Friday, December 18, 2015

The Radio Reads My Mind

When it comes to radio synchronicity, I'm pretty bold. Most folks wouldn't admit that their precise thoughts and feelings are repeatedly and frequently echoed by the various radios and other vocal devices encountered in daily life. Even fewer would confess this publicly, online.

Then again, when something happens enough, and with enough consistency and reality, one is prone to boldness.

So, why not a little recounting of some of my funner radio-type incidents as of late?

Copied verbatim from my personal log:

12/7: "A whole bunch of radio/thought/reading synchros this afternoon, such as lot' coming over the radio perfectly synchronous with my thinking "which lot is that guy on?" at the end of a long and random chain of thought, and then 'sentimental feeling' on the radio coming perfectly synchronous with my thinking, at the end of yet another objectively begun chain of thought (spurred by seeing a nearby woman), of how I was feeling mawkish and "sentimental," that word exactly."

12/7 (continued): "Also, a cool radio synchro, much like that one from a few years ago with the in-house pharmacy radios. I heard a 'Feed the World' song randomly on the radio after leaving the gym, and it stood out to me, in that Noticing fashion. It played over the mile from the gym to the market, then finished right before I went inside. Then, as I entered the market, the exact same song was playing. Granted that it was a Christmas song and it's Christmastime, but still pretty unlikely. And now that I think of it, didn't I have some other radio synchro involving this song last year at this time?"

12/10: "While I was getting a massage from Val, she had random music playing in the background, and just when she randomly said, totally offhand and tangentially, 'there were birds chirping,' a bird chirped in the background music. It was notable enough in itself, but doubly so considering that there'd been no chirping before she said that. Damn surreal (and she thought so too, once I'd pointed it out)."

12/10 (continued): "The coolest of the day, however, was on the way home, when a star came into view through my windshield at the precise moment 'a star, a star' came over the radio -- again. It was not only a highly precise, perfectly synchronistic, and hugely unlikely due to the logistics involved (once again, it was the one point on the road where this star, again the only in the sky, was visible, both due to the height of the road and its effect on my windshield/field of view, and also due to there being a "valley" of trees lining the road and obscuring the sky, such that that precise point at which the road both curved and raised and the trees parted at just the right way was that (single) star visible). Utterly surreal and notable in itself, but then, *it was exactly what had happened just Monday, on the way home from myofascial release.* Damn cool in so many ways."

12/13: "A really cool standout, three-way thought/radio/event synchro. I passed the Living Waters church on the way out of SC, and I took notice because, just yesterday morning, I'd found a card for this church randomly in the trash bin at the gas station, and it had Lept Out at me/Nagged me in Compelling/Noticing fashion until I'd taken it out and read 'Living Waters' church. Then, precisely as I passed the church and read its sign and had the thought 'That's the church I'd just picked up the card for yesterday,' when the radio sang out 'water' on some random song."

12/13 (continued): "Standout, classical radio synchro: right as I'd passed a sign reading 'young world,' the radio sang out 'young,' so perfectly synchronous I had to take note, despite the one-word shallowness of it. Also, similarly: 'lift you up,' precisely as the gate lifted for the drawbridge, right in front of me. Damn surreal, that one."

12/14: "Another classical radio/thought standout: after I'd taken a deep breath and felt it hit my chest in that good, rare way, the radio sang out 'feel it in my chest,' perfectly synchronistic. And, again, gains notability given that 1) nothing in the song had said that beforehand (it wasn't a refraining chorus or something, that is), and 2) I'd had that thought for a 100% objective reason, because I'd taken a good, proper deep breath and had it enter my chest as it's supposed to (and for the first time today, as it were, coinciding perfectly with that random lyric on a song I'd never heard before ...)."

12/15: "One cool one this morning, a radio-type incident with a twist: when I'd come out of the tag office and started backing out, a passing woman started directing me out, and I'd lowered my window and we'd talked briefly, and I'd told her (illogically and because of confusion, it bears mentioning) that the enormous, full-size truck I was driving was a rental that they'd given me in place of the small car I'd reserved. Simultaneously, the song 'Mother Trucker' by James Taylor came on the CD player, with the lyrics "I'm a truck-driving man" or something to that effect coming on almost perfectly synchronistically with my telling the woman, objectively in regards to our conversation, about how I was, as it were, a 'truck-driving man.' Really notable, and cool, especially with its illogical/confused context."

12/16: "A highly notable and precise thought/radio/sign standout: hearing 'risk your health for me' on the radio, perfectly synchronous with my thinking almost exactly that, in regards to the lover/merkaba theme. Also, a two-part one on the way home tonight from Charleston, even more notable: right as I came upon a freshly crashed car/accident and almost ran into a spray of broken glass/car debris and had to slam on my brakes and stop short, thereby stopping several cars behind me, 'can't stop the traffic' sounded on the radio (though, oddly, I *did* stop the traffic; perhaps only the "stop the traffic" was the relevent reflection/synchronous manifest?). And then, minutes afterward right down the road was a second crash, and precisely as I came upon it and saw that it was indeed a second crash (and had time to think 'crash,' as it were), 'crash and burn' sounded on the radio. Surreal."

12/17: "Right as I stopped at the road at the park's driveway, I thought, first, of how I was now in a twenty-year-old used van after just driving the brand new rental truck, and how I was now back to being a 'commoner'/everyday Joe Schmoe-type. Immediately as I thought that, an oncoming car appeared, this too a "commoner" vehicle, probably as old and with some paint imperfections, etc, and so I felt I felt a sort of camaraderie with the driver and their car -- and then, a split second after these two things happened, the song 'Working Man' started on the radio. Note that, though not quite perfectly synchronistic (maybe a half-second gap in there), the timing actually added notability, since the song starting only after the thought/car ruled out any sort of suggestion/trigger, etc."

12/18: "Another classical thought/radio synchro, where 'problems you don't want to talk about' sang on the radio precisely as I was thinking of problems I didn't want to talk about. Very precise and notable."

12/18 (continued): "While paying in Starbucks, a classic radio/thought synchro: 'five-and-ten' coming over the radio precisely as I decided upon a ten-dollar bill and pulled it out of my wallet, my thought of 'I'll use the ten' and the radio's 'ten' coinciding perfectly synchronistically, etc."

Etc, etc, etc. Yadda, yadda, yadda. You get the point: the radio echoes my reality in amusing and intelligent ways.

Or so it seems, at least. No shortage of people would easily write off each and every one of those examples, citing chance or psychology or the influence of certain spiritual entities. To them I say, "Perhaps." However, I should mention that that list of incidents is just from the last week or so (and only partial at that, quoting only the more-coherent or less-complicated of incidents, as well as the great many incidents too subtle or subjective to be logged ...). There's plenty more where that came from (like, hundreds).

But really, guys, do call off the butterfly-net men, eh? After all, could someone truly delusional maintain such an elaborate and wonderful blog?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Synchroshock -- the book!

So, here's something of a trip: a book that contains this blog ... posted on this blog.


We've all experienced coincidences.

Yes, some have explanations. Buy a certain car and suddenly you're seeing them everywhere -- selective perception. Get hungry for a certain food soon after seeing its advertisement -- subconscious suggestion. However, then there are those other kind of coincidences, the ones that are just a tad too ... coincidental. When it comes to these, one can't help but wonder: Is there something more than meets the eye, something going on behind the scenes of reality? There, we enter the realm of the "synchronicity."

