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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

synchronicity

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Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity for "meaningful coincidences," or acausal connection of two or more psycho-physic phenomena. Here is the most famous of the stories from his book Synchronicity:

"A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream, I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from the outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer, which, contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since."

Carl Jung Resources explains that Dr. Jung developed a treatment for this patient, ". . . this coincidence is not senseless, a simple coincidence. By using the amplification method, Jung associates in connection with the scarab and comes to the concept of death and rebirth from the esoteric philosophy of antiquity, a process that, in a symbolic way, the patient should experience for a renewal and vitalization of her unilateral personality, the cause of the neurosis she was suffering from."

Some are skeptical that coincidences are ever meaningful, and others are ecstatic when events seem to collide with sparks and intrigue. If they aren't meaningful, then so be it. If they are meaningful, what difference does it make?

When my brother Bennett died suddenly in 1996 at the age of 47 of severe arteriosclerosis (all four arteries were blocked), a series of events unfolded in the following weeks and months that could be mere coincidence, but for my family and me, were stunning occasions of conjunction. I want to tell them to you, and I am guessing you want to hear them. I know I have a human curiosity to hear stories that touch on magic and miracle, with a chink of light from beyond the veil of the unknown. The half dozen or so other occasions are eerie and chilling, but I'd like to share two of the quieter, less macabre and dramatic ones, to honor Bennett, who sometimes teased me while he laughed, "Ruthie, I just love how dramatic you are!" Moo, hee? (my mother's exclamation, for Who, me?)

One such moment was when we went to a high school play my nephew was in. The week before the play, a dozen of us were cleaning out my parents' house where Dad had passed away the year before and where Mom no longer lived, having moved to an assisted living home with Alzheimer's. At lunch we calculated that we were going to be one ticket shy of the number needed for our family members attending my nephew's play the following week. Bennett, who went by "Ben" with all his friends, said, I don't need a seat, I'll be video-taping it from the back of the auditorium anyway. That night, in my parents' empty home, Bennett died. Without a lick of furniture to lean on, we mourned and paced and lay on the rose-carpeted floor, in shock. The following weekend, as we sat in the high school auditorium waiting for my nephew's play to start, some sitting, some standing, we were chatting, and I leaned over the as yet unoccupied seat in front of me. I looked down at the dark green cracked leather, worn from decades of student assemblies, and there, scratched in the leather, was I ♥ Ben.

One other of many more such stories (which swell in their cumulative effect) is this. As the executor of my brother's estate, I made arrangements to sell the beautiful country acres he owned, where he had built a log garage and had just received all the materials to build a custom log home, by himself. He had laid out his gardens on grid paper, meticulous to a delicious fault. After Don and I left the property sale closing in September of 1996 with the new owners, and after we'd had a beer with them and raised our glasses to Ben, Don and I knew we had to drive out to the property one last time. It was the place where Don, our kids, Bennett and I had lain under the stars one March night, watching for a meteor shower that never materialized. Bennett was an avid amateur astronomer. I've told you before that he was also a brilliant amateur photographer, and his avatar was this grasshopper he shot somewhere. Don and I walked the property, peeked in the windows of the garage where his memorial service had been held on a very cold February day earlier that year, and we climbed back into the van to leave, windows down on that warm September evening. As Don inched along, both of us reluctant to leave, I happened to look down at the ground. Just at the edge of the tall grass by the drive, on one stalk of timothy grass, perched a lone grasshopper, swaying in the breeze. We stopped then, for a while longer. What are the chances of a grasshopper sitting on a blade of grass in the country on a September night? Probably astronomical. But maybe the chances of me looking right there, right then are a bit less.

What does it mean? I suppose it doesn't have to mean anything. But because we were heavy with shock and loss, all of our attention was riding close to the asphalt of what happened around us. We saw the connections, which felt as if they were more than the average, and more intense. But really, aren't we always connected to everything? If we were but to pay closer attention, and feel the wonder of the miracles in a blade of grass that stands up straight though it's as light as a feather, and bends when a breeze blows, not breaking, would we be amazed? And a grasshopper. Have you seen how far and how high a grasshopper can jump, and land on that exact stalk of grass that just happens to be in the perfect spot, and hold on? Is that not magic?
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63 comments:

Lorenzo said...

