Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Eating-Echo Synchronicity (aka, "Yeah, this really happened ...")

And the phenomenon continues to shift and evolve: another new kind of synchronicity has announced itself to me. This time, a sub-type of the last sequential newcomer, the "thought-echo."

As with about all the synchronistic variants I experience, this one is pretty straightforward, for all its profundity: I'll be eating, and, precisely as I experience some particular effect from the food, I'll read something shockingly similar in the book I'm simultaneously reading at the time (I almost always read while eating, since the two compliment one another so well, and since reading while driving ... doesn't).

Take, for example, my initial experience of this curious phenomenon.

Log entry from 6/12/17, quoted verbatim:
"[...] It started when I began eating the avocado-and-ginger dish and noticed distinctly that it was missing that distinctive gingery zip that I expected, which is always present the way that I fix up this dish. At first I thought it might've just been a particularly un-gingery bite, but after a couple more that were the same, I then thought that maybe it was the fact that I used that different ginger tonight, the roasted markdown stuff I got at Lowes that triggered the $7.37 receipt-total incident, instead of the unroasted and presumably stronger stuff I usually get. But then, on the fourth or so bite I took, after reading several pages of the "Dangerous Eating" book, the gingeriness finally kicked in, distinctly and notably, as to make me think 'Oh, there's the ginger' -- seconds after I'd started a new chapter in the book, that on New Mexico and, after a couple paragraphs in, hot chile [sic]. As it were, the gingery heat finally kicking in corresponded almost perfectly synchronistically with my suddenly reading about hot chile [sic] and a discourse on hot spices, etc, in general over the first page or so of that new chapter (when, previously, it hadn't been discussing anything remotely hot-food-related). This one wasn't too precise and wasn't perfectly timed (with maybe 2-3 seconds between the ginger kicking in enough to trigger my recognition/registering/thinking of it and the book going into hot foods, and it's not like the book mentioned "hot ginger" in particular), but still just precise enough and closely timed and patternistic enough to be notable, and damn surreal in any case."
Not convincing, you say? I don't blame you, since this particular incident wasn't the most compelling (for anyone not myself, at least). However, at lunchtime the very next day, it happened again, and in such an eerily similar fashion that a pattern began to emerge:
"Also, had another of those 'reading about more or less exactly what I was eating at the time' almost exactly like the ginger incident last night at dinner, this time at lunch with garlic. It started when, again, the first couple garlic-containing bites I took were distinctly mild and ungarlicky, as to make me note it, just like with those first few weird dud-ginger-bites last night -- and then, about halfway through lunch when I took the first good, pungent, sinus-clearing bite of garlic, the book went into a passage where the character in it ate a bite of super-spicy chile [sic] and had it clear out his sinuses/water his eyes/bring that 'good fire' -- all of which was more or less exactly what I was experiencing, and almost perfectly synchronistically to when it hit me, maybe 1-2 seconds between my registering the sensations and then encountering the passage in the book, just so ridiculously surreal and damn cool. Wow ..."
Okay, so you're still unpersuaded about this eating-echo business. I still don't blame you; after all, it's not outside the realm of chance coincidence that such things would occur, even twice (and less than a day apart, after my never having experienced such a thing in my years of eat-reading). But, considering that it happened again, and just at dinnertime that same day ...
"And then, a very similar, albeit smaller/briefer, one at dinnertime. This time I was on the second or third bite of that weird mash-up bowl of stuff I'd thrown together, and I bit into one of those weird probiotic chews I'd got from VS, which despite listing no artificial/chemical flavoring, it tasted a bit too intense/"crisp" to be flavored with nothing but natural orange oil as it said, which made me thinking [sic] something along the lines of 'chemicals in here/unnatural flavor in those chews' -- precisely as I randomly read 'artificial flavoring' in the 'Eating Dangerously' book (and in that same context, and for the first time). And, again, though the text was visible to me when I'd had the thought, I can distinctly, 100% trace my thinking about it just then to the objective event of my taking that bite of the chews just then and registering its artificial-tasting quality, haha."
From there, the phenomenon took a day off (everything needs a break every now and then, I suppose, even unidentified forces that influence my meals). But then, on the 15th:
"[...] This time it was even more precise, and precisely timed: a few seconds after I took the first bite of that weird coconut dish at lunch, and right as I was registering the taste and texture of it and thinking of how the coconut manna was just fatty and succulent enough to even out the raw/powdery spices and stuff in it and make it deliciously creamy -- precisely as I registered this final, conclusive thought of 'good texture/creamy/pleasing,' I came to the middle of the first page I'd been reading and this sentence: 'My first bite plops neatly into my mouth. Bliss. With just enough fat to make the mouthful succulent ...' -- all of which echoed more or less perfectly my initial judgment of my lunch, right down to it being the 'first bite' (and that it was good/'bliss,' and that the coconut's creamy fat was just enough to make it "succulent"). It also bears mentioning that, a second or two before this, I'd paused in my reading to hold the coffee shop door open for the old man who'd stumbled out and dropped something, which therefore paused my reading a little bit, yet my registering the texture/succulence of the bite still aligned almost perfectly synchronistically with my reading that key paragraph (I'd had the bite in my mouth chewing while holding the door open for this man, haha)."
* * *

I'd like to say that I could go on and list more; but, unlike other variants of the phenomenon, this one has yet to repeat itself beyond that sudden foursome. As of writing, these eating-echoes were confined to a single, days-long period (just enough to cement a recognizable pattern, as it were). Of course, it's only been less than a week since the last in the sequence; so, perhaps I haven't seen the last of this strange animal.

In any case, make of it what you will.