Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What do you make of coincidence?

I often say I don't believe in coincidence. That is, when two things happen, seemingly coincidentally, I usually attribute some sort of significance to it. There's a message in there somewhere.

Well, I haven't figured out the most recent message I received, but it was impossible not to notice it.

At work yesterday I filled a request to send out a number of books. One of them was Gangrene and Glory, a history of medical care during the Civil War. I thought that sounded interesting, and although I had no time to sit down with it, I opened the book at random before I scanned the bar code. It opened to an account of General Stonewall Jackson, mortally wounded, being examined by his physician, Dr. Hunter McGuire.

It was rather fascinating, but I didn't have time to read on. So I scanned the book and packed it up with the others. Then I got my salad out of the fridge and grabbed a copy of The New Yorker to read while I ate.

I opened the magazine, and the first thing I read was a letter to the editor by the great-great grandson of Dr. Hunter McGuire. The letter was about the death of General Stonewall Jackson.

How often do I think of Stonewall Jackson? Do I ever think about Stonewall Jackson?

I do now.


Indigo Bunting said...

Sometimes these things happen. Gives me chills (some of those times).

Often, a word or person I've just heard of for the first time suddenly comes up again, likely two more times. Is that because my awareness is raised? Or it's coincidence? Or something else?

This incident seems beyond raised awareness.

Susan said...

I agree, raised awareness is often involved. But year--this one seems beyond that.

I'm still trying to figure it out. Maybe it means if I meet a guy named Stonewall I should pay attention.

gld said...

I just wandered onto your blog from Gardenweb where I am registered as gldno1.

I don't know how I missed your blog before.

I will be visiting regularly now.

I agree, your Stonewall Jackson thing seems to be a message of some kind. It is telling me to look for that book.

The Civil War is my favorite (not a good word) period of history and fiction.

Indigo Bunting said...

Right after I read this, we went to the theater, and Tim ordered a drink at the bar as we waited. A Negroni. The bartender said no one had ordered one of those in years and years, and Tim's was the second one in a week.

(Of course, that's somewhat fashion, too...)

Susan said...

I especially like coincidences involving bars. I've never had a Negroni, so I looked it up and found this:

Today Negroni is often consumed as a pre-dinner cocktail to stimulate the appetite for dinner.

As if my appetite required stimulation!