Synchronicity (Day #72)

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance. (Wikipedia)

Today’s post was supposed to be about Blog Guilt. I didn’t post on Thursday so I could let the guilt percolate, and it has.

But that post will have to wait.

Because on Friday, something happened. A small something that felt like a big something.

It was late afternoon. Lil Mil was napping. I was working on my book while half-watching DVRed episodes of Gossip Girl (don’t judge).

Specifically, I was editing one of the most difficult scenes in the novel, the one in which my heroine, Abby, learns that her life has become entangled with the life of her parallel self, and that, as a result of this, her parallel self has begun to rewrite Abby’s past (and thereby change Abby’s present). It’s an early scene, but since it’s so pivotal to the rest of the story (because it explains how the whole parallel universe thing works), I go back and tinker with it periodically.

There is a line in this scene that’s been there since the TV script version of the story. In response to one of Abby’s many questions about what’s happening to her, another character says this:

“Sometimes science doesn’t give us the ‘reasons’ we’re looking for. We can theorize about how things are supposed to work, but there are always anomalies. Like the guy in England who can recite Pi to the 1250th place. Maybe your mind is just different.”

I’ve never really loved Abby’s response to this line, so that’s what I was working on Friday afternoon. I came up with something I liked more than what I had and then realized that the exchange would work better a few lines up. So I cut those lines, scrolled up, and pasted them.

In the meantime, my Gossip Girl episode had ended, and since I hadn’t stopped it, the DVR had turned itself off, returning me to regular TV. I was vaguely aware of the fact that Ellen was starting, but I wasn’t in any sense watching it. I couldn’t have told you a single thing that was said. In retrospect, it’s weird that that’s the channel my DVR defaulted to, since I never watch live TV and the last thing my DVR recorded was Private Practice on Thursday night on ABC (don’t judge). Ellen is on NBC.


So I was playing with the lines I pasted above. I put them in a new spot, and toyed with the idea of switching the order of the last two sentences. So I tried it:

Maybe your mind is just different. Like the guy in England who can recite Pi to the 1250th place.

Nah. I liked it better the way it was before. So I highlighted the second sentence, pressed Ctrl + X to cut, held down the back button until I reached the beginning of the previous sentence, and pressed Ctrl + V to paste.

The line reappeared: Like the guy in England who can recite Pi to the 1250th place.

It was at that moment that I heard it. A string of numbers being recited by a female voice. I looked up. A college-age girl was standing on Ellen’s stage, balancing a stack of books on her head while working a Rubicks cube while reciting some string of numbers. I didn’t know what the numbers were, but there aren’t a lot of strings of numbers that people make a show of reciting…

I felt the hair on my arm prickle.

I rewound to the moment the girl ran up on stage and pressed play. Ellen said something like: “What are you going to be doing for us today?” And the girl said: I’m going to solve a Rubicks cube while balancing books on my head and reciting Pi.

I looked back down at my screen: Like the guy in England who can recite Pi to the 1250th place. Maybe your mind is just different.

What are the odds?

I had to see it again, to know more about this girl who could recite Pi. This normal-looking, college-aged girl. A girl who looked a lot like the image I have in my head of my Abby.

I rewound to the beginning of the show (I was only a couple minutes into it) and pressed play. Ellen did her little intro, then explained that today she would be highlighting people’s amazing talents. “My first guest,” she said, “is LAUREN Moore from Austin, Texas!”

And there she was, this girl named Lauren, running down the aisle towards the stage. This girl named Lauren who was reciting Pi on the Ellen show – a show I wasn’t even watching and hadn’t even put on! – at the exact moment I, Lauren, was writing about Pi.

It could be nothing, of course. A coincidence. Selective perception. A fluke.

Most people would say it was nothing.

But it felt like something.

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Do you have any good synchronicity stories?? Coincidences that felt like more than that? How do you process these moments? Do you think my moment was a something or a nothing?


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