12 August 2011

Look around you: Art/Magic is Everywhere

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I consider myself a lark; that is, I feel my best self in the morning hours. I guess my daughter is, too, because most mornings she sounds off her toddler-reveille between 6 and 6:45 am. Not an ungodly hour, by any means.  For a non-negotiable wake up time, however, 6-something certainly falls on the earlier side. And so the system we've developed is to ease into a more salubrious hour of the day with a solid block of pre-school appropriate television, accompanied by coffee (for the grown ups). We have DVRed every episode of her favorite show and every morning we watch at least one episode. If you have a toddler (or just look like one) you will likely be familiar with the entertainment juggernaut that is Yo Gabba Gabba!, from whence this clip derives.

All things considered, it is a pretty awesome show, made equally for the entertainment of parents as it is for their small fry. Still, I've seen every episode enough times that I can (and admittedly, do) quote from it at length. In short, I dream about new episodes of YGG the way starving people dream about delis. So it is remarkable that amongst the miniscule selection on rotation, one little sonic confection never, ever ever gets old:

Meanwhile, I am currently willfully suspending disbelief as I read Deepak Chopra's Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. To DC's credit, he builds the book on a foundation of quantum mechanics which doesn't sound so far removed from what I learned in my college math G.E. course, Physics and the Quantum Enigma. That scientific-tinge softens my cynicism some. A little background information: the crux of the enigma of quantum mechanics is that we used to think light was either a particle, or a wave. Then we discovered that it is both a particle and a wave. At the same time. (Pause to consider that paradox for a moment.) When it comes time to measure light, it has to be either one or the other. So what determines which it is? We do. As soon as we observe or attempt to measure light, it ceases to be both. We fix it in one state or the other. Which makes no logical sense, but hey! Don't take my word for it. Greater minds than mine will sort it out for you in a digestible fashion here.

Anyway, back to our buddy Deepak. After spreading a gloss of quantum science credentials, he goes on to say that coincidences are as magical as we make them out to be; more so, really. And he posits that if we pay attention to them, coincidences will lead to the spontaneous fulfillment of our desires. (As long as our desires are what The Universe wants for all of us; that is, your wish for a swimming pool full of money would have to mean instant and irrevocable goodness to the legions affected by you.)

So how do you start turning coincidences into magic? Start paying attention. Hide and watch. Accept that everything is a message, if you're tuned in to it. Observe, and make copious notes about what you discover. Initially, it will feel silly, but eventually the transparent silk threads connecting everything will cease to be invisible, until they are so blindingly-neon obvious you'll wonder how you never saw them before.

In other words, look around you. Art, and in this case, magic, is everywhere. And is art not magic, in a way -- a kind of alchemy?  Turning nothing into something. Seeing meaning where no one else does.

Case in point: Let me tell a story of a recent coincidence of my own. Sitting in my therapist's office this week, towards the end of the session, a look of perplexion passed over her face like a cloud. "I'm not sure why, but all through the session, several things you've said have made me think about a book. I don't know why, exactly. I'm just going to give it to you." As she went to her bookshelf, a tingly feeling stole over my skin, a feeling I am beginning to become familiar with, that signals Something Meaningful is about to transpire.  She pulled down a book, handed it to me and apologized. "The title makes it seem a little weird." I disagreed, because I recognized it was the same book I'd noticed in the bookstore on Sunday. I'd been browsing with my friend LadyBoss that day, and the book caught my eye, but I didn't pick it up because LadyBoss lost interest in the bookstore and we left. Now here it was in my hands. (Coincidence Number One.)

I began reading the book and I understood, sort of, why my therapist connected it to me. It wasn't just speaking to me, it was trumpeting in deafening brass tones. It spoke to what I've always known, and yet it also seemed to answer the very conundrum LadyBoss and I had been worrying over on Sunday. I hadn't even discussed this conundrum with my therapist. (Coincidence Two and Three.)

