Synchronicities • by Stuart Vail

“Epiphanies,” one of our favorite features, deals with stories that chronicle unique moments of synchronicity, self-discovery, and insight that appear to those who are in the right place at the right time. Over the years they have been happening more frequently to me (or maybe I was simply more aware), so I began to keep a record of them. Here are some examples:

1. While driving from LA to Seattle I was going down the long slope of the mountain leading into the bottom of California's San Joaquin Valley. That part of the route is called "The Grapevine" and the little town at the bottom is also called Grapevine. Just as I passed the sign that said "Welcome to Grapevine," the tune on the radio was Marvin Gaye's "I heard it on the Grapevine."

2. I was driving home from work and the DJ on the radio was talking about Cat Stevens' tune called "O Caritas." Right in front of me was a car with a license plate that said "Caritas."

3. Someone at work said "Whatever happened to Maria Schneider?" [of "Last Tango in Paris"]. Just a few minutes later I turned on the radio and heard an interview with sax player/band leader Maria Schneider.

4. I was at a bar with my wife for Happy Hour and we were talking about my cousin who is one of the world's leading authorities on Orca whales. I looked up at the TV and saw a commercial with footage of a breaching whale.

5. I was in my car stopped at a traffic light. A man on the sidewalk suddenly stooped over and started doing some push-ups while waiting for the light to change. A block later I saw a billboard with a picture of a man doing push-ups.

6. I was designing the April 2004 art feature for Debra Scolari. One painting ("Metamorphi") portrays a dragonfly. Later in the day my wife and I had a chocolate sweet in a little specialty shop in the neighborhood. The design on the dessert plate was of two dragonflies. We then stopped in a shop that had custom greeting cards on handmade paper. The first card I saw had a dragonfly on it.

7. A few years ago I purchased "The Illuminated Rumi" by Coleman Barks and Michael Green. Before I had even cracked the book, I got up one morning to answer a letter from my sister. She had written to me for advice and I spent an hour handwriting a letter back. I used the Rumi book on my lap as a surface on which to write. When finished, I addressed an envelope, put the letter in, and sealed it. I then opened the Rumi book in the middle somewhere and began to read. Right before my eyes were Rumi's words reflecting the very wisdom I had imparted to my sister.

8. Edward King wrote a short story called "Goodnight, My Love" for the magazine. It is about a tailor who used to make suits for the Benny Goodman band (among others). I sent the story to Al Stewart who used to play trumpet with Goodman, and whose photography of musicians I featured in the magazine. He wrote back to say that when the band would appear in NYC, they used to stay at the King Edward Hotel.

9. And the most amazing case of synchronicity you will ever hear: the January 2002 Epiphany "The Point."

TheScreamOnline would like to invite readers to submit their own stories of synchronicity and amazing coincidence, to be published in a later issue. Make them short and to the point (not like "The Point," cited above). No attachments, please. Send as email text to: synchronicities[AT] (replace [AT] with @). Please give your name and the state (province) and country where you live.

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