I, Aaron Garrison, have experienced many such suspiciously coincidental coincidences. So many, in fact, that I began logging them -- and, eventually, blogging them. This book is, simply, a compilation of that data, reading as a personal diary of dozens upon dozens of incidents that all beg the question, "What are the odds?!"

In ‘Synchroshock,’ discover where coincidence ends and synchronicity begins.

Essentially, it's a free eBook version of this blog, offered as a convenience, for free (at vendors which don't require a .99 cent minimum price, at least).

Grab the eBook here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo (free) | Lulu (free) | Smashwords (free)

Get the Print-on-Demand version here (book is big, and thus costly to print):

Lulu | Createspace

Saturday, November 28, 2015

11/27/15: Negative Ions

Negative ions. They're good for you, if you didn't know.

These days, you hear a lot about this stuff. There are ionizer gizmos that plug into wall outlets and renew the air, and those big, pink, warmly glowing salt lamps that are seen ubiquitously in health food stores and head shops. Also, there are the "detox foot baths," which, supposedly, work their magic by ionizing the body directly, via the feet.

Me? I'm a foot-bath guy.

Say what you will about them (and, yes, there's plenty of controversy over the practice, like any health gadget that's attracted miraculous claims), but I personally have found, through relatively objective personal experimentation, that these foot baths do in fact exert a real and positive effect on the body (or, at least, on mine). And, likewise, I've determined that this effect does seem to stem, in some way or another, from the induction of negative ions, for I've discovered markedly similar effects from other supposed means of ionizing oneself (salt caves, ocean air, and earthing/grounding, for instance). Consequently, I enjoy a foot bath from time to time, and am always rewarded with a general pick-me-up of some fashion.

So, that's how I came to be sitting down to a foot bath today.

Upon putting my feet in the soak, I was struck with the thought: Negative ions. It just hit me, in every sense of the term, as if remembering the very concept after a long time. And, I guess, that was sort of true: after a year or so of my discovering the foot baths, and my subsequent research of negative ions, I hadn't really given them much thought. Today, however, I did. For some reason.

Negative ions. The words were etched across my mind as I began my latest podiatric ingestion of the things.

Naturally, I cracked a book just after the bath began, to pass the half-hour, as is my custom for these sessions. As it were, today's selection was The Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthieson, a first-person account of one man's physical and spiritual journey through the Himalaya mountains in 1973. It's one of those famous classics that, somehow, I'd just missed up until now (so many books, so little time, you know). In fact, I only learned of the book's fame after buying it; at the time I'd stumbled upon it, The Snow Leopard was a totally random purchase, a library discharge in fact, which just announced itself to me and demanded to be bought. So, blindly, I'd paid the quarter for it and been on my way, after which it joined my towering stack of unread books (where it would remain until, just two days ago, over a month afterward, I'd felt Compelled to choose it for my next read ...).

Two pages into my reading, I gave pause: "... there are recent speculations that negative ions, which seem to be positive in their effect on animals and plants ..."

I did a double-take. First, because my unexpected pondering of Negative ions still lay across my mind, having occurred literally a minute or so beforehand. Second, because I'd had to turn the page to expose this passage -- that is, I couldn't possibly have subconsciously read it in my peripheral vision, thus ruling out psychological suggestion of some kind. It brought about that synchronistic sense of "echo" which characterizes these experiences, literally making me stop and blink like a cartoon character.

But then, third, there was the book itself: I wasn't reading a health journal, or even one of those duplicitous supplement advertisements disguised as such -- nothing where one might expect to encounter talk of negative ions. Instead, my book was about a pilgrim struggling through rugged country on a wildlife expedition (written nearly forty years ago, nonetheless, before the whole negative-ion craze was even a twinkle in the internet marketer's eye).

I smiled, in muted wonder: synchroshocked again.

It persisted through the rest of my foot bath, like the icing on a very surreal cake.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Publication: Weird, Weirder & WEIRD

New short-story collection from A.A. Garrison: Weird, Weirder & WEIRD.


"Weird is a sad clown in church. Weirder, that the congregation is all clowns. Weird: you’re a sad clown, too, and you think you like it.
            That says it all. In Weird, Weirder & Weird, descend into the depths of A.A. Garrison’s particular brand of strange. Begin with the traditional, sci-fi weird (“Suffer,” “RIP, Krokinski”), progress to the hauntingly peculiar (“Faith,” “Chesterfield Drive”), and then end with some full-throttle, no-apologies bizarro (“The Enema Flower: A Love Story,” “GG Allin Must Die”). Altogether, these twenty stories deliver a full spectrum of weirdness–and then some.
            Come on, don’t be shy. Everyone likes a little weird. Or are you afraid you’ll like life as a sad, church-going clown?"

 eBook available from the following vendors:

Print version available here:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Prison Break

Find my bizarro short story, "Prison Break," in Defenestration Magazine -- for free!

[Yeah, this was published in December of '14, nearly a year ago. I missed it somehow, being preoccupied with other things I suppose.]

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What Are the Chances? (Answer: Worse Than Astronomical)

So, I went to this thrift store, randomly, for the first time in a while. It was in my hometown, and I hadn't been there for over a decade. Why not?

Though, there was more: I felt Compelled to go there, in that special, patternistic way that I've elaborated on in prior posts.

What did I expect to find at this thrift store that so urgently demanded my visit? I can't say, beyond the usual hodgepodge found in thrift stores. Regardless, over the course of my browsing, I encountered two items of note: the book Battlefield Earth, and an old, vintage-looking set of tire chains in a distinctive black case. As it were, it was the first I'd seen these particular items, anywhere; but, besides that, I mention them in particular because they stood out to me, as to be Noticed, also in a patternistic fashion I've observed many times in recent years.

So Noticeable were they, in fact, I picked out the book and tire chains as being somehow significant, most likely to be involved in some forthcoming synchronistic incident (also patternistic, for me ...).

I was not disappointed.

The next day, I went to another thrift store, at the other side of town -- also out of a Compelling, instead of any logical, overt need. And there, I came across two items of note. The first was another copy of Battlefield Earth, and though this was only the second time I'd ever encountered the famous novel in my life (and had occurred less than twenty-four hours afterward), I didn't think too much of it -- because coincidences do happen, you know? The second item, however, gave me pause: a set of tire chains, in a scuffed, black, elderly case with faded stickers from a different era of marketing and advertisement.

The chains were exactly like those from the last thrift store -- an obscure, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime item, encountered twice within the course of a day. And, both in thrift stores.

What to make of this, I don't know, even after my last magical-mystery-tour few years of such phenomenon. In any case, I laughed.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rubber-Gripper Thing from Heaven

The jar wouldn't open.

However innocent-looking, the lid was uncooperative, sealed tight, not budging when turned. I tried harder. I used a towel. I used all my might. But no give.

One of those rubber-gripper things would come in handy right about now, I thought.

In the end, however, my jar saga had a happy ending: the lid did at last succumb (after some gentle banging on the counter). With that, I forgot about my brief battle with the jar of minced ginger. My life proceeded.