Yes, it is magic, Ruth. And there is magic in this beautiful recollection and sharing of your brother Bennett. This is so perfect and whole that it is difficult to write anything, save to try to let you know that I so much appreciate basking in the warmth you have created here. As for synchronicities, I am convinced there are so many happening all the time, but we only perceive a few. Which ones, and why is a delicious mystery. But it takes the loving eye and heart of a talented poet to see them and display them to us with the artistic touch you bring. There are special personal synchronicities of my own that I find on your blog today that I will not get into ... something about ancient scales that weigh hearts, feathers, souls and blades of grass. You will know what I mean.

Hold on to your stalk of grass, Ruth, even as it bends in the wind.

Claudia said...

It is magic.

Similar experiences of eerie(?) synchronicity have changed my life and made me believe that we are indeed connected to everything, known and unknown. What we know is so little compared to what we perceive and almost irrelevant when compared to what we don't know.

Science is a false religion. There are no absolute truths.

João said...

I believe in beauty. This is beautiful.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, thank you for the heartfelt generosity of your comment. When you say something is whole and perfect, there is great satisfaction for me, even when you are not saying it about something I wrote. So, thanks for that.

Maybe poetry is seeing, and in that sense every one can be one. I feel so privileged when I see something, anything, that touches me.

I am touched by your words.

Ruth said...

Claudia, our perceptions are shaped constantly. To some extent, we choose what shapes us. In other ways, it is random, or seems that way. I come back to some of the first words of Mary Oliver's that I ever read, that began to change my perception of what poetry could be, from her poem, The Swan:

. . . And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?

And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

And have you changed your life?


Thank you for your comment.

Ruth said...

João, yes, I know you do. That you found it here just fills me up. Thank you.

George said...

A wonderful post on a fascinating subject, Ruth. Thanks for being so forthcoming about the synchronicities in your life. Your experiences with Bennett are both moving and reassuring.

I have had numerous synchronicities in my own life, and I will mention just one. Five or six years ago, while preparing for a trip to Israel, I thought it might be interesting to go back and read some of the biblical history pertaining to the places I would be visiting, particularly Jerusalem. Being somewhat skeptical of biblical accounts, however, I wanted to choose a version of the bible that I would be comfortable with intellectually. To that end, I gathered several versions from around my house and put them on my desk, thinking that I would just choose a page and verse at random and then see how the translations compared.

Before going further with my research, I darted off to lunch with a close friend. During the course of the ensuing conversation, we were talking about where we were in our respective journeys, at which point I told her that I was feeling increasingly part of something larger than my own life, something that binds everything and everyone together. I then summed up my feeling by stating: "I just feel that all of the boundaries of my life are falling."

Thirty minutes later, back at the desk in my home office, I returned to the task of finding a "good translation" that could be used for reading some of the biblical accounts of Israel's early history. I randomly picked up a New International Version of the bible, randomly opened it, and randomly allowed my right index finger to fall upon a passage that would be used for comparison purposes only. There, above the end of my finger, were these words from Psalms 16:6 — "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

Even as I write this account, I get chills up my spine. I attach no theological significance to the coincidence, but I do feel that the great mystery of the universe was reassuring me that ultimate reality can only be experienced when we dissolve the boundaries that have been erected by men throughout history for the purpose of separating themselves from each other and the great divine mystery of life. It was certainly a "meaningful coincidence" for me — a "synchronicity," to use Jung's language. What it means beyond that shall remain a matter for speculation.

Ruth said...

Dear George. I want to thank you for sharing this amazing account of your experience of synchronicity. Please understand in this response, that I am not detracting, but multiplying your experience with a vehement Amen! from my own experiences like yours, when I spent more time with the Bible than I do now. I am, with chills shared with you, remembering my own chills at very similar, and I believe as astonishing occasions, when what was found on the page, under a finger, was precisely related to the occasion of that time in my life.

