Sunday, December 6, 2009

Appreciations (16) – Coincidentally yours?

Appreciations (16) – Coincidentally yours?

Torrey Orton

December 6, 2009

It keeps happening. It's almost predictable in a general way. That is, I can predict the range of time in which it will happen and the type of people it will happen with, but not who about what exactly when and where. Like my farmer friend's rain forecasts.

It may be an emergence to do with the present stage of my life – that my worlds are sufficiently defined and extended to ensure repeat encounters with their various members. I always had a way with chance encounters – running into a boarding school acquaintance in the streets of Paris on my first visit there 38 years ago. I had not seen the guy for ten years, and then wasn't close ever. I think he was on his first visit there, too.

Passed by George Gregan in the same Paris streets almost to the block two years ago…doesn't really count as my world except in its most extenuated version, but whateva. Can't walk through Melbourne without seeing someone from the last 35 years on the pathways. Have similar experiences around the world, almost. I've always been that way. It's always been that way. I expect to meet someone from backwhen anytime I'm back there, or even over somewhere else.

For instance, I had a catchup call from a guy who'd read a letter of mine to The Australian HIGHER EDUCATION a couple weeks back (published Nov. 25th, 09). He'd come across it reading the section by chance. I had last seen him on a Singapore-Perth flight 18 months ago which neither of us was supposed to be on. Last minute changes / options coming back from Europe. I'd previously seen him three years ago south of Melbourne where he now lives.

So, last Wednesday there I was wondering about how a certain patient client was doing since our work seemed at a dicey spot, and there she was walking up Bourke Street. More common is the arrival of an email – medium of the global village, message of the faintly distant – from London or Lonsdale Street within days of my thinking of their authors, usually for the first time in months.

A similar performance time frame applies to therapy clients who I've not heard from for a while – a day or two's lapse and there they are out of the ether, too. Then there are the texters (medium of the wouldbe close) from here and there, who pop up in the same kind of time frames, though usually shorter, often enough shorter to be remarkable, within an hour or two of my thinking of them. It's almost as if I had power at a distance. Is the next item a proof?

At least one message from one recent incident of near simultaneous being-in-my-mind-is-being-in-the- other's was this: "OK now you're getting spooky on me. I was actually staring at my computer thinking about how I can't forget to do one of the meditation exercises tomorrow morning and then your email appeared". I had offered earlier in the day to send a set of directions for starting meditation practice and finally gotten around to it later that evening just as he was, unknown to me, sitting there. This may be an example of creepy closeness or provocative proximity.

It's true in the latter cases that I have some more immediate, weighted relationship in progress with these people which inclines towards interaction and thinking of each other. We are provided with the means (text) of immediate signalling our wonders to those who are their subject(s)/object(s) without interrupting them as a phone call would. Enacting our queries comes increasingly naturally (though it's taken me a while to get comfortable with the rules and opportunities of this medium). This in its wide- reaching potential perhaps constitutes a force field? A potential field of forces? Is it, too, a shadow of a community? Which way is the shadow moving? Towards the light or away?

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