The rational part of my brain always wants to shrug off coincidence as mere matters of probability but I still am excited in a way when I experience it, even when the coincidences are seemingly mundane, not appearing as some sort of cosmic omen or example of the universe’s synchronicity.
Take this past weekend. I had one of those weird moments when I was singing a song to myself and just a short time later it pops up on the car radio. Now, that doesn’t seem like too much of a coincidence. I mean, I’m sure most of us have had this experience, especially when a song is popular and regularly played on our favorite station. I know this used to happen to me all the time as a kid, when I would be humming a song and would flip on the radio and there it was, almost synchronized in its timing. But this recent time was with a song from 1967 that was not a classic song but a novelty hit, Judy in Disguise (With Glasses), from what was considered a bubblegum band of the time, John Fred and the Playboys.
I shrugged it off with a smile. It is an infectious song, after all. Besides, who wants to think that their destiny is somehow entwined with this song?
Then on Sunday evening, we were watching the Martin Scorsese produced Boardwalk Empire on HBO. A few days before this, I had written a post for this blog that was titled Acres of Diamonds, about the famed inspirational speech from Temple University founder Russell Conwell. The episode this night was also titled Acres of Diamonds and briefly played a recording of the speech performed by Conwell.
This coincidence gave me more of a pause than Judy in Disguise. It just struck me as odd that I had chosen to write about this story on just the weekend that it was also referenced on the TV show. It was a somewhat famous speech in its time but is pretty obscure today.
Coincidence or omen , a symbol of deeper meaning? Some view coincidence as evidence of a universal consciousness or of God’s directing hand at work. I don’t know that we can ever know with any certainty of such things. I know that I would like to believe that these pop culture coincidences somehow demonstrate that I am closer to the center of the labyrinth that is life, but, as I said, the rational part of me tells me to take it easy– if it’s a symbol, it will reveal itself in due time. If not, it’s just a fun coincidence.
What do you think this is trying to tell me? Maybe the message was a warning about buying those pants. Message received…