It's important what you say in your final paragraph, that we should not proof-text anything from these experiences, or start our own cult! :) It's easy to see, when you've had an experience like this, that is so shuddering, why a person would want followers to bow down at some altar of significance. But your "conclusion" -- that to see ultimate reality we must experience the dissolution of boundaries, is just what I feel is the meaning of these synchronicities. We are one, and as Lorenzo said, there are far more of these things around us than what we perceive.

It makes me so happy to know you and I have had similar occasions with Scripture, and that while we have found a path that is "under" religion (beneath, above, beyond, outside of, in spite of?), there is still power in Scripture, as there is in anything we turn our attention to.

*jean* said...

thank you for sharing, ruth, i believe with all my being that life/energy/spirit can not be destroyed...only changed in form...

your post also makes me wonder how many people absolutely miss these wonders of the universe...

*j*

Susan said...

So beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. That's all I can say.

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, I love your stories of syncronicity. I have had a few of these moments, myself. Even though they were small things, they happened when I was most in need of them. Here is a small one followed by a somewhat humorous one. I had lost my wallet. I missed it on the weekend and thought maybe I left it at work. It didn't have much money in it but it was important to me. I got to work but it was not there. I went home and searched again. Leaving work the next day, I sat in my car and said a prayer. "Lord, I would really like to find that wallet, but if this is way it is supposed to be, I accept the loss." My hand was at my side by the emergency brake and at that moment I noticed something wedged by the bucket seat right by my hand. It was the wallet. Not long after that I noticed that I could not find my partial plate that replaced one of my front teeth! I could NOT go to work without it. I searched everywhere in a panic. Finally, exhausted, I said this prayer and went to bed. "Lord, you know where that partial is. I trust you will place it in my hand in the morning." Well, the next morning I still couldn't find it. I was started to panic again and I yelled at my little grandson, "Grandma can't find her tooth!" A few minutes later he toddled over to me and placed the partial in my hand. ??? I close my right hand now and then with the true belief that what I need will be placed in my hand when I really need it. I do not have a traditional religious belief, but I have learned to believe in a higher power that comes from inside me and from everything around me. I don't try to define it but I know it is real. Lest you think I have a really shallow faith, I will say that my prayers have been answered many times in more profound ways. Thank you for this post.

Ruth said...

Dear Jean, your belief echoes what I know of Native American world views. I believe they have no word for death. Life just move into a different state.

Maybe that's what I take from the synchronicities around Bennett's passing, that they indicated ongoing Life . . .

Ruth said...

My dear Susie Q. You don't have to say anything else. I know. I love. I feel you.

Ruth said...

Sweet Shari. I love your stories! So far and contrary to the notion that you have shallow faith after reading them, I am convinced that you live on a steady, moment-by-moment plane of connection. If we only turn, in prayer (to whatever entity we turn to), when crises of life threatening proportion loom, that would strike me as shallow. To bear an ongoing attitude of hope and longing means to me that we are open. When I resist what is, I get stressed. When I open up and ask the universe for what can be, I am free. Thank you, and lots of love to you on this clear September morning in Michigan (sending it down your way).

Loring Wirbel said...

What you call synchronicity, I like to think of as natural resonances, on a higher plane than we can usually discern. And when the recently departed are involved, I am sure it is a method of speaking to us, just tapping into the resonances that are there already. (Of course, humans are pattern-matching and pattern-creating creatures, so it could be our natural tendency to make good fairy tales, but somehow I don't think so." Lovely essay.

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, and are we sharing synchronicity stories? Here's a spooky one: I had a former girlfriend who nearly died of sepsis in the late 1980s. I hadn't talked to her in quite a while, and about six months ago, she wanted me to read and comment on some poems she had written. Do you know the Google/Blogspot "captcha" phrase-repeater password they use to make sure that robot programs are not filing responses? The ones used on this blog? The one that popped up when I answered her poems was "Sepsis Gone". That was a bone-chiller.

Bonnie said...

Ruth, I found this post both touching, exciting and a tribute to your deep love for Ben.

As you suggest, searching for meaning in magical moments can muddy the magic. Enough that they make our cells spin, that they remind us how connected we are to everything and that there is so much more than we perceive in our normal modes of consciousness.

