Sometimes you can’t explain how things unfold. Previous generations labeled things like this kismet, or fate. A really tremendously great word for what I just dealt with could be called synchronicity.
A few days ago while I was marveling at my silly dress-up vest with the finished pockets sewn closed, I was standing under an old-time fixture that I had installed all on my own. Frankly it was going to turn out to be a nod to the past any way it unfolded. It was either going to be the fixture we eventually chose or a “in the spirit of” Tiffany-style lamp. So either way we were going to install a fixture that prized the past. We noticed the “Edison Style” bulbs immediately and almost in the vein of “love at first sight” these fixtures trumped the Tiffany-style stained glass ones almost instantly. It helped of course that the “Edison Style” was $45 while the “Tiffany Style” was $90. We could afford a small bit of throwback style for half the price.
So while I was looking at myself, all trimmed and shaved (for what it’s worth) in a dress vest, under an “Edison Style” bulb it had to be synchronicity for what transpired tonight. For the past few days I’ve been dwelling, at least mentally, in a space that appreciates how excellent really old designs are and sometimes these designs are actually pinnacle moments. They are wonders, marvels, true magnificence that once expressed can’t really be improved upon. It takes a real romantic to even entertain that an old thing retains value. In some ways I sense that old things not only retain their value but augment their value because they last, or touch something deep inside that means something very important to you.
So I stood there, in the civil twilight of pre-dawn right before work. Standing under an Edison-style bulb and appreciating my reflection in the hall mirror and being filled with a feeling that something quite like this could have been how my predecessors felt in the 1800’s when all this technology was brand new. Nobody then marveled at the warm yellow glow from an Edison bulb as a matter of romance, they saw it as an improvement to paraffin, naphtha, or beeswax candles. So for some strange reason I thought of someone I never met, ever in my life but only know through Ancestry.com. That would be my second great grandfather Fernando Race. The father of my maternal grandfather, Allan (I think). So oddly enough I had technically summoned the shade of my second great grandfather and it was something very deep and meaningful.
I never EVER knew any of these people. The only memory I have of my maternal grandfather is little blazes of bright memory. Me sitting on his lap while his model trains ran around his little train village in the basement of my grandparents home in Ithaca. It’s true that scent can bring you back, and it does for me. Funny enough if I catch WD-40, an industrial cleaner and lubricant, and it’s scent, accessing these memories of my grandfather all becomes very plain and very simple and they kind of burst forth right into my mind. Scents carry memory, alas, nostalgia. So getting just a scent of WD-40 puts me right back there. So thinking about the past also helps put me “back there” and frankly I find it highly entertaining that I find myself preferentially dwelling in the past where things I take for granted would mostly likely be interpreted as high sorcery.
It wasn’t until a few days after my “in the past” reverie that I called my mother out of the blue. No reason for it other than I love her and miss her terribly and the missing feeling goes away a little bit when I talk to her on the phone. So I called her on my way home from the gym. People at work who find me … unique… (a great word, I love it) always ask to visit with my mother to see if that can explain why I am the way I am. Why I’m emotional and ebullient and always say whats on my mind. I laugh at my coworkers who puzzle over my behavior at work. If they knew my parents, they’d understand I wasn’t crazy but that I was as they see me, which is beloved (and special, huge heaps of special)
Then my mother laid two big whammies on me. The first took my breath away. I don’t really want to delve deeply into it for it’s subject matter, at least not now, but while dashing down I-94 going somewhere between sixty and seventy miles per hour she laid a HUMONGOUS whammy on me. It was a challenge to retain my composure and not drive off the highway into a ditch. The news she shared created a new emotion. It was a complicated knotwork of surprise, shock, and a heavy dose of what would be if you mixed “Eureka”, “Synchronicity”, and patent incredulity. Baked at 350 for one hour and seasoned with a kind of half-joking expectation, almost a kind of odd deja-vu sensation.
So I dwell here, thinking about things and people in my life. It’s important not to say too much lest I give it all away that I know, but I’ve been waiting many years for this to happen and this has awakened the voice of my power animal, my totem if you will. He talks to me in my own voice, and comes from deep within, my intuition and I’ve learned to respect that part of me, or him, or both. I will dwell where I am, quiet and waiting. That’s what I think I should do and that’s what my totem is telling me outright to do.
Anyways, beyond the unavoidable teasing which I apologize for of the previous section, it wasn’t the end of the whammies my mother laid out on me tonight. She shared with me some things which I’d rather not share here, but bear directly on my random mental roulette ball landing on the Races and Tuttles. I could have chosen anyone from my past, and thanks to Ancestry.com and my Uncle John and my Mother I don’t really have to wonder much anymore, that who I thought of first would come, in a way, forward through time and tap me on the shoulder and in a very roundabout way give me a wholly unexpected hug from the 19th century all through the agency of nobody else but my very own mother. I hate to be cryptic about this, but I feel I have to be circumspect. Suffice it to say, in a very strange and surreal way I feel like this part of my life was meant to play out this way, and that Fernando Race, his son, or his grandson – my grandfather dwelled closeby me that day when I was caught in my reverie of the past.
It wasn’t until I talked with my mother tonight that so many tumblers all clicked into place. I don’t know exactly how much she appreciates what has happened, but for me, at the focus of this storm of synchronicity, with so much all colliding all at once as if it fit together so perfectly that it lacked seams, that these two things will likely come to pass if I do not meddle in my fate. Time and time again I have been ringside as I have attempted to meddle in my fate and been handed my hat for my troubles. This time I won’t. It’s very Zen, but in a way, to move forward I have to remain perfectly still.
I can say that the synchronicity thrills me. So if anyone out there puts two and two and the square root of minus two together and expects that answer, then we should indeed talk. Life is happy there, or at least, it could be.