CLUES AND SYNCHRONICITY – Marilyn Armstrong

If you watch enough cop shows on television, you will be convinced there is no such thing as a coincidence. This is probably because in cop shows, they are looking for clues. Also, there’s the matter of the script in which everyone always says “there’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

Except there is. It may be a freakish coincidence. It may be downright weird and closer to home than you want, but it’s not a clue. Why isn’t it a clue? Because you aren’t trying to track down the bad guy. You aren’t looking for a serial killer (at least I hope not and if you are, I hope you are well armed and not trying to do it on Facebook). You are just tralala-ing your life away, so what kind of a clue would make a meaningful difference?

When I was living in Israel, someone posted that he was giving away his entire record collection. He had “gone religious” and decided he didn’t need such frivolity. I called him up and he came over with crates of vinyl records. This was before CDs took over and a few years later, records were stuff you didn’t need anymore.

I’m highly amused that they are back in fashion. Mom was right: hang on to anything long enough and it will be back in style. She meant clothing, but apparently it’s true for many things. I’m still awaiting eight-track tapes.

Sorry for the digression.

I look at the guy and he looked at me. We stared at each other for a really long time and finally, I said “Where did you go to high school?”

“Jamaica High School,” he said.

Turns out we were in the same show in our junior year. I don’t remember anything about him except that there was something in his eyes that was familiar. Freaky? Weird? Yup. A clue? A clue to exactly what? It wasn’t like we dated or anything. At best, we barely knew one another.

About 10 years later, Garry and I were in Dublin. Looking for the Stag’s Head Pub, which is one of the older pubs in Dublin. The only way you can find it is to see the old stag’s head mosaic in the sidewalk because it’s down an unmarked alley.

So Garry and I — eternally lost, but this time, lost in Dublin — were staring at the sidewalk. A total stranger walked up and Garry accosted him.

“Excuse me,” said Garry, “But do you happen to know where we could find the Stag’s Head?”

“You’re Garry Armstrong,” said the nice man who it turns out was a professor at Harvard taking a year off to teach in Dublin. Cabal? No, but he knew how to find the pub.

A few years later, Garry and I are visiting my cousins in Baltimore and we’ve gone out for dinner. Crabs legs. They do a great job with crabs in Maryland. The waiter came over, dumps a heap of crab legs on the table and says “Hey, you’re Garry Armstrong.”

We went to Disney World and people kept asking for his autograph. There was Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck … and Garry. Ah, the memories. Okay Garry was a little bit famous. Still … what are the odds?

2012

Garry bumped into a viewer while in a castle in the highlands of Scotland. I encountered relatives while choosing veggies at the shuk in Jerusalem. A guy I knew well in Jerusalem  (he was my hairdresser) showed up at my doctor’s office in Newton, Massachusetts.

Stuff happens all the time. You meet someone who lives in the house you grew up in, or was the best friend of your best friend in fifth grade. It goes around and comes around. If you are firm believer in fate, is there some spiritual element in this?

For me, the truly oddest thing is when I meet someone who knows me. Says we were on the swimming team together (where I was a bench sitter — I never actually swam). Were in the same classes. Hung out. And I don’t recognize her or him at all. Nothing. Blank. Is it me or them? Which one of us is clueless?

If it is “something,” I’m pretty sure it’s not a cabal, clue, or collusion. It’s coincidence with memories. Synchronicity, if you like. The rhyming of our personal histories.

We know thousands of people, yet we bump into the same ones. Repeatedly.

So, are we destined to meet and then meet again people we knew in our world or maybe in another world? Even when they weren’t important and we can barely remember how we knew them or a single event or conversation which binds us together?

I’m sure someone more spiritual than I can make something more of this. Let me know when you know.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

15 thoughts on “CLUES AND SYNCHRONICITY – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Garry being something of a local celebrity, with the possible exception of the person in Dublin, meeting viewers isn’t too surprising. Some of the others… It happens. Sometimes it is odd. Out of the blue I think of a song I hadn’t thought of in years, decades. I go to the computer and discover a friend posted that song saying they just thought of it for the first time in years, decades. It happens once every week or two. Coincidence, or is some greater power listening to the oldies (70s and 80s 😉 ) and some of us just happen to catch His (or possibles Her) vibes? Bumping into people form my small town on the other side of the world. Synchronicity. Damn, now I’m going to play The Police and am sure one of my Facebook Friends will be listening as well….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is strange. Especially when it is someone from whom you haven’t heard in many years … in my case, the better part of a lifetime. But it happens and now, with social media, rather more often than it used to.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I love it when that happens… seeing someone and knowing there is something familiar about them, and then yes, it’s them! Have also had the experience of having no clue who someone is and they remember me… whoops!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not much of a traveler, but I do have one story from when me and my parents went on a baseball trip to Cincinnati once (About 330 miles away). We were at a grocery store there to get some stuff, and someone came by my Dad’s truck and noticed the city sticker in the windshiwld (My town has what they call a “wheel tax” on all registered vehicles) It turns out they were also from my city of 30,000 or so people, and showed us the sticker on their car. Not as neat as running into a classmate half a world away, but, as I said, I’m a homebody…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This stuff really does happen to anyone and meeting the guy in Jerusalem who went to HS with me (and I have a TERRIBLE memory for faces!) …. and my hairdresser from Jerusalem in Newton, MA … well I am definitely NOT famous. But shit happens. It’s a bit freaky when it does but it happens rather more often than natural selection would suggest. Okay, Garry was kind of famous … but even so … out on the rocks in Scotland? Channel 7 is a local TV show, you know? Boston pretty much with some outreach …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Turns out a lot of Channel 7 stuff was picked up by cable outlets and rebroadcast by the BBC, ch-7/Austrailia and other Networks around the world. I got letters from viewers in strange places. Bizzare but true.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is strange, but strange makes it interesting for sure. My husband and I have encountered a few odd events like that and we are not well known at all. I wonder why sometimes we are put in the path of people who know us through other people. On another note, I love Maryland crabs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And it keeps happening. No matter where you go on earth, you will surely bump into someone who you know, or who knew your folks … or maybe are a cousin. We watched Trevor Noah last night and he was interviewing a guy named “Holder.” Garry said he was absolutely SURE the guy is a relative — not sort of, but REALLY related. Not only because of his name (his mother’s maiden name was “Holder”) but because he looked like Garry did when he was younger. AND he was funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Me personally, I believe in randomness. I certainly wish that randomness would hit me when it comes to winning the lottery lol!
    And I think it happens more often as we get older because we have met more people throughout our lives so the chances increase.
    Of course one would think the chances of my numbers coming up would also increase 🤣

    Like

    1. Don’t we ALL wish for a little positive randomness where money is the issue. Occasionally, one of us will buy a couple of tickets, but we aren’t regular lottery buyers. They keep raising the price of tickets — while lowering your chances of actually winning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually don’t buy them regularly either but I am in a pool at work. I keep thinking I should drop out, but like everyone else, am worried when I do, the numbers will finally come up. Ah, what a sucker I am! Haha.

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