- The relation that exists when things occur at the same time
I’ve always experienced a lot of synchronicity in my life. It comes and goes like the ocean tides. Often it manifests in small seemingly insignificant things like, for instance, a few weeks ago, I mentioned to Jersey girl that as much as I enjoyed the American beers I’d sampled, I had yet to find ‘the one’, a beer that I could think of as my old faithful as it were.
That conversation took place on the day I wrote this piece in which I reference Frost’s The road not taken with its famous lines;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
That very afternoon, while perusing some of my favourite blogs, Frost’s poem came up again (sadly, I neglected to bookmark the blog and can’t remember now whose it was).
Then, later that evening, we stopped off at the liquor store where I came across this little gem
I, of course, had to give it a try and yes, it is now ‘the one’.
As I said, a small thing but still noteworthy. I treat synchronistic moments like these as signposts which tell me if I’m on the right path and headed in the right direction.
My most recent piece of synchronicity also revolved around a poem (and a lyric, though, sadly not a beer). I had just finished writing the text of my blog post on William Carlos Williams
and was looking for a title and song to go with it (I generally take the blog title from the accompanying song clip rather than the piece itself – just a strange quirk of mine).
I’d included several quotes from poet and critic Randall Jarrell
in the piece and, as the post was also about Springsteen, decided to use his song Jungleland to accompany the piece.
I wanted to use the lyric The poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all as the title for the piece but had a feeling I’d already used it in a previous post.
I went back to find it and, sure enough, I had used it on this piece
essentially about my relationship to poetry. In the post, I reference the poem The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner –
a piece that had had a strong impact on me in my youth – by none other than Randall Jarrell.
In a sense, the two posts were spiritual kin and yet, I’d had no idea until that moment that the Jarrell I’d been quoting in the one had penned the poem in the other.
There are lots of little synchronistic threads woven into this larger one. For instance, Jarrell wrote two children’s books which were illustrated by Maurice Sendak
. And Sendak wrote the very first book I ever borrowed from a library, Where the wild things are
. That book’s visual style was a massive influence on my future interest in illustration.
Even the fact that Williams and Robert Frost both died the same year I was born (just a month before, in Williams case) seems synchronistic to me. Actually, several of the people I would come to admire chose the year I was born to depart this existence; Kennedy, C S Lewis, Aldous Huxley – all three on the same day mind you, Patsy Cline, Jean Cocteau, and Édith Piaf. All died that year.
I don’t know what broader significance any of that might have, but I can say that the knowledge of it has shaped my world view in small ways and large.
Words and images are my own.