I have noticed over the years that strong emotional states such as grief heighten all our senses, allowing us to be much more attuned to what transpires around us. That is one of the gifts of grief - an exquisite attunement to life with its mysteries, miracles and magic.

You are a dear to share this. I like to imagine Jung reading and enjoying it too.

Bonnie said...

I just went back to read the comments and see some are sharing their moments of synchronicity here - and thought I would share one of mine, which is actually a bit similar to that of George:

I was attending a workshop on dream interpretation and we were asked to instruct our unconscious mind, "Tell me something I need to know, in my dreams tonight", and we would report back in the next session.

My dream was a boring, lack luster one of gathering around a buffet table with several members of the workshop. No one seemed to be hosting or serving so I said, "I guess you just have to help yourself". And we all did that and had an enjoyable meal together. I was disappointed with such a boring dream and that I would not have much to contribute in the next day's workshop.

I met for breakfast the next day with some of the participants. With some time still before the conference reconvened, I sat and took out a book I had just bought by David Viscott, M.D. entitled "Risking". I opened it randomly and began to read. The first sentence I read was something to the effect: '...risking is often a lonely enterprise, you have to help yourself...'.

So what are the chances that I would dream those words and then randomly open a book where I would receive the same message I had in my dream (but had dismissed): "YOU HAVE TO HELP YOURSELF".

I was going through a period of making some difficult choices (which I was avoiding) ... and I asked my unconscious to tell me something I needed to know - and it certainly did! I had to help myself.

Thank you Ruth for providing a forum where some inspiring stories of synchronicity will be featured in one place. Wonder-full!!!

Oliag said...

I am not really sure why but I have always had a deep feeling of connection and connectedness with nature and all about me....it wasn't related to religion but has always been there although hard for me to describe. Here I often read words that describe what I feel...

I have few stories of synchronicity though, athough I always look for it. The most recent one is funny and occured at the memorial picnic we had to dedicate a bench placed in a wooded park in my sister's memory. Although the bench is on a steep, heavily wooded hill overlooking a river...nowhere anyone would practice golf... after the dedication I found a golf ball in the grass behind it. Marked on the ball was the word "Carryon". I'm sure that to golfers this means nothing but the name of that ball's maker...but not being a golfer it seemed more of a message to me. And I had nearly ignored it...

The comments today have been giving me goosebumps!

Sandy said...

I so enjoyed this Ruth. I could spend hours telling the stories that happened (usually involving the passing of somebody in my family)...involving synchronicity. And then again, so many of them were times of magical and mystical happenings. That is how I came to favor zebras over all other animals.

loved your post.

willow said...

I don't believe in coincidence. Beautiful post.

Fragrant Liar said...

I enjoyed this post for the excellent writing, the candid and personal storytelling, and the topic of synchronicity, which relates to my closely held beliefs of the ways in which the universe works. As time goes by, I see more examples of synchronicity (and serendipity) all around me. It is an amazing thing. Loved hearing everyone's stories of synchronicity too. I have many more than I have moments to tell them, and in fact have so many that they're less striking than they were in the beginning and so maybe I just accept them as commonplace in my life. Anyway, thanks. Lovely lovely post.

Gwei Mui said...

Dear Ruth (sigh) such a beautiful, reflective, magical and yes sad post. In between every line your love comes peeping through. Life it's self is a coincidence whether the egg is fertilised or not. Life is a kalidescope of inter-connecting, disecting adjent coincidences. Life if magic, death is magic and the living hover betwixt.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Ruth, this post resonates with me in many powerful ways. Ways I would never hesitate to share -- but not here. This is your story, not mine. And I am so very glad you have shared it with us. You see, when I hear of someone else's synchronicities, I feel that perhaps mine aren't so woo-woo after all. The world moves in ways that continually remind us of people, animals, things that are meaningful, often heartbreaking.

When I met my Japanese friend Yukari, I learned that Japanese names "mean" things. I asked her what Yukari meant -- and she said, "coincidences -- but that's not right, because they aren't." I said, "Synchronicities?" and she said, "Yes! I was looking for that!"