Though, I would soon remember that jar, and my silent prayer for a rubber-gripper thingamajig. Fast forward to this evening, approximately twelve hours later.

Once I'd returned home for the day, I had a package in the mail: some vitamin supplements. I opened the envelope, and there were the supplements -- along with something else. A little plastic package with a friendly green label. "Magic Gripper," it read.

One of those rubber-gripper things -- except, in with my shipment of supplements.

Why? How? When I'd placed the order, there'd been no mention of a complimentary rubber-gripper. I guess it might make sense, given that supplements come in bottles and jars, with lids that might get stubborn from time to time. Though, I've ordered from this place dozens of times, for years, and never received any rubber-grippers ...

Until today, some hours after I'd Just Happened to have needed just such a utensil (for the first time in ... months? years?).

Ask and ye shall receive, I thought. Again.

(And here's a fun little footnote: that evening, minutes after discovering my unexpected gift, I went to open another jar ... and its lid wouldn't turn. I employed my new rubber-gripper, and it worked like a charm. Afterward, I laughed madly.)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

RIP, Krokinski

Find my sentimental sci-fi short, "RIP, Krokinski," at Unsung Stories, for free!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Pituitary Gland

Just what exactly does the pituitary gland do?

I asked myself this yesterday, while shopping for a pituitary glandular supplement that supposedly helps one's pituitary function. I was curious ... but not enough to actually look it up.

However, in less than a day, I would be enlightened on the subject.

A couple weeks ago, I totally randomly found a totally random novel, for free, at the dump: Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Then, yesterday (the same day I'd pondered the pituitary gland), after reading several other books in the meantime, I decided to start reading my dump-novel, as randomly as I'd found the thing, from a selection of over a dozen others (other books in general, not dump-books; I'm not that lucky).

Now skip to today, when, several chapters into Relic, my eyebrows raised: it outlined exactly what the pituitary gland does, in a conversation between two characters.

I'd never before read of this gland's function, and then, after randomly deciding to read a book I've had for weeks (instead of the generous selection of other appealing books at my disposal, I might add), I Just Happened to start this one and, thus, encounter the information I sought -- answering my question, asked less than a day prior.

I call these type of incidents "question-and-answers," for reasons obvious.

* * *

The synchronicity didn't stop there, however.

Remember why I was wondering about the pituitary gland in the first place? Because I was contemplating the purchase of a glandular supplement, made, unglamorously, from the raw glands of pigs and/or cows. So, it could be said that, in buying and ingesting these pills, I would, technically, be dining on the glands of said animals (which are extracted directly from their brains, as it were).

Now, the kicker: the culprit of the Relic book, as it turned out, is a creature that feeds on pituitary glands.

This, just after I'd bought a supplement which, once taken, would render me a pituitary carnivore ...

When I'd never read of such a creature before, ever ...

And I'd had all those other books to choose from, with this one's cover and blurb advertising nothing of pituitary cuisine ...

Just like so many other times, in identical pattern and timing and ...

Etcetera. Etcetera.

There's more to this incident, if you can believe it. But I'll just stop here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rings (aka, Ask and Ye Shall Receive ... Again)

Once again, I asked, then received.

No, it's not the first time. Nor the dozenth. For instance, just recently, I really wanted some ginger with my lunch, to set it off -- but only one helping of ginger, because I was leaving town and didn't want to get a whole thing of it. You know how these things go. Well, when I go to get coffee to have with my lunch, I feel Compelled to ask the cashier if he might happen to have some ginger, despite this not being the kind of place that would have something like ginger on offer -- but, remarkably, he does have some, in these little single-serving packets with Asian characters on the front, which, wouldn't you know it, he'd Just Happened to find lying about the store, the very day before I came asking for some (he didn't even charge me for it, since it wasn't even in the store's system). Yes, I've asked, and I've received.

And today, it happened again.

This time, it involved a ring. Oh, my troublesome rings, always falling off my fingers if I'm not careful. Apparently, one fell off and I didn't notice, because it was missing at the end of the day, and didn't turn up after a search. And I liked that ring, darnit. So I had the thought: Need a new ring, but where? My fingers are an odd size (why my rings tend to fall off, I imagine), plus I'm just picky about my rings.

But, within a day, I had a new ring.

Where? A health-food store, of all places. And, not just a health-food store, where you wouldn't expect to be met with quality sterling-silver jewelry, but a health-food store in a town I'd had zero plans to go to that day. See, also as in the past, today I'd felt Compelled to simply pick up and go, north, to a small town I'd heard about several times but never visited. And, likewise, I felt Compelled to visit a health-food store there -- a store that Just Happened to have a tray of rings set out.

I perused the rings, and I found not one, but two rings that fit wonderfully (and were reasonably priced). But that's not the kicker.

The kicker came, once again, from my servicing cashier. When I mentioned to her my pleasure of finding the store stocked with rings of my size and liking, she said something interesting: she'd just found those rings, kicking about the store, not an hour before my arrival.

I laughed. She laughed. The whole thing smacked of single-serving ginger.

(And speaking of those single-serving ginger packets with the Asian characters: the very first thing I'd seen upon walking into this health-food store, before the rings or anything, was those very same packets of ginger, for sale by the door, the second time I've ever seen them aside from when I was given one when in want of a little ginger for my lunch. Realizing this after buying my new rings, I laughed all over again.)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Autobiography of a Yogi

A month or so ago, a friend of mine recommended a book, Autobiography of a Yogi. It was the first I'd heard of this book in my life.

Being a habitual heeder of random recommendations, I bought the book.

I planned to read it, really; but you know how plans go, especially when it comes to books. That is to say, I got sidetracked by other books (perhaps "seduced" is more like it). So, weeks went by, and the yogi book went unread, for all its appeal.

Until today, when I finished a long, very un-yogic how-to book. With that, I thought, decisively, that it was time to read about the yogi.

Before I could start it, however, I had to take some trash to the dump.

Yes, there is a synchronicity lurking in this story, as anyone who's read this blog could guess: that very same day, I randomly came across a copy of none other than Autobiography of a Yogi, there at the dump, in a little area called the "Swap Shop" where folks can leave stuff that someone might want. However, there's more to the incident than the simple coincidence of my finding a copy of the book I was intending to read.

A battery led me to it.

That battery. It had been kicking around for years, going with me through several moves, without ever being thrown away. A cheap, non-alkaline double-A, it had always escaped disposal because, like any battery, you don't just toss it in the trash; at my local dump, the dead batteries have their own special bin, which requires its own special few steps from the dumpsters, which, therefore, required me to separate the battery from its fellow garbage. Too much to ask, it would seem. Annoyance is the best deterrent, indeed.

But I digress. Back to the book.

I decided to at last get rid of the battery, is what happened. I was going through some stuff; I happened across this ancient dead battery; I was going to the dump anyhow. And so I took it with me, despite the tremendous/miniscule effort required to do so. It brought a rush of power and accomplishment; if I could get rid of this battery, I could do anything.

Then I forgot about it.

Wrapped up in disposing of the normal trash and recyclables, I very nearly left the dump without tossing the battery. On top of being distracted with the other trash, I was also in a big rush, trying to get to a doctor's appointment. In fact, I was in such a rush that I neglected my usual visit to the Swap Shop to see if any interesting freebies awaited me there. Only as I'd gotten back in my car and started driving away did I remember the battery; and only because it had been spared disposal for so long did I take the time to stop, get out, and march it over the bin.

