It spins on a moment, one tiny event out of anyone's control.
Quicker than the shallowest of breaths, those unexpected yet predetermined happenings small and large that sideswipe us all.
Such a jagged point can ricochet in all manner of ways within a maelstrom of complexity we will never grasp.
We will always question the difficulties life flicks our way, but it's still amazing, still humbling, still worth drawing comfort from realising that somehow good things can flow.
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Yes, it's all relative, as reality shakes those who bask in the dreaming of foolhardy dreams.
But "who really knows?" is a question and a puzzle and one of those hopes that's worth a punt.
Life had barely begun for Lakeisha Patterson when hers struck. A stroke reached deep inside, wrenching with her brain and her tiny body - but not, she's long since shown, her soul.
For at that moment this was her lot, as it's said, and she was only a newborn. Even then, more diagnoses would follow - cerebral palsy left hemiplegia, epilepsy.
It messed with her early in that her sisters - one older, one younger - got headstarts on ticking-over small milestones that magnified her suddenly disordered being.
But that was all. Patterson, as such, gathered up what she had and got moving.
A few days ago she did what just comes naturally to a talented athlete with drive and heart and such hard graft (and that soul), plus a family's love and support, and won gold.
It wasn't the first starring show for the Paralympics champion who spent her early years in Wodonga, the place her mum still calls home, for that spirit and prowess has been on the international stage before.
Just look to Rio, for one.
In Tokyo it was the 400 metre S9 freestyle where, after flying ahead, she had to hold off a fast-finishing Hungarian called Zsofia Konkoly, making short work, too, of mum Sherryn's fingernails, making her enormously proud grandfather Bob King shout and cheer into the Wodonga night.
Swimming might not, as her mother says, define who she is, but in these challenging times it is a blessing for so many others to see her in that light.
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