One of the rewards of being a teacher assigning exercises within the classroom, was my choice to do those exercises right along with my students. Many of them were shocked at that practice, and even more so when I would take my turn to read the outcome right alongside theirs. I felt that it drastically reduced that whole dynamic of me as someone above, or in some superior position. I truly wanted them to know that even though I might have been doing this thing far longer than they, I still had to struggle with it on occasion and stumble through embarrassing moments of sudden realization, just as they did. It seriously reduced the amount of tension inherent in such a situation, but also increased both the intensity and depth of participation.
That said, I am going to offer you, the reader, an example of synchronicity. I am aware that it might be a difficult concept to wrap ones head around and I also want you to get the best understanding I can offer. And just as I did in my classroom, my example will be drawn from my own personal experience. In my Introduction, I briefly outlined some of the circumstances that led me to this space and the writing of this blog. My example is drawn from some of the details involved in that experience.
I moved back here, to the city of my birth, a little over a year ago. With my physical disability, and the current situation in my family of origen, my energy levels were sorely depleted and I got sick. During that recovery, I spent most of my time, reading, sleeping, eating, and watching television, an activity I had not engaged in for many years because I didn’t own a TV set. Someone gave me one and it seemed only appropriate that I use it under the circumstances.
While flicking through the channels one evening, I stumbled on to the first auditions for American Idol. I had heard of the program, but had never watched it. I wasn’t into reality TV. It is far too scripted to be defined as such, or that’s what I thought at the time. But I remained seated and decided I’d give it at least one attempt. Everything, even a TV series, needs the benefit of the doubt and I was free to change the channels at any time, right?
I never changed the channel, becoming so engrossed that later in the season, I actually found myself resenting anyone who called while I was watching my program. At first, I was definitely intrigued by Michael Johns, the Australian. I’m a sucker for that Aussie accent and he sang Bohemian Rhapsody without musical backup, and nailed it. Sorry, I am a product of the sixties and seventies, and I was impressed. However, as the season progressed, I became far more fascinated with David Cook and what he was doing with the songs he chose and how well he was doing it. My apologies to Michael, but when David did his version of Hello, I sat up and said the same.
Part of me being a writer, therefore an observer, sort of sat back during all of this, intrigued by my own sudden diversion onto a path that was totally disconnected from normal behavior. When Mr. Cook did Music of The Night, I felt compelled to pick up my phone and actually vote, oh my (said that silent but ever present observer). I realized that all of this new behavior might be noteworthy and began to keep a daily journal after having stopped for some time. But I did even that differently. Usually I write my journal pages longhand. For whatever reason, I chose to do this particular writing on the computer, and coincidently (sure that it was coincidence), began to follow the news articles about my favorite musician of the moment.
A note here might be best: I have always known that writing will eventually lead the individual, who participates in it, back into him/herself. My main schtick in writing is self-exploration, so turning back to the journaling was a very natural move on my part. I wanted to explore my own behavior and the intensity of my response. My fascination was a simple curiosity, but I wanted to record it and see where it went.
Eventually, it led to the knowledge that David Cook had a Myspace page, where I could go and hear the tidbits of his ongoing progression through the ranks of competitors and ultimately the number one position. But to get to his page and view his blog, I had to register on the site itself. I promptly dismissed the idea of creating my own page, knowing I wouldn’t do that, and the specifics of why I was there. I also continued to write and explore my own personal interest.
That, in turn, led me to a dialogue about heroes. I had explored and taught classes on archetypal energies, one of the best known being that of the hero. When I had registered on Myspace, I saw that empty page and had noted some of those blank spaces, one of them being the heroes of the user. I knew that I had identified strongly with Mr. Cook, so I began to write about how he measured up with my own list of personal heroes, starting with my father and running through about five more. It was a very interesting comparison, and David held up quite well.
That led me to a personal dilemma (what else was I expecting)? I knew I had a hero, the most prominent of all of them, but one that no one else would consider inside of that definition. I couldn’t leave her out, she was a direct link between the music, David Cook, and myself. She hadn’t been in my life for ten years, and that was a pain I carried around silently inside of myself. Along with a thousand questions as to why our relationship had ended in chaos and seeming insanity. Hers and mine, if I am to be completely honest. I had hit the proverbial brick wall. Do I open myself up, write about her as a hero in my life, or totally disregard this seemingly curved path back inside myself and how I became whoever I am?
I dithered around for a bit, then wrote about this piece of sacred ground inside my own experience. I made detailed statements about why she was a hero, and how much I had learned by befriending her, and how very grateful I was for coming to know her, and myself, by doing that. It had been ten years since that experience, and I was a bit astounded at how certain I was of my thoughts and feelings. It really was an easy write. But more important, was the realization of how all of it had changed while living in that silence. I was satisfied.
The very next afternoon, she called me after years of silence. Asked me for my email addy, and gave me hers. We laughed and talked for two hours. And promptly began the process of renewing our relationship. It hasn’t been easy, but it certainly has been a tremendous joy for a might have been couch potato watching reality TV, of all things.
That is my example of synchronicity. It might be a bit more convoluted than others, but the end result remains the same. If I had not gotten sick, watched the show, connected with a totally unaware David Cook, started writing directly about all of that, entered the arena of the hero archetype, and finally written about one of the most prominent heroes in my own experience, realizing and detailing those very connected diverse elements, I might have been completely taken aback by that totally unexpected phone call. Instead, I welcomed it, and her, with a warmth and eagerness that seemed both genuine and natural to me. I was, after all, connecting the dots, being in the right place, doing the right thing for me, and confidently taking the next step in this journey I call my life.