Wednesday morning I left the house ready to tackle a small mountain of errands I'd been neglecting. Heading west on Sunset, full of determination to Take Care of Business, a small voice in my head said "Go to the Berda Paradise Thrift Store". This made no logical sense: I didn't need to spend any money, I didn't want to waste time browsing, I had Stuff to Do! But I succumbed, because I wanted to find a used copy of the book to give to Ladyboss, though the chances of finding the book there were slim, at best. The Berda Paradise is an exquisite, but very, very small shop. Maybe three small bookshelves total.

As I walked in, I got the tingly feeling again. Shea, the manager, looked up, and bypassing any greeting, immediately locked her eyes onto mine and said,
"Sarah. Are you working?"
"No. I need a job. I"m looking for a job."
"We need someone to fill in. We're desperate to get someone who can help. You've volunteered here, you can handle it.'
"I sure can." And I gave her my number. (Coincidence Four)

And just in case you needed more evidence, sure enough, there on the top shelf of the small bookshelves, sat the very book I was seeking: Intimate Communion by David Deida. Exactly as I'd hoped. Coincidence Number Five.

But enough about me. Dear readers, what is the uncanniest coincidence to occur in your life? Regale us with stories to make our spine shiver. Or just tell us about a coincidence that doesn't even make sense to you yet. I have a feeling that soon, it will.


  1. Not that this is the strangest but one that is currently unfolding. I was reading your blog when I got a message from an old professional contact. He asked how I was, and I in turn asked how one of his old colleagues "Sam" was. His response was that the baby was well, and how did I know about Sam? Okay, maybe that is the strangest but not the most meaningful. Back to work...

  2. From Anonymous:
    Awesome blog post!! I would love to say that I am a regular reader of your blog--but I'm not.... So it was kinda crazy that I read it the one time that I have been having a week full of magic, or, um, coincidences. I just ordered some CDs on the subject....I am such a nut! But having so much fun learning, exploring, and being in total and complete amazement with the universe and life!!

  3. From Anonymous 2 (I guess folks aren't quite ready to own their psychic powers yet):

    I fully subscribe to the events you have called coincidence and I class as telepathy. There have been too many over the years that have made my spine tingle to select more than a couple. But I must start with the latest!

    I have been working on my memoir and my neck is aching, so I have decided to take a rest. Before leaving the computer I thought I would check my mail. Nothing!
    Usually I just close and leave. For some reason I noticed that my junk spot had a 1 and 2 beside it. As i say, I would, on any day have ignored it. TODAY I LOOKED!!!! There I found a blog from you from Thursday. How did it get there?: I have no idea. Why did I look? Same!!!!!!

    The strangest was a very long time ago. My husband had a large family connection in Glasgow in Scotland. One evening I was putting some coal on the fire when I felt as though I had been hit by a spark. There was no mark however and I let it go. ONLY I kept feeling the hit and became quite upset as I knew that there was something awful happening to someone in Scotland. I did have relations there but it was not one of them.

    My husband calmed me down and gradually the feeling left me.

    Next day my Mother in law told us that one of the young girls of the family had been suddenly struck down with a brain tumour, rushed to hospital, operated on immediately and had been in crisis at the same time the spark had hit me. MIL had had a phonecall that morning to say that it would be a long haul, but that she would be OK. They were worried that we would hear and be shocked. Why me? XO

  4. From Anonymous 2; the plot thickens!

    The girl that I wrote about has a special place in the Scotish family, not only because of her trauma. Her Mother had a series of misscarriages and was eventually told that she needed a hysterectomy, which put paid to any babies. But her longing was so great it was decided to apply for adoption. This girl child was the prize, from birth on. Not only was she very lovely, but she was very bright, witty and clever. After she recovered she went on to university where she earned firsts in all her endeavours. Eventually she married and had a son around my son's age. Unfortunately as the years have passed, so have the older members of the family and contact has become spasmodic. Imagine my startled surprise when my other son told me yesterday that he had made contact with this girl on Facebook!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wierd or what! Why just now after at least ten years or longer?

  5. Found Nefer-Nefer Land and a whole bunch more of course! Stay open - it really is all around us! ;-)