The Well-Placed Accidental â™®

Most of the time it’s the things that don’t fit that make a thing complete: complete in a way that redefines complete; expands the borders and refuses to allow them to be defined quite the same way—or any way—ever again.

It’s the musical note that only works if it’s one that doesn’t belong in the key. And it affects others those beside it creating intervals that couldn’t exist without it, and radiate to harmonics that don’t make sense—or shouldn’t make sense—but they do and they’re lovely and they’re magical. Or at least memorable. And isn’t that sort of the same thing?

In my current job, there was a person who worked there whose résumé and C.V. was so astoundingly comprehensive as to be nearly non-sequitur and the level of industry involved to achieve what he had implied insomnia, eidetic multisensory capabilities or a Time Turner—but it turned out he’s far too nice a bloke to be capable of stealing from Hermione Granger.

Plus? She’s fictional.

I knew when I met him he was One of Them. An Accidental. Intuited in situ by smart people who trust their own stagecraft, handicraft, mindcraft, sense of family.

I recognize this because I’m good at this myself. I spot people like this with alacrity and in the absence of contravening factors I pursue the company of these people.

It’s not about being quantifiably accomplished, like the handsome man I mention above (oh, did I mention he’s also a good-looking guy? Sickening, yeah?). There’s just a certain something that can be seen with better eyes.

Some people bring their own lighting: they walk into a room and they’re differently lit. You see them and just know. Or I see them and I just know. And I meet them I want to know more. And I continue to talk and their identity as Accidentals in whatever key the ambient groove is in is as apparent as if they were wearing name tags.

These are the people for whom there’s no conventional room in the rules, but without whom, the greatest songs would never have existed. Wisdom could be said to live in the recognition that keys can sometimes lock things down as surely as they open things up, and so allowances should be made when such just don’t fit into intended places or for intended purposes.

Accidentals. Once more, with Purpose.