The Imp Called HindsightAnother look at signs today. Unlike yesterday’s signs, which were everywhere and unreadable, today I’m thinking about all the signs that go unseen until, if and when, you look behind you. These are the signs that are barely noticed, if noticed at all, in the present. It’s only in hindsight that they stand out clearly, which makes me wonder if we’re supposed to see them at all. Things like time, weather, a trusted safeguard, an offhand remark, a certain clarity of thinking, or even a strange lack of anything out of the ordinary. These things play tricks with the mind.

Hindsight after a tragedy makes a person think the signs were there all along. And maybe they were. But without the event itself, these signs alone don’t point the way to anything. Interpretation of clues points to several outcomes. But tricky Hindsight shows only one obvious and clear way, pointing to a present that could have been avoided all along, if only we were smart enough or paid attention enough, compared notes enough. If only we were enough. It’s all of this, and especially the guilt factor, that prompted a friend to say recently, “The next time I see that little imp, Hindsight, I’m going to kick him.”

Indeed, run, Hindsight. We’re on to your game. Life is full of signs. We’ll open our eyes, we’ll pay attention, we’ll add up the clues and live better lives. And then we’ll get some predictions wrong, and we’ll close our eyes and everything will still turn out fine. We’ll tempt Hindsight himself, and nothing will happen. We’ll learn from the past, but not by looking over our shoulder in the present.

So say your peace, say your love, share the last cookie, and get back to living. Today is ours.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at