I recently met a fellow named, Mitchell, who is really into coincidences. As a matter of fact, he’s so into coincidences that he’s built his whole life around them.
That got me wondering, “What”s with coincidences?” We’ve all had them–an unusual turn of events that brings one unexpected phenomenon in relationship to another one, and lo and behold, they are intimately connected in surprising and fortuitous ways.
I’ve had my share, but for sure knee trembling coincidence…how about this one? It was 1966 and I had just left Greenville, NC. where I had done summer stock, having directed a musical and appeared in several productions. During rehearsals of the show I directed, (“Stop the World, I Want to Get Off”–a recurring them of my life, as it turns out) I fell in love with my leading lady, Anne Gilliam who was gracious enough to reciprocate.
At the end of the season I was to drive down to Miami where she lived and spend a couple of weeks with her before going off to Memphis to join an equity theater company. She had left a week earlier to go get her other 3 boys (she had 5) who were staying with their grandparents in Asheville, which is in Western N. Carolina.
Here’s the coincidence…I’m driving down the east coast on Highway 95 and I was somewhere between Greenville and Miami that’s a 700 mile stretch) and, lo and behold, around 9 o’clock at night I see Anne’s car directly in front of me cruising down the highway at 60 mph.
Now, what are the chances of that? Indeed, my knees started shaking. Think about it. She starts out some time that day almost 300 miles from where I started my trip. She’s on the Western side of the state, I’m on the Eastern side and we “bump” into each other driving down the highway. For sheer coincidence, that, by any standards, is a show stopper!
So what’s with these amazing coincidences? What causes them? What do they signify? What do we make of them? Why do we care?
I guess that within a life experience that vacillates between utter randomness and our efforts to control things, we are pleasantly surprised when good things do “co-inside.”
Indeed, I think that is what happens. Something on the “inside” of one phenomenon lines up with the “inside” of the other and they “join up.
“Somehow there is an overlapping juxtaposition of events in such a way that what ideally wants to happen, does indeed happen. They do actually coincide.
I’m not sure I could ever second guess reality as to what is going on here, but I can at least accept it as a modest sign from the Universe that it is a supportive, friendly place with a profound sense of humor–at least, once in awhile.
Now, can we increase the likelihood of these coincidences? Don’t know. But we can be ever on the look out for them, and recognize that when it comes to mind boggling positive “unlikelihood’s”, we can at least use them as a cause to celebrate existence, once again affirming that we’re not in charge, and the universe has a predilection for mischief and serendipity.
And if your still not sure, what to make of coincidence, listen to this, children!
Children Coincidence Edited By Dory Previn