Reflecting on a Strange Coincidence

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Strange coincidences. Ever had 'em? Things that seem highly improbable. Jung termed these attention-getting coincidences » "synchronicity," which he defined as » "two or more events which are causally unrelated, tho occurring together in a meaningful manner".

Waikiki HonoluluThe easiest one to describe came when I was living in Hawaii (Honolulu, downtown Waikiki, on Ala Wai Blvd). It was a Saturday afternoon when the phone rang .. someone calling for the Dog.

(.. who was out looking for his car. It's easier to lose your car in Waikiki than you might think, cuz you can walk everywhere. I had a black Sportster there.)

The caller was hosting a card game that night and asked me to give the Dog his number. I found a pen and tore off a piece of grocery bag. I forget the number, but recall the last four digits were '0507'.

The radio was on. (We had a nice stereo system, with Bose speakers. Actually, that's pretty-much ALL we had in the place. You know how it is when you're 20 years old.) A commercial was playing as I took down the guy's number. It was playing loud, cuz I had turned up the previous song.

At the exact time I wrote the number, the radio announcer gave the address of the place he was pimping » 507 (Something street) .. for some tire store (in Honolulu).

'Interesting timing,' I thought. But then, I glanced over at the clock to note the time the guy called, and it was » 5:07. That *really* got my attention. My eyebrows popped up as I looked around to see if anybody was watching.

I told the Dog about the weird coincidence when he got home (after finding his car). He was the one who noted today was May 7th (»5:07). He held out his arm and said, "Look. Chills."

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Now I don't know what the odds are of those four 507's all showing up at the same like like that, but it certainly got my attention. And I still observe May 7th as a special day .. to the very day .. tho nothing unusual has ever occurred again on that day.

My New SuperBall Goes Right in the Dang Hole

But there's another strange coincidence I've been thinking about lately. It's not that I'm trying to. It justs keeps coming to mind .. for some reason.

When I was young (I grew up in Connecticut), those "SuperBalls" were a new invention. They bounced like crazy. My mom bought me one. It was the size of a plum. Patrick & I were playing catch with it out in the street .. throwing it back and forth .. with tosses that included a bounce or two in between .. cuz bouncing is what this ball did best.

Fork in the roadWe lived on a street that was not very busy, but which forked off a main road .. in a Y-shape. The main highway saw decent traffic, 1 lane each way, where cars travelled maybe 35 or 40 MPH.

One of these throws got by me .. cuz these balls tend to lurch at you, cuz they develop considerable spin when they hit the ground.

Anyway, my back was to the main road. And there goes my new ball. I mean, we hadn't yet played with it 10 minutes.

At the EXACT time, here's comes a small pick-up truck pulling a trailer. The trailer is a homemade-looking plywood box .. set on a metal frame. It's maybe 8 feet long and 4 feet tall .. not very big. Totally enclosed .. except for a small hole in the side .. directly in the middle of the side facing me (driver's side).

The truck (& trailer) are moving to my left as I watching my new ball bouncing away .. out into traffic. It felt so surreal that everything seemed to shift into slow motion.

The truck is in the far lane. The hole in the side has a diameter of maybe 2 feet. It's perfectly round (like the ball) and looks tiny .. cuz it's about 150 feet away. Here comes the trailer (moving to my left) and there goes my new ball .. bouncing away.

Trailer with holeI'm thinking, "No. No way."

As God is my witness .. that ball went RIGHT INTO that hole (in the side of that homemade plywood trailer). The ball made a loud noise as it ricocheted around inside the wooden trailer (which sounded empty). The driver never stopped.

To this day, I have NEVER seen another trailer that looks anything like it. And don't think I didn't keep an eye out for that weird-looking trailer. (To try to get my ball back.) Never did see it ever again. That was the one & only time. And who cuts a hole if the side of an enclosed trailer anyway? Why? For what reason?

Here's my point. You could stay there all day long, throwing those balls, and *trying* to get it to go in that hole .. as that truck drove by (at 40 MPH, again & again). And I doubt you could do it. You'd be lucky if you could even hit the trailer.

You could spent a week .. a month .. maybe even an entire year .. and still not get that ball to go in that hole. I mean, it was a good 150 feet away, and Patrick (who threw the ball) was another 50 feet away from me .. down the street. So that's 200 feet. It must've bounced 5 or 6 times.

If the trailer was a fraction of a second faster .. or slower, it would've missed. Or if Patrick threw the ball a tiny-bit faster or slower .. sooner or later .. no dice. See my point? Many events had to line up perfectly.

You could wait for another trailer with a hole in the side to come by, and you'd still be waiting there today .. cuz I've never seen another like it .. ever.

Both our jaws dropped. "Can you believe that?" Pat said. It was like slow motion .. as the ball and the trailer slowly converged. [ There's a key word » convergence .. perfect convergence .. convergence so remarkable it seems miraculous. Of course, we are all the result of an unlikely (one-in-a-million) convergence, aren't we? ]

Here we have "two or more events" which could be described as "causally unrelated, tho occurring together in a meaningful manner."

Now I don't know why I've been thinking about something that happened decades ago. But I feel like there's something there that sheds light on to the things I'm going thru today. I mean, I haven't thought about that stupid ball for decades, and now it keeps coming to mind.

These coincidences, I've noticed, seem to come in bunches. Sometimes none for months, or even years. Then bamm! A whole slew arrive for a few days or weeks. Once they lasted about 6 weeks .. usually during interesting times of life.

I'm not having any now .. but for some reason I keep thinking about that ball going in that hole (decades ago) .. as that pick-up truck drove by .. pulling that homemade plywood trailer .. at exactly the right/wrong time.

Seems as though the universe did not want me to have that ball. Or maybe these strange coincidences are just a "glitch in the Matrix." =) The bigger question however, is why am I thinking about this now? after all these years.

Regarding the topic of 'coincidences' .. here's another I noticed » Martin Luther King Day (Coincidentally) Precedes Obama's Inauguration

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » synchronicity

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I have been a casual reader of your "blog" since many years (ever since I searched for "Partitioning Strategies" and hit upon your site).

Some weeks ago I read this post on synchronicity and your experience of the ball and the trailer. Just minutes ago I saw this on a friend's wall on FaceBook:

May be your friend and the trailer driver were colluding?

On another note: I read some years ago on your site that the nicest people you've come across are from Oregon. Well, guess what? The friend on whose "Wall" I saw that video IS from Oregon!!

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on July 26, 2009 10:07 AM.

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