Monday, August 27, 2012

Connections and Coincidences... Hmmmm...

Albert Einstein
“Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.”
Albert Einstein, The World as I See It

Simon Van Booy
“Coincidences mean you're on the right path.”
Simon Van Booy, Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories

Julio Cortázar
“We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one causes endless analogies to collect around it, even penetrate the boundaries of the subject itself: an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity...”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a character in the TV show, NCIS, has 51 rules to live by.  Rule #39 is "There is no such thing as coincidence."  Sometimes I wonder.

This past couple of weeks, I've experienced some seemingly random coincidences.

About two weeks ago, I got together with some friends for lunch, and brought some gazpacho for everyone to sample.  I had earlier told them I had made some, and they were intrigued by the idea of a cold soup.  So the next time we gathered, I brought some along so they could try it.

I spent the following weekend at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer, Indiana.  Our church choir had a retreat there, and we went through all the music planned through the end of December.  I went a day early so I could hike the trails.  I got on my smart phone and looked up restaurants in the area for some ideas.  One place that popped up over and over was the FARMbloomington restaurant, a "farm-to-fork" place - local meats, local, seasonal produce, all freshly prepared by chef Daniel Orr.  Interesting, but I didn't want to drive the fifteen miles to Bloomington through the thunderstorm then raging outside.  So, I decided to take the lazy way out and eat right there at the Canyon Inn.

That Sunday, I went to the Indiana State Fair to visit a friend working the food demo stage.  When the next show began, I decided to see what was on offer.  The presenter was chef Daniel Orr.  He was demonstrating two soups.  One of them was gazpacho.

Early last week, I started listening to an audiobook, Prague Winter, by Madeleine Albright.  In it, she talks about Czech president Vaclav Havel and the "Velvet Revolution" of the late 1980s.  I'm also reading an e-book, The Compromise Trap, by Elizabeth Doty.  In it, she talks about Havel and the Velvet Revolution.

Earlier this summer, That Man observed that we don't see many opossums any more.  I agreed.  I hadn't even seen one at the side of the road, playing possum or otherwise.

Dad's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I gave him one of my typical obnoxious (to me, hilarious) birthday cards, which featured a photograph of a man holding a huge, old, ratty-looking possum by the scruff of the neck.  ("You're HOW old?  ImPOSSUMble!"  Thank you, Hallmark!)

(Do possums have a scruff?)

This week, we saw a possum cleaning up the spilled sunflower seeds under the bird feeders.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, posted a question on FaceBook related to the Mars exploration by the rover Curiosity - what would you name a new rover?  I thought a bit, and left a comment - "Hitchhiker."

A couple of days later, I received a quotation via text message on my phone - "Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so." - Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

This happens from time to time, but I don't remember ever having so many linkages piled into such a short timeframe.  Or is it not such an oddity, but I've just been open to seeing the connections?

What "coincidences" have you noticed lately?  Do you believe in coincidence?
I'm going to have to think about this!

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