I've always thought that the next pet who finds me MAY be named Yukari. Maybe not, but in my heart, that will be the name!

Char said...

when i was little, i would see sunbeams break through clouds and would say that was god shining his love down on me. as i got older i explained to my mom what i had thought and how now i knew that it was just the sun breaking up the clouds. and she asked how did i know it wasn't god.

now when i see sunbeams through clouds - i think of my mom.

Ruth said...

Loring, natural resonances is a very good term, I like that. And it makes sense that the other plane is always there, and that maybe when someone passes, that is where they are, and not here on the physical plane, so their presence there is stronger. I have no idea, but it sounds good, no?

Did I ever tell you about my owl visitation after Frank Fitzgerald died? I feel that he came to say good-bye.

Now Loring. Loring. Loring. That is the most chill-inducing story I've heard, such a specific word combination with your comment post at her blog!! How to contain these things in our hearts, I tell you!

Ruth said...

Dear Bonnie, what you said about strong emotional states heightening our sensual awareness, I agree, and I'm reminded of a friend's experience cancer treatment. It seemed that all the encumbrances of life slipped off her and fell to the roadside. She was lighter, she noticed synchronicities, and she felt ecstasy more often than she ever had in her life. She was that focused, and free.

Your "meaningful coincidence" with the dream and the book is powerful. What I like most about it is how you applied it to your life choices. How incredible it is that you asked openly, and you received this answer. Inge and I keep looking at each other after experiences like this and just say, "Why do we keep thinking it's so remarkable?" :) In a way, of course it should seem a way of life. But I also don't ever want to lose the wonder of it and take it for granted.

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to this discussion.

Ruth said...

Oliag, I am comforted to know that the Universe gave you a special message encouraging you to move on after losing your sister in this world. She is with you in your body and soul, always. Yet you also carry on.

I can feel your connection with Nature in the ways you photograph it, with such love. I feel that we needed to move to this farm so that I would get connected with the earth, which I hadn't done much before. I guess that's why I share it a lot here. I'm glad, very glad, you find things here that express what you feel too.

Ruth said...

Sandy, my friend, you do not surprise me with your comment, for you exude that connection in your blogs. I would like to hear that zebra story. It's great to see themes return again and again in our lives, and in our kids' lives. In some way having a special animal we're drawn to means we'll focus on the characteristics of that animal, and maybe what in us connects with those traits, and it can form a powerful bond.

Now to be silly, do you have any zebra jammies?

Ruth said...

willow, you are a deeply connected and centered person, and I believe that you must watch the moments of your life very carefully. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Hi, Fragrant Liar, I am warm, so warm inside and out, at the many shared occasions of synchronicity here today. I get chills thinking that you've had so many that you have "leveled" them out in your psyche, they are not taken for granted, but they are a way of living and noticing the wonders all around. Thank you for your very kind words.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, I feel your beauty peeking through the lines of your comment, I'm so touched by your words. You are right in every way! Just think of the miracle of us living at just the right distance from the sun, our planet at just the right tilt, our air just the right concoction for us to thrive (most of the time).

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I appreciate how you've honored me and the stories here today. I would love to hear yours, and I am guessing some might be related to Rick's incredibly close call with death last year, but I'm not sure. The power of his survival after his bike accident still chills me to the bone, that there was an EMS crew so close out on that country road. Since you shared it at your blog, I hope you don't mind me mentioning it here.

Well now I'm getting goosebumps knowing there is a Japanese name that means synchronicities. I imagine Yukari looks for them, and we should too. It is a lovely word, one to murmur in the morning waking up: Yu-ka-ri. Lovely. Naming the air.

Ruth said...

Char, I love that. You have a good mom. I don't know what God is, but I think moms a pretty good conduits of it/him/her, as are dads, and grasshoppers too. I feel Life inside, and that's what I want to connect with everywhere, through the vibrations that connect us, even with rocks.

The Bug said...

Well those are goosebumpy stories - and they are definitely signs of something "other" to me. I want to hear the others! Yes, I'm greedy like that :)

Pauline said...

