Call it spooky coincidence if you will, but I will call it synchronicity. Certain topics or words that keep coming up, in unrelated places. There is always a background level of coincidence, but at the moment it seems to be a higher level than usual. This week it’s bees.
A month or two back it was Edinburgh. We have a conversation about Edinburgh (for some reason) and then there’s a programme on TV about Edinburgh. A book my wife randomly picked in a library is set in Edinburgh, and other small coincidences such as that. But in the last week or two everything seems to have been about bees.
I think it might have started when Sue told me, while looking at a Tori Amos CD cover, that she might enjoy being a beekeeper. Since then the story about the effect of mobile phone signals on bees broke. We watched The Constant Gardener and one of the evil empires is called Three Bees, with a menacing logo depicting three bees in hexagons. Now, trying to finish a cryptic crossword, we had only three letters for a word: _ _ _ B _ E _ E _ — and of course the answer turned out to be BUMBLEBEE as well.
Another one is Joanna Newsom. She sings the song that’s used in the Orange “black-out” advert, a slightly kooky song called “This side of the blue” (you know, “Svetlana sucks lemons across from me…”). Now, that advert has been showing for ages, but it’s only been recently that I bothered to look up her name. Coincidentally Sue mentioned her name to me not expecting me to know who it was, because she had looked her up as well, probably on the same day. When Regina Spektor‘s “Us” was featured on a Sky advert I discovered how much I like her music, and now the same has happened with Joanna Newsom for Sue.
So in the last couple of days, Joanna is the new subject of our synchronicity. She’s playing in a record shop, she’s here, she’s there, she’s everywhere. Then, when browsing Flickr, Sue found lots of photos from my cousin’s friend’s girlfriend (who we’ve never met). There was only one from a music concert, and of course that was our Joanna. Not only that, but one of the comments was from someone else we know (by separate means), who turns out to be a big fan of harp music, which Joanna plays.
I’m not trying to say it’s all meaningful. I do think it is probably all coincidence. But you can’t help feeling a tiny ding of satisfaction when there’s a new bit of synchronicity around. It’s like in Lost, when you unexpectedly see a character in someone else’s flashback, or there’s some other mysterious connection. It’s slightly thrilling, and there is this feeling of something being partly revealed to you. And you know it is a coincidence, but somewhere inside your mind there is a secret “what if”, looking for meaning in it.