A little while ago I decided to include a record of instances of synchronicity in my blog. I haven’t had any for awhile but I just had two cases in the last week.
The first case
Last weekend I was grading papers while listening to the Jazz Masters commercial free music stream on our cable television. The format of Jazz Masters is exactly that, masters of the genre like Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker and Dave Brubeck. I was grading reading journals at the time in which students offered their reflections on various writings from church history. (Each paper included eight reflections on eight readings selected by the student.) Suddenly my attention shifted from the paper I was grading to the Jazz Masters because the song now playing was Amanda Marshall’s 1995 track “Birmingham”. The song caught my attention because Marshall is a pop rock singer and this song did not belong alongside the likes of Wes Montgomery and Stan Getz. How strange that “Birmingham” would find its way onto the Jazz Masters playlist.
Then my attention shifted back to the paper and I looked at the next entry on the student’s reading journal. It was Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
The second case
On Wednesday, April 24 I walked into the Sofitel Hotel in New York where I was staying. The Sofitel is a formidable thirty story hotel that must have hundreds of guests at any particular time, so unless you’re famous you can’t expect the hotel staff to know you or the room you’re staying in. I went up to the front desk and asked one of the gentlemen behind the desk for a wakeup call. Instead of hearing the expected question “In which room are you in?” he replied by asking “Are you staying in room 1410?” “No,” I replied, surprised that he would even try to guess. (After all, I’d never seen this fellow before. There was no possible way he could know my room.) “Actually, I’m in room 705.” “Very good sir,” he replied with a nod.
As I was riding up the elevator thinking about his strange question it suddenly hit me: the number 1410 is double 705. (No, I wasn’t sufficiently motivated to return to the lobby and ask him why he’d asked if I was in 1410. In retrospect, perhaps I should have.)
When I relayed this story to my wife she just shrugged. But when I told my daughter she had a much better response: “Creepy!” she said. And then to top it off she offered her own hypothesis: “Maybe that guy was a ghost!”
Maybe, but even if he were, why’d he suggest a room number double the number I was staying in?
Two more cases to drop into my slowly filling bin of synchronous weirdness.