Magic and ordinary all at once. We only have to notice and allow ourselves to make the connections. It is harder to allow ourselves to believe but I'm heartened to hear you do. This was a very uplifting post!

ds said...

I ache for your brother, who was brought down too early. And still he watches over you. That is so special. As Lorenzo said, hold onto that stalk of grass...

Deborah said...

Ruth, I had put off reading this post because of its title. This topic often crops up in this arena (not your blog specifically) and my reaction to what often seem to be starry-eyed and wishful interpretations of coincidental happenings is not always very positive. Why, I 'm not sure. Maybe it's because I actually wish my rational self would take a break sometimes and let me dream in technicolour.

But because of what I believe I know about you, I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did. My physical reaction to your words was quite intense. I couldn't see what was coming, but I knew you would not fabricate, nor exaggerate nor come to a blind conclusion. And you didn't. You wrote a beautiful story, and it touched me deeply.
But it is your mind I admire the most - the reticence of your rational self to apply a facile significance to what you experienced, delicately counterbalanced with your spiritual need to believe in a continuing connection with your brother. This is the way I see it, at least.

This should be published, and widely read. It - the tale and the telling - is exquisite. I'm so sorry you lost him.

Marcie said...

You needn't convince me. I'm a believer - both in magic..and in life's synchronicities. Bittersweet memories of your brother..

Ruth said...

Hi, Dana, believe me, they are eerie.

Ruth said...

Pauline, I've met people all along the spectrum, from skeptical to believing everything is significant. I am amused with myself when I get blown away by synchronicity, because as Lorenzo says, they are all around, always.

Ruth said...

Thank you, DS. At just this moment, writing you, I realize how I think you and Bennett would like each other. How sweet that feels, and strange, but not.

Ruth said...

Oh, Deborah, I know what you mean, about hearing that word synchronicity. Thank you for your honesty coming into this. But even more, thank you for believing something about me and wanting to read this. Your deep resonant response really moves me.

Ruth said...

Marcie, I want to live expectantly, that we can connect several times a day, and feel it.

I realize with each passing year how much Bennett is in me.

Nancy said...

I loved this post, Ruth. Meaningful coincidence - it only has to be meaningful to you.

Terresa said...

Yes, it is magic, and life every day, when I see/realize/grasp/remember we are, in fact, interconnected in so many ways.

A sweet portrait you paint of your brother, and the criss-crossings of life in small but meaningful arrays.

PS: We saw 2 spider webs today, here in San Diego, that reminded us of the spider web we saw as a young couple here back in 1996. Strange, yes. Serendipitious? Perhaps. And meaningful in every way imaginable.

Ruth said...

Nancy, BINGO! Thank you for your pinpoint, spot on simple statement.

Ruth said...

Terresa, I love to hear about the webs woven for you. You noticed them, because you are like that. You let them swell your hearts, because you are like that. I hope you are enjoying San Diego. I'm about to read what you have posted, and maybe I'll learn more about that.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth, such meaning and emotional connection.. You must miss him very much and think about him often.. How could you not...

Vagabonde said...

Sorry Ruth I have been away from a computer for the better part of the last 5 weeks. I am reading the 13 posts your wrote and don’t know if it is better to write a comment under each one or write all my comments here. I’ll be brief. I loved that tea cup with very dark tea, or was it coffee? You said “a small group, 26 people..” for me that is a crowd. A small group is 4 people. I have never been to a family reunion with so many people – I would feel totally lost (or scared, or both.) Last year we were invited to a 4th July get together by a friend (to join his family and friends) and they were over 100. I just sat there and never talked to anyone as I just did not know how to start talking to them, and no one came to talk to me either. I did not want to go there this year. I think you have to be raised with a lot of people around to feel at ease in large groups.
Your collaged face is very creative – I like it a lot. Wabi-sabi is good – at least I practice wabi in a way, which is based on aloneness. I saw “Gran Torino” when it came out. I am sorry about what happened to Detroit – when I came to this country and visited it, it was a beautiful city. It was lovely to read about your family – such an artistic one. I think Ginnie looks like Grandma Olive, at least in the picture your showed. When I went to Dubai in the late 80’s I had my hands and feet decorated with henna, in a traditional design. It lasted more than 4 months and I liked it very much. Your post on tattoos was so enlightening. I enjoyed also your post on synchronicity. I have had several incidents myself, but this would make this comment even longer than it already is. Sorry for that, and also sorry for it not being made of well-turned phrases (that is French translated.) Sometimes when I read all the well composed and inspired comments you receive, I think it is better for me not to write any. Je serais heureuse de les écrire en français.