As it were, the battery bin was right next to the Swap Shop. So I stopped in, after all.

And there I found the book -- the very one I had decided to begin reading that day, after weeks of neglect. And, of course, it was the second time in my life I'd come into contact with Autobiography of a Yogi in any way, just like dozens of other remarkably similar incidents ...

I left the Swap Shop copy of the book where it lay. Someone else could grab that one; I already had mine.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Cards Resume

So, I found another playing card.

The playing cards were from an earlier epoch of my synchronicity adventures. In summary, I found several, about a pinochle-hand's worth, all in variously unlikely ways (at times remarkably so, in the way these things happen, as to demand, and keep, my attention). This long-winded incident spanned several months; then, without prelude, it suddenly stopped. At the time I received the last card, I had made no real sense of it all. When no more cards came, without yielding their meaning in a big, Hollywood-style reveal, I felt to be on the other end of a rudely clicked phone.

And then today, two years later, here comes another card.

It arrived as abruptly and unexpectedly as the originals' arrival and departure. The card was in a parking lot, lying directly in my path as I exited my vehicle and made for a store (just like the others had been, more or less). Need I say that I'd felt absolutely Compelled to be at this shopping center on this day, despite it being far out of my way and a general pain in the butt to reach? By now, that goes without saying.

 But, you might be thinking, how do you know the card wasn't just a random piece of litter?

A good point, and not at all wrong, since I'm sure that perfectly good playing cards get thrown away every day, and for perfectly logical and unfantastic reasons. However, there are reasons why I felt my find to be notable. Besides its arriving in a similar, patternistic fashion to its similar, multiple predecessors, there is one striking fact about my finding this particular card: it bore a striking resemblance to not one, but two of its previously-found siblings. Namely, these three cards (all found randomly, separately, and in conspicuously similar ways) depicted a knight with sword, mounted on a horse.

When I first picked up this latest card, I smiled. And then, seeing the unmistakable "Knight of Swords" archetype in its image, I laughed, quite loudly. To anyone else in the parking lot, I might've looked to have picked up a winning lottery ticket.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: The Flip Side

Indeed: I have asked, and I have received. This time, however, I was on the other side of the exchange.

It centered around a chiropractic appointment.

I would call myself a "giver," except that I didn't really give anything. Rather, all I did is show up early for this particular appointment. And, even then, my reasons for doing so were wholly selfish: when the day came, it just worked better for me to get my adjustment at 10:00 AM instead of the appointed time of 11:00 (due to a million little unforeseen logistics, and the other things that life can throw at us on any given day). I almost called to see if I could bump up the appointment, but I had to literally pass right by the chiropractor's after leaving my hotel; it made sense to just drop in and see if the doctor might happen to be free.

That was the extent of my "giving": a selfish, and somewhat importunate, early arrival at my chiropractor's. Yet, "giving" it very well proved to be.

In my chiropractor's office, the man's eyes lit up as soon as he saw me. And then, after I explained why I was early, a smile opened across his whole face, of the bright, beaming variety that you just can't fake. "I love how the universe works," he said then, and proceeded to explain that he had just been hoping that I would come in at 10:00 instead of 11:00. See, he had mistakenly double-booked the 11:00 time slot.

I laughed. He laughed. I got my adjustment at a convenient time, and my chiropractor's scheduling dilemma was nullified in the bargain. Win-win.

If this is "giving," I like it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Worms & Coffee

I was on the road. It was lunchtime. I wanted some good, fresh, non-convenience-store coffee to go with my meal. So I stopped off and, with my trusty smartphone, searched for "nearby coffee shops."

Out where I was, in the coastal North Carolina countryside, only one result came up: Worms & Coffee.

My first thought was, Interesting name. My second was, Too far away, for the place was, indeed, several miles too distant to be worth the trip. So, back on the highway I went (after which I would soon find a suitable coffee shop, where I lunched and all was well). Before turning around, though, I did have a parting thought: Guess I'll never see the Worms & Coffee coffee shop, then. It was oddly disappointing, like missing out on some rare but unimportant event.

Yes, this being a synchronicity story, you probably know where this is going: somehow, in some profoundly unlikely way, I miraculously find myself at Worms & Coffee. You aren't wrong; but, the real wow of this incident is appreciated only in the details of my arrival.

First, I took a wrong road, when beginning the trip home. Though, this is a bit of an understatement: I took not just "the long way," or "the scenic route," or the road that would leave me on the wrong side of the tracks. Rather, this was the wrong road, in the sense of heading for Maine when you're looking for Florida. Coming out of Wilmington, NC, after having visited for my first time, I'd just continued south on the road I'd ended up on after my stay. I was, after all, just heading back "south," to Myrtle Beach nearby. South is south, I thought. The ocean was to my left and my car's hood was pointed down, so I was bound to hit Myrtle Beach eventually, right?

Unfortunately, I was ignorant of southeastern North Carolina geography. Namely, of the Cape Fear river and its peninsula.

Going blindly "south" for miles and miles, I'd kept expecting an exit to the highway, and wondering why there weren't any. Well, once the southerly road dead-ended at a picturesque beach (and I became enlightened in regards to the Cape Fear peninsula, again thanks to my handy smartphone), my questions were answered. There was one consolation, however: my misadventure had taken me right to a ferry port, and the next departure was in less than a half and hour. Oh well, I thought. Maybe a ferry ride will be fun.

Indeed, I did enjoy the ferry, for all the time my detour had cost me. And, at least I hadn't had anywhere to be (oh wait, I had; thankfully, the doctor was understanding when I called and cancelled my appointment). My butt hadn't even gotten too sore. However, my detour was just beginning.

Back on shore, across the Cape Fear river, I started home to Myrtle Beach ... only to get lost again. How I got lost, I'm still not quite sure; and, besides, it doesn't have much bearing on the synchronistic side of this whole mess (nor does the excruciating traffic jam that I became enmeshed in as a result)). But, in any case, this second navigation mistake introduced a pertinent twist in my story: it made my ill-fated journey back to Myrtle Beach that much more convoluted and roundabout, sending me even further astray into coastal southeastern NC. The same goes for the additional tangle of turns and byroads that was required to correct this latest mistake; by then, I was beyond lost, having shed all sense of direction or location, like a bloodhound with a busted nose. By the time I at last finished my wrong-turning and then got back on course, it was hours after I should've already been home. 

At least I kept my cool and had some fun, I thought as I drove on (with a butt that had, by then, grown very sore), as consolation for my "wasted" day. However, my adventure wasn't quite over yet.

Right before reaching the highway I'd been desperately seeking out all afternoon, I passed a lonely little brick building, sitting on a desolate corner in the middle of nowhere. Worms & Coffee read a neon sign in the window, looking out of place in the emptiness. I'd gotten to see it, after all (really "after all," in this case).

I didn't have time to stop and check it out, sadly. But I did laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Scooter For Sale

I was in the market for a moped scooter, but not just any. I wanted a Honda Ruckus, and I wanted it locally, and I wanted it cheap.

So it was only natural that the Ruckus in question caught my eye.

