The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

Another Name for Fate July 6, 2012

Filed under: Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 6:32 pm

The prompt this time was a definition of the word “synchronicity,” in the Jungian sense.  I read a short passage fromThe New Diary, by Tristine Rainer, which is too long to copy here, but you can check out the book by clicking here (did you know that those cocoa-colored rectangular boxes on my blog are all active links?).

For now, this definition from Merriam-Webster online will have to do:

the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung

Here’s what I wrote in response:


Ah, Fate. We’ve met many times before. I, the aging cynic, and you, so full of optimism. 

“Look!” you exclaim. “A wonderful day spreads out before you: blue and white and pink. Just two blocks away there’s a blonde Labrador who is helping a disabled woman, and not far away from him, identical twin babies with cherubic faces. There’s a brand new Mini-Cooper the color of spring, and those sweet peas that visit every year, tall and skinny and strong.”

I’m sitting on the couch with my third cup of green tea, feeling fat, cursing the weird dream I awakened to this morning. I’m listening to NPR, afraid the Middle East is going to explode.

But you’re patient (and perhaps not at all realistic). You like imagining me in love again, this time in the garden, sitting at the table with a book, hummingbirds hovering, a sexy someone in sandals sitting across from me, vying for my attention.

You like encouraging thoughts of a puppy to share with a friend: something black and curly that doesn’t shed, lying in a brown and purple dog bed in the corner, while we write.

You like children’s books, and fairy tales. The Little Engine that Could—you think I can, you think I can, you think I can. And I can. So I shave, and apply a clay face mask, shower, dry my hair. I only venture out because I would feel guilty otherwise.

You’re sure my friend in Mexico mentioned Pema Chodron and the Dynasty DVD collection in the same email, because you’re certain we’re meant to be together someday.

You place inexpensive, well-made garden furniture directly in my path just before I have a patio installed, and introduce me to men who are not my type on days when I do not feel beautiful, only to show me again and again how many possibilities there are. You even put my favorite politico-tweeter in the middle of a dance floor and have a mutual friend introduce us.

You are a romantic sap, an enabler, a nauseating, effervescent matchmaker, a gluttonous restaurant snob, a memory eraser and an all around pain in the ass.

Still, there’s no getting rid of you. And as I descend the stairs in a friend’s cool, hand-me-down sweat jacket, and catch a glimpse of myself in the tacky gold mirror in the foyer, I can’t help but think, I’m not so chubby after all. And just outside the door, a ribbon of cherry blossom petals floats by, twisting in mid-air like a murmuration of starlings, and I can’t help it: for a moment, I feel hopeful.

I don’t think or dream, I know that the Trumpet Flower tree will grow larger and smell sweeter. The jasmine will climb up the wall. And there is a man, somewhere—maybe just next door—waiting to meet me. Enthusiastic as you are, perhaps, and lovable as any dog, or any pair of beautiful babies.


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