Ginnie said...

Tranen in mijn ojen, Ruth...tears in my eyes. After all these years, the stories remain. My favorite is when Mom tapped her hand on his photograph in her Alzheimer's room, not having been told he had died. I think she knew in some cosmic place deep inside of her.

You have more memories of your time with Bennett than I do. I just told Astrid I would love to sit with you and have you tell her all them!

Montag said...

Absolutely fascinating.
I must admit that suddenly the Jung story no longer interests me: "the nearest analogy" to a scarab...almost ain't is and so on, but yours does.

And I do not actually believe that events themselves conspire at simultaneity so much as it is you yourself who changes the landscape of Awareness into a Parliament of Affection (which is the emotion of "connection")

Synchronicity is the sea in which we all swim.

Montag said...

...and this might relate to the "fractal" nature of reality.

It is not so much synchronous behavior as it is reality exhibiting the same or similar structure no matter where we look and no matter on what scale and no matter whether past, present, or future.

rauf said...

my life is nearly a straight line Ruth, hardly any ups and downs, very boring. Except for my stupidity and clumsiness, which become funny to narrate later on, i have nothing interesting to tell any one. Nothing extraordinary ever happened to me, no luck whatsoever, except rain or shine, Losses and near losses are not worth telling any one.

Like Loring i've had some funny and shocking word verifications. But i always fail to connect them, like something unusual incident.

We normally connect things if there is a deep involvement, love or hatred. i am not technical or scientific minded Ruth. i sincerely believe that our mind plays lots of tricks on us which is beyond our understanding.

Word verification i have to type now is VORDS

Ruth said...

Dear Gwen, yes, I miss Bennett. Yet I feel him growing every day.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, I feel amazed and humbled at the time you took, and energy, and interest, to read the posts you had missed. Thank you so very much. You are a golden friend.

Your comments are ALWAYS wonderful, and you should never ever think you don't write well in English!

Ruth said...

Boots, that is probably the incident that moves me the most too.

Yes, let's sit and talk about Bennett.

Ruth said...

Montag, you've said it beautifully: Synchronicity is the sea in which we all swim.

It's what's in me, and in you, that makes the connections.

Ruth said...

rauf, it's funny how it's a person's perspective that makes the difference. Your friends around the world, me included, think you are one of the most fascinating people we know. We keep coming back for more more more.

J.G. said...

I read somewhere that the Universe is constantly sending us everything we need, but we don't always open the channel to receive it.

These are lovely memories, and it seems that great grief is one thing that opens the channel. Which is, come to think of it, probably exactly as it should be, when we need it the most.

Thank you for sharing.

Ruth said...

You're right, J.G., maybe grief is like shock. Our bodies and spirits get what they need.

Thank you for your good visit.

Brendan said...

Thanks for connecting me with this. Something about the extremity of loss makes the veil of time and space so thin: perhaps its just that so much attentive clutter gets scribbed away by the rawness of the feeling, and we see and sense dimensions under the surface. Sometimes I feel my brother (also dead of a heart attack, at age 44) walking aloingside. The more I've gotten to know his history, the more I see how it wove invisibly through my own. His girlfriend said that for months after he died, she kept turning up little love-notes he'd tucked away in her apartment for her to later find. He shows up in his photo archives, using himself many times as his own model. What did Hamlet say? "There is more to heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy!" Surely our dead siblings are close, close by. - Brendan

rosaria williams said...

Ah,yes, we do pay attention to any sign that lives are still connected. That's just our history, our souls not accepting erasures of such magnitude. Achingly beautiful, Ruth.