I saw it while driving through a small neighborhood that played host to a sprawling apartment complex. The scooter was parked in the complex's lot, and immediately upon seeing it, I had the distinct thought that it was for sale. I had no reason to think so; the scooter had no festive Halloween-orange "for sale" sign, nor any indicator of being for purchase. Yet, illogically, I felt -- knew -- that that Ruckus was on the market, such that, had I not been pressed for time, I would've stopped off and inquired about the asking price.

I drove on, telling myself that my yen for a Honda Ruckus was putting thoughts in my head. Three days later, however, that conclusion would change.

Not having found a scooter in this time, I checked my town's Craigslist page -- and there, posted barely a half-hour earlier, was a listing for a Honda Ruckus. First came excitement, upon seeing a local Ruckus for sale (and at a reasonable price); but that soon gave way to awe, as I browsed the pictures and at once recognized the scoot as that which I'd so memorably spied while out driving the other day.

Just to be sure, I returned to the apartment complex I'd passed. The scooter was still parked there, and after I compared it to the Craigslist pictures, it was indeed one in the same, right down to the parking lot and landmarks in the background.

Once more, I laughed.

(It bears mentioning that I shouldn't have even been driving in that neighborhood in the first place, that one day. I'd had no business there until a random man, seeing me looking at cars just down the road, directed me to his used-car lot, located just nearby, in that neighborhood where the Ruckus was parked. Interestingly, I'd felt Compelled to heed the man's tip ...)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Page 37

The number 37. I was seeing it everywhere, though this was nothing new. The book page, however, was new.

It happened at the beach.

I'd gone out to sun, which I did, and it was good. Then, as I started back to my truck, something odd happened: I found myself going a different way than I'd arrived. Instead of walking over the stairs and deck to the parking lot, I went alongside them, down in the sand. It struck me as illogical, since the sand was loose and difficult to walk through; but then, I'd been intuitively Compelled to go that way, and I'd long ago learned to obey my Compellings. So I went with it.

There, I found the page.

There was a lot of litter in my path, along the dune I was walking beside; yet I felt Compelled to pick up just one in particular, a small, unassuming piece of paper. I grabbed it up, and felt another Compelling, now to read the paper's black type.

As it turned out, the litter was a single, stray page from a paperback book. In the header, the page number read "37."

Could I have seen that page number on the paper, subconsciously, and been attracted to it? No; I'd been Compelled at distance from it, too far away to read the small, paperback type (plus, I didn't even have my glasses on, being out on the beach). And, what about my being Compelled to walk down there in the first place, before I even had a chance to see the rogue book page at all?

This, after seeing that number no less than two dozen times in the preceding hours, and always in ways such as this, conspicuous and in-my-face and hugely unlikely (and that was just that one day ...).

I laughed. Indeed, I laughed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ask and Ye Shall Receive -- Yes, Really

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

-- Matthew 7:7

* * *

A couple months ago, I had a thought: that I would like a new scanner for my computer. What was wrong with my old one, and why didn't I just buy a replacement? Long story, and a quite boring one, and ultimately irrelevant. Anyway, the thought was there: new scanner, vague but distinct. Not quite a request -- not an asking, for a new scanner was by no means a necessity -- but a coherent desire, nonetheless.

The very next day, as I drove past a local dumpster on the way home, I noticed something set beside it: a silver, electronic-looking gizmo. I stopped and investigated. The gizmo was a computer scanner. It worked great, and was precisely what I needed, without the flaws of my old scanner.

I had received, it seemed. I smiled and laughed.

* * *

And then it happened again.

Same basic circumstances, different thing: a new container for my receipts and records, now. My old one was problematic (in another boring way), and I was adverse to getting a new one (for more good-but-boring reasons). Likewise, this situation, for all its pettiness, culminated in a passive-yet-distinct desire, now for some filing apparatus without the flaws of that I currently used.

And again: the very next day; the very same dumpster; a curious object set considerately beside it, the way we do quasi-trash that someone might conceivably want. A minute later, I was the proud owner of a good, sturdy plastic case with an accordion-style folder inside. For my needs, nothing could've been more appropriate.

Consider me a receiver, I guess.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

I see numbers. The same numbers. Over and over again. A bit unbelievable, even sci-fi? Yes. Worse, cliche? Perhaps. But it happens. Has happened many times. Will probably happen again (unless someone uncrosses the circuit in the Universe's server room).

I see the numbers ever day, more or less. But some days, I see more of them. Today was one such day.

The number 137 was the star, this time, along with its derivatives (173/1137/7031/373, etc). The sightings started when I did: in the morning, with 137 and co flying at me from all directions. On the clock, roadsigns, timestamps on computer files, the license plates of cars that cut me off or otherwise drew my attention -- and on and on. If there was an avenue for the numbers to somehow find their way into my field of awareness (and do so in some unlikely way, as to impress me to the point of taking notice), it arrived within the course of my morning of work and errands.

And then I stopped for gas.

I hadn't planned on getting gas. I didn't even need gas, really (I feel comfortable with a half a tank). But I had a few minutes to kill before a doctor's appointment, and the gas station was literally right across the road. I treasure time, and don't waste it (nor did I want to waste my time in the waiting room at a doctor's office). So I got gas, maybe for the first time before the needle was making love to the big "E." And, the total amount I ended up getting? 11.73 gallons, exactly. And did I intentionally squeeze off just this amount, perhaps in some subconscious attempt to manufacture a "meaningful coincidence" and, hence, feel special? Nope. I'd just fed my truck the nozzle, set it on auto, then returned to my cab and let her fill (I had something to do in there; again, I don't waste time). And, let's not even get anal about the chances of such a hit; considering the circumstances of this number arising in this fashion, after I'd been literally besieged by it all morning (and for years previously), at least a couple dozen times -- just ... no. We're talking astronomical figures, here.

But, it was still morning then. The day was still young.

Next to join the 137 bandwagon: the CD player in my truck. Over the couple hours I spent at the doctor's, the numbers had stopped pestering me (even numbers need rest, you know). But this only made the forthcoming incident that much more noticeable. I was parked in my truck, eating lunch, when I decided to put my window down. So I keyed the ignition (because I'm one of the power-window elite), cracked the window, and then turned the key back as fast -- but not before the CD player blinked to life, just long enough to display the active track's time: 3:36, clicking to 3:37 precisely as I killed the power. Afterward, I sat momentarily with my hand on the turned key, in a quiet shock -- a synchroshock, that is (sorry, couldn't resist).

And were the numbers ready to call it a day? No, they were not. Not at all.

I was next visited at the market -- twice. Or maybe it was just one single, super-sized synchronicity. Anyway, this one began with my returning a vitamin supplement. I went to a register. I told the cashier what I wanted. He tapped some buttons on the fancy computerized checkout (am I the only one still fascinated with these wonderful contraptions? I'm caught back in the days of single-line readouts and dot-matrix-printed receipts). As a matter of course, the man then reached out for my return's requisite receipt, whereupon his watch was placed squarely into my line of vision -- thus forcing me to see that it read 3:17. Again, I was struck with stunned amusement. This time, however, I didn't have the chance to smile and laugh, for a split second later, the cashier read me the total I would be receiving back from the return: $31.73. I never did smile. Instead, I accepted my money and then walked the store in a contained shock, a kind of synchronicity overload.

