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Life is filled with duality; joy and sorrow, health and sickness, freedom and bondage. Real love doesn’t change it just gets deeper, stronger and remains “unconditional.” On day 64 Gayle’s breast cancer returned and moved to her brain. On day 76 she was back in the hospital and given 2 weeks to live.
Ultimately she was able to gain admittance to an in-patient hospice home where she was able to transition on without physical pain and was able to find mental and emotional peace after 44 days. Larry visited her every day and as Gayle shared with him one evening;
“Love is not about whom you have loved the longest. It is about who came and never left your side.”
When conventional wisdom and societal “logic” say walk away, don’t get involved, there is nothing in it for you; don’t listen to it. If you want to experience real love be courageous and take that risk that could change your life forever. Make that “choice” that will give you the “chance.”
It’s “spiritual logic.”
Author: Larry Indiviglia
Long time mentor and friend, Larry paints a beautiful picture of love and what it means to open your heart despite the risks. To learn more about this story you can purchase his book 126 days, 11 minutes out now.
Thank you Larry for sharing your story and heart with the world.