I was walking to the train station one day, listening through my headphones to “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, when I passed a confused looking pigeon standing in the exact centre of a very small whirlwind of leaves and debris. The pigeon looked around like it didn’t quite know what to do with itself then, all of a sudden, it seemed to remember that it was a bird and promptly flew away. With the pigeon gone, the whirlwind dissipated, as if it somehow knew that its work was done. The complete sequence, which lasted all of four seconds, felt like the universe had staged it exclusively for my benefit, and the element that helped it across the line from amusing into memorable was the accompanying musical score.
Explaining how the universe works to your children can be like explaining how the United States Marine Corps works to Tom Cruise. They want the truth but you’re pretty sure they can’t handle it. So you tell them what you think they need to know, and you tell yourself that you’re doing it for their own good, but really you just don’t want them to find out that you killed a guy.