"Surely that was enough for one day," you're saying now. "No number is that tenacious!!!" Normally, you might be right, for, indeed, numbers do need their rest. But this was no normal day.

The numbers still had one little surprise for me. Recall how I'd gotten gas that morning, when I'd purchased exactly 11.73 gallons by simply letting the tank fill to capacity (after seeing that number or its cousins no less than a couple dozen times on the way there ...). Well, that evening, while updating the spreadsheet of my finance books, I went to enter the new debit I'd incurred from buying gas: $26.95, which I'd paid on a credit card. The card's preexisting balance was $46.18, and so I added these together to get my new bottom line: $73.13.

I couldn't write this stuff, folks (and I'm a writer, for God's sake).

(Note the 3:16 timestamp. I guess Johnny the cashier's watch was a minute fast (or the fancy checkout computer was slow).)

 (And, because one parenthetical anecdote isn't enough:  When I went into my records to fetch this receipt for the above photograph, I encountered two other receipts from the same market, both of which sported prominent 37's (a 3:37 timestamp on one, and a 7337 barcode number on another, these Just Happening to enter my line of sight). If it's not obvious, the numbers' sense of humor is rivaled only by their tenacity.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I have a fondness for roadside signs. Or they do for me. Or something. Whatever the nature of our romance, the signs and their contents tend to synchronize with my thoughts (or to music, or conversation, or other signs), as to reflect these things in conspicuous ways, coinciding as if cued. (Yes, these incidents are, really, synchronicities. Sarcasm is an addiction.)

Today, for example: as I was driving down the road with the radio playing, Quiet Riot encouraged me to "get wild!" -- right as I passed a big digital sign, precisely as it cycled to an ad that read "GET WILD!" It made me shake my head and blink, like a cartoon character who'd just been socked in the face (which I kind of was).

But there's more to this -- far more. Besides the fact that even the best Broadway choreographer couldn't possibly have timed such a logistically complex coinciding of real-world events (and, the fact that today's sign-synchro wasn't the first time such a "coincidence" had occurred, nor the tenth, or the thirtieth), there are details that further substantiate this incident, devil-style.

First, my having the radio on at all. Upon getting into my truck, soupy and tired after a morning-long medical treatment, I hadn't much felt like listening to music. So, naturally, I made to turn off the radio -- but didn't, being Compelled to leave it on, as if the world might end were I to click off the classic-rock station streaming into my truck. (Another common thread in these incidents, my mysterious Compelling's and Noticing's and Just Happened To's, without which no synchronicity would've taken place.)

Second, my being on that road with the sign that was so enamored with me, or any road for that matter. Also thanks to my medically induced stupor, I'd felt like stopping off at the nearest parking lot and reading the book I'd brought. In fact, I'd had every intention of doing just this (as was my habit in regards to these weekly treatments, to park and read and eat a packed lunch afterward, to rest and regroup) -- except, just like with the radio, I was Compelled to drive thirty minutes to a certain coffee shop, then park there for my dining and reading, against all logic (or any real reason at all). The world would've ended had I not done this, also, so off I went.

Yes, I did leave my radio on, and I did make the drive to the coffee shop -- soupy and overtreated and not looking at all handsome, but I was there. And so I received that eighties-sounding encouragement to get wild, and I was on the road so that I could pass that sign, and I arrived just within that infinitesimal little window of the sign's cycling so that it could echo the radio lyric as if on a switch (and do so in big, red, screaming letters, perfectly reflective of the singer's tone).

I laughed, of course -- and, also, I felt quite loved. The signs were still fond of me, after all.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9/15: Numbers ... Again

The numbers were after me again.

73. 37. 1137. 317. 1703. They would vary in this manner, as if to mock me, but the underlying phenomenon always shone through. And shine it did, for on that morning when I went to the store, the numbers were repeating like crazy, appearing everywhere I looked, whether I wanted to see them or not.

Even the grocery store wasn't beyond their reach.

In the checkout line, I stayed poker-faced when the man in front of me rung up a total of $31.17, as announced by the cashier. Yet, despite everything, there was still a voice of dissent in my head: Just a coincidence. If not, then shouldn't your total be seventy-three-something, too?

It came my turn. I handed over my few purchases. The cashier rung them up -- and the total avoided 73 in all forms. I was neither pleased nor displeased. My total was $17.27, as it were. I produced a twenty, and took up my bag.

Then the cashier gave me my change, coins first. "Seventy-three cents," she said, before silently handing over two dollar bills.

I held my laughter until the parking lot.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Comeback: Lifelong Disease CURED

Read the saga of one man's return from crippling illness -- for free!

It was do or die.

For Aaron Garrison, illness had been a fact of life, ever-present from childhood. Then, after a steady decline spanning into his thirties, his health at last hit rock bottom, rendering him largely bedridden. Life became a fight for survival, and it was one he was losing. So he had a choice: find a cure, or continue a downward spiral into invalidity (or worse).

Thankfully, a cure was found, in the form of the comprehensive treatment outlined in this book.

Inside, read of how Garrison devised and executed the year-long health regime that would save his life and cease a lifelong descent into disease. Using a gentle and accessible approach, his treatment is broken down into individual practices, complete with explanations, tips and tricks, and safety precautions.

In the end, it's one man's comeback story, told in the language of healing and the small dramas of self-empowerment, made available for others' benefit.

Available as an eBook from the following vendors (free at Kobo, Lulu, and Smashwords; $0.99 elsewhere):

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Friday, March 20, 2015

A Series of Shocks

The logical mind doesn't quiet easily.

It's a study, I've found. When it comes to such mental silencing, each branch of the mind is different. For me, the illogical subconscious can be shut up by a single, quick event or experience of adequate consequence, such as seeing gravity repel one's foot from the ground instead of pulling it down. The logical, conscious mind, on the other hand, is quieted by the opposite: it takes a succession of events to penetrate the conscious mind and its calcified hedge of logic, being resistant to the individual hard-hitters that can flummox the subconscious so.

Case in point.

One afternoon, I was out driving. That day, I'd been haunted by numbers again -- 137 and its variants, namely. They were assailing me from everywhere, as I've documented in past posts; but, chiefly, they were arriving via the license plates of other cars.

I stopped at a light, and there it was again, on the car in front of me: a 137 on its license plate.

But that could easily be chance, my logical mind announced, in answer. If it's not just chance, then shouldn't the car next to that one have one of the numbers?

I looked to the next car over, and its license plate ended in 3733.

Still just coincidence, insisted Logic. Were there three, you might be on to something.

Immediately after this pronouncement, a car edged up closer to the light, thus exposing its license plate directly into my view: 3701.

My logical mind made no response, its figurative jaw left open.

And then, for good measure, I looked to a fourth car, the next one over: 1137.

Logical foot entered logical mouth.

, I thought then. My logical mind has been quieted by a good old-fashion synchroshock.

But, no, it didn't stop there.

Precisely as this thought crossed my mind, the lyric "a series of shocks" sounded over the radio, in classical thought-synchro fashion, that so distinctly patternistic of past incidents.

A series of shocks, yes. That's what's necessary to quiet the logical mind, after all.

I laughed out loud.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Some Definitions

Definition #1: the "action synchronicity" ("action-synchro" for short) - defined as a personal, subjective action or event that is somehow reflected in external, objective reality, and in such an immediate or otherwise unlikely fashion that could be categorized as "synchronicistic" in the Jungian sense of the term, the two often coinciding in circumstances that discount traditional, causal explanation or a reasonable level of chance occurrence.

Today, while attending a speaking function, I experienced a textbook action-synchro. Consider this an object lesson of sorts.

It started with a note.

I kept thinking, was the thing. I was listening to the speaker, to be sure -- paying rather close attention, in fact, just not undivided attention, that which one's schoolteachers might've once demanded. For were I stop thinking, I might forget the very important things I was thinking about. Thus I was forced to keep thinking, and my attention remained divided.

And that's why I needed to write a note, to immerse myself fully in the function which I was so respectfully attending.

Having made the mistake of not bringing along my trusty notepad, I cast about for some paper and a writing utensil, any utensil -- and there, a pen in the behind-the-seat pocket of the new row up, and there, a flier for an upcoming music show, its back attractively blank. Perfecto.

I blottered the paper over my knee --
Uncapped the pen --
Dimpled the paper and eeked out half a letter --
Precisely as the speaker said "make those notes."


I smiled broadly, laughing inside as I consigned my pestersome thoughts to paper. After those, however, I stole another couple seconds to write yet another, new note: "'make those notes' synchro," to remind me to log this latest in a string of action synchronicities.

* * *

Definition #2: the "thought synchronicity"/"thought-synchro" - just like the action synchro, except with external, objective reality reflected in one's thoughts, as to be even more jarring and surreal, sometimes to the point of catapulting the experiencer into something like a living dream.

And now, for your consideration, a case-in-point for the thought synchronicity -- which, as it were, occurred immediately after the "make-your-notes" incident quoted above.

So there I am, quietly buzzing after hearing "make those notes" at the exact moment I put pen to paper for the express purpose of note-making. Then, in that wowed afterglow, I was struck with a thought: of how electrically surreal a synchronistic experience feels in the moment, that same "numinosity" that Jung and countless others have described -- or, perhaps, a transcendence.

Yes, a transcendent moment. That's how such a good, striking synchronicity felt, I thought just after writing my note.

Right as I thought this, within the space of milliseconds, the speaker then launched into a new subject: "The transcendent moment," she said, introducing us to the topic. As it were, it was what she'd been about to advise us to make notes about.

Upon hearing this, I only wrote a new note: "'transcendental moment,'" with an arrow snaking up to that for "make those notes." This one, however, I was able to do quickly, too fast for my attention to divide; I hadn't yet put away my notepaper from before.

From there, I was at last able to devote my undivided attention to the rest of the speaker's message, my smile widening as much as politeness allowed.

Monday, March 2, 2015


I was on vacation at the beach, reading, in a sun room looking out on the surf. It was a good day; I was happy; good things were happening. Except, it was overcast and sullen outside; and weren't Good Day's at the Beach supposed to be sun-shot and picturesque?

Yearning for such weather, which would've been the cherry to my sundae, I went to the sun-room door and opened it up: still cloudy and dreary. Oh well. At least I still had my book.

Once I resumed reading, however, I gave pause, struck by the next line: "Soft, cloud-filtered light streamed through a pair of glass windows in the seaward wall."

The words forced my head up, to the sun room's seaward wall, out the door's pair of glass windows, at the very soft, very cloud-filtered light streaming through.

After momentarily pondering how I seemed to have acted out, to the detail, the very scene depicted in the book -- just seconds before reading that line -- I laughed devilishly.

Good one. Good one ...
 (My view of the sun room door)
(The seaward scene visible through said door, the Atlantic seen beyond a marsh)

The Fall of Man

Find my bizarro-satire story, "The Fall of Man," in Issue #21 of Hobo Pancakes, for free online!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I had some checks to deposit at the bank. I deposited the checks at the bank. All was well. However, almost immediately afterward, circumstances arose that I might've needed to withdraw those same monies in cash.

How long would they hold those checks before clearing them for withdrawal? I thought then. I had just recently changed banks, and wasn't familiar with the new one's holding policies.

An hour later, I was at a healthcare clinic. The waiting room had a rack of magazines. I was waiting, so I picked through the magazines, of which there were several dozen in high stacks. Of the many choices I thumbed through, one stood out: an issue of Consumer Reports, a publication I'd heard of but never read.

I stopped there: this copy of Consumer Reports was crying out to me, demanding to be taken. I knew at once, without a doubt, that I had to comply, despite my falling outside the magazine's targeted demographic, being neither much of a consumer nor a fancier of reports.

So I chose the magazine, and though it wasn't the most thrilling or appropriate of reading material, it did serve as occupation. However, that soon changed, about halfway through, when I skimmed an article about mobile banking.

Mentioned offhand in this article was the fact that normal banks hold deposited checks differently than most purely mobile banks. As an example, the article quoted the hold times for one such normal bank, which held deposited checks for only one business day, the shortest of all banks, lending it a bit of a reputation.

That one quoted bank was mine, that which I'd just deposited my checks into an hour ago, then wondered about how long they would be held before clearing. As it were, my circumstances would require that I have the deposited money available for withdrawal on the next business day.

Ask and ye shall receive, said a jovial voice in my head. I agreed, then I laughed out loud.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


It started with butterflies, this miracle.

I'd been seeing them, as I sometimes See Things. The butterflies had been cropping up in my life, archetypal-like, whether in the flesh or just their symmetrical four-pointed image. But, everywhere I looked, butterflies.

So, when I happened across the newspaper article headlined "Butterflies and children," it drew my attention.

Except, I don't read the newspaper. Never appealed to me, papers (or news, for that matter). But that day was different, because this particular paper cried out to me -- commanded I take it and look through. It was at the doctor's office, as it were, a two-day-old edition of the local rag -- which would explain why the paper was in the trash bin, next to the water cooler I'd patronized, in the waiting room. So, not only did the paper cry out so imperiously, but it was free, and unblemished; and, indeed, I was waiting, without occupation. There weren't even any other patients there to witness my dive into the trash to pull the paper free.

Thus, I had no excuse but to rescue the newspaper from its fate, drink my water-cooler water, and then return to my seat to wait for the doctor, now with reading material. A win-win decision, for the paper and my attentions both.

But still, I didn't see the butterfly article. No, because it was buried some pages back, in 4A territory, not warranting even a sliver of front-page coverage. I only discovered it by beginning a headlining story about some local flap, then being prompted to turn to page 3A, after which I overshot and hit its sibling -- thereby exposing me to the "Butterflies" headline. So it was pure "chance" that I happened across the miraculous little article in question. (Read some of my prior synchronicity posts, or the book I wrote about the phenomenon, and you'll understand my use of quotation marks.)

"Oh, hey, another butterfly," I remarked internally, upon sighting the article, not without a little jolt of Jung's classic "numinosity." At once, I forgot page 3A and the rest of the front-page article, instead reading about the "Butterflies and children."

Initially, the article centered on the story of the many children touched by World War II, the Nazi regime, and the Holocaust. I got through about half the article, enough to see how its title referred to a poem written by one such affected child -- "The Butterfly," it was called, naturally. At this point, the minor synchronicity's numinosity had faded, giving way to a simple interest in the plight of these children and the butterfly poem.

And that's when my name was called. The doctor was ready to see me.

I set down the paper, but didn't put it back in the trash; there was still half a butterfly-article to read. The doctor said I could leave it in the waiting room; but that didn't Feel Right to me. In fact, I was Compelled to keep this newspaper with my person, in that distinct, patternistic way I've detailed throughout this strange blog. And so I did, taking the paper with me into the doctor's little examination alcove.

"Where can I put these?" I asked, holding out my coat and my newly cherished paper.

The doctor pointed to a nearby chair of accommodating size.

Obediently, I went to put my things in the chair -- but froze before I could do so, for there, on the chair's fabric seat, was printed a large, unmistakable monarch butterfly.

"Oh, hey, another butterfly," I again remarked internally, now with even more supernormality. The newspaper affair had become a certified Incident, upgraded from a mere "coincidence." (Again, those mocking quotations.)

But that was only for starters. I hadn't read the rest of the article.

My time with the doctor did not make me forget the article. Quite the contrary: by the time we'd finished, my obsessive attraction to the newspaper had not lessened. So, after the ritual of paying up at the front desk, I remained in the parking lot, resuming the article where I'd been interrupted. From there, that's when I knew that this one was not only an Incident, but a Blog Post (the highest rung of my personal synchronicity hierarchy).

I'll let the article speak for itself, regarding a schoolteacher who took interest in the Holocaust children (estimated at 1.6 million):

Eleanor Schiller, a social studies teacher at the school, had a dream one night in which she started a project to honor the children of the Holocaust. The children would be represented by butterflies.

She told the school administrators, fellow teachers and students that [the school] was going to somehow collect 1.6 million butterflies to honor the children. Of course, some thought the idea far-fetched and some new [sic] Ellie's determination when she wanted to do something meant that the school would be flooded with butterflies.


Then one morning, we all knew it was to be.

Ellie came out of her classroom, almost ghost-white. She had just read in a magazine that the Holocaust Museum had decided to honor the 1.6 million children in a special way. They were going to use butterflies to represent the children.
She had never heard of this plan before her dream.
The article goes on to detail how, in a Disney-like twist of fate, the 1.6 million "butterflies" were supplied by way of drawings and the like donated by school children and others in a large-scale community drive. Cute, and a proud example of inventiveness and power-in-numbers; but I stayed fixated on the schoolteacher's synchronistic dream.

The newspaper article I'd synchronistically excavated from a trash bin was, in fact, about a synchronicity.

At once, I wrote a mental note: "butterfly newspaper synchro -- BLOG POST," with the last two words underlined and italicized and in fat bold type.

* * *

And still, there's more to this one, parenthetically, with each detail lending substance and unlikeliness (and Jung's "meaning") to the newspaper incident.

First, there is the fact that I was in that doctor's office in the first place -- because it was the wrong office.

The mix-up was complicated, and the fault of neither myself nor the two doctor's offices (the correct one, and the one I'd actually gone to at the appointed time). But, regardless, I had made an appointment at one branch of the joint office, then been given directions to another, different branch. The rest is irrelevant, for the point is that, through a series of unlikely and awkward events, I ended up at this other office, which had no record of my appointment -- but did have an insistently vocal newspaper in its waiting-room trash bin. And, of course, a chair with the appropriately themed butterfly print on the seat (a chair placed tactically to receive what I had to put on it, to boot).

(As it so happened,  I got to see a doctor there, anyway; she was between appointments, and her next was known to be chronically and dependably late, as I overheard from the two nurses at the front desk. Just another "stroke of luck," I guess.)

The second detail was, anecdotally, an article adjacent to "Butterflies and children," entitled "When a man finds his destiny." Going on the headline, I had the thought that this article would, by God, be about another synchronicity, as to really upgrade this incident, in double-whammy fashion; but not quite. However, the "destiny" article did contain the following paragraphs:

[...] yet [destiny] threw itself into his path, tackled him, and when he stopped wrestling against the mighty force, he saw he was staring right smack into the eye of what God had destined for him all along. Then he gave up the fight against it, embraced it, and found true contentment and happiness. He had arrived.

For that is what destiny truly is -- the soul's satisfaction of knowing that you are where you are meant to be. That from the moment that life was breathed into your nostrils and the pulse of blood began, there was a purpose and plan. There was a destination that awaited.
In the end, that part was, for me, the most numinous of all, bypassing even the butterfly bits, for that day, I certainly felt like my destiny was to synchronistically read a newspaper article about a synchronicity, by way of the "purpose and plan" of a bungled doctor's appointment, seeing me to the "wrong" office and its water cooler and its butterfly-imprinted chair. Then, "God" may have taken the form of an insistent newspaper in a trash bin, but it all fits in a poetic way, the same as how a dog possesses Buddha nature.

(And would you believe that there were even more synchronicities interwoven in this meta-incident, no less notable but just too subtle and subjective to convey? Yeah, definitely a BLOG POST.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Theme of Absence

Read my quietly strange short story, "Comfort," plus a brief interview, at Theme of Absence, for free!

Monday, January 12, 2015

1/12/15: Movie Magic

At one point in the film The Mask, Jim Carrey’s character suddenly turns to the camera and comments, “This guy’s incorrigible” -- speaking to the audience, as it were. That is, the character broke the first rule of cinema: that the film is not a film, that the audience is not there. Then, as quickly, the action resumes and Jim Carrey is back to pretending we aren't there, as if nothing had happened. It’s something like having the Devil convince the world he doesn’t exist.

Today, it occurred to me that this sort of thing happens in real life, in the form of synchronicities.

In the Land of Film, the viewer is compelled to suspend their disbelief and instead embrace the make-believe narrative presented before them. Yet, from time to time, the film betrays itself, with its players spontaneously abandoning the stage to address the audience. It’s a double-bind of sorts, in which the film reveals itself as a film, all as a mechanic of that very film. And then -- snap! -- it’s back to business as usual and the illusion regains solidity, the solipsistic narrative resumed.

Such is, I believe, the synchronicity: a rare moment in which the fabled Veil is pulled back, thus dispelling the illusionary narrative we call “reality.” Then, a hidden order is exposed, no different than the choreography of a massive film (though no less spectacular or beautiful for it). And in that moment, we are revealed to be not just an audience, but participants as well, ourselves creating whatever magnificent production is unfolding before us under the guise of life experience. It revisits the old enigma that “all is illusion.”

Of course, those magic moments will pass, returning us to the make-believe we've been convinced is “real”; but that changes little of what was revealed. From there, a decision befalls the enlightened “viewer”: Do we regain faith in our illusions, ignoring those secret workings in favor of “randomness” and “disorder”? Or do we choose to accept what we’ve seen, to inquire, to open ourselves to a bigger universe, one of infinite possibility ...?

The choice is ours, it seems, and I can’t say if there’s a right one. And why should there be? It’s our movie, after all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

'Monk Punk' and 'Shadows of the Unknown' Omnibus - Now Available

Find my darkly bizarre short story, "Quietus," reprinted in the brand-new Monk Punk and Shadows of the Unknown omnibus, now available in one sprawling, 500-page book.