I experience literally thousands of coincidences. Far more, actually, for them to be coincidences in fact. Some people don’t believe in coincidence as such and say that these random events are just things that were meant to happen at that time. And even though this makes sense (they are just two (or more) separate – yet similar – events occurring at the same time, in the same place, on their own accord); in the same breath it makes no sense in equal measure (just how can two (or more) separate – yet similar – events occur at the same time, in the same place, on their own accord?)
A dictionary definition says that Coincidence is:
1. the act or condition of coinciding : correspondence
2. the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection; also : any of these occurrences
Which pretty much sums up what we all know about coincidence. I found out the word coincidence is of French origin, and was first used in 1605. This leads me to my first coincidence over time.
I have been drawn to the year 1642 for some time now. I have found out that some pretty major world events occurred in this year, such as the origin on the microprocessor, the completion of the Night Watch by Rembrandt, the founding of Montreal, the discovery of New Zealand, the birth of Isaac Newton and the death of Galileo. There are other discoveries for this (and surrounding) years, and other events of historical importance, as there have been in other years. Last year (2010) we had a total Lunar Eclipse that coincided with the Winter Solstice on December 20th – the last time these two events coincided was in 1638, around the time of my heightened interest.
So, could this mean that all of the coincidences I have been experiencing over the years have also been pointing to something in the Seventeenth Century, since this was the century the word ‘coincidence’ was first used? Or maybe my finding out that the word came into existence back then is a little prompt to ‘look wider’ and not be as focussed solely on 1642? I do have a tendency to look in one direction and miss everything else around me. Or maybe I’m looking too deeply into things, and seeing events merely as ‘coincidence’ when really they aren’t.
Whatever the reason, these coincidental events are happening very regularly to me. I’m not complaining, I hasten to add, they provide me with a reason to look on in awe at the magic and mystery of the Universe and its workings.
I see coincidences as reminders that I am in the right place at the right time. How else would I get to experience such random events happening at the same time, if I wasn’t meant to be there, at that precise moment, to witness them? This is all well and good with the events that occur on the same day, but what about events that occur over time? How can they even be classed as coincidences, centuries apart? If they aren’t coincidences, they are still coincidental, and this then brings in another paradox. How can something not be, and be, a coincidence?
See, I’m looking too deeply into coincidences now!
On to the reason for this post. Yesterday in work, I was carrying out one of my regular testing routines, using a test customer with the surname Tighe. This is a name I have never, ever come across during my umpteen decades in this lifetime. I was wondering whether it would be pronounced ‘Teague’ or ‘Tie’, which was what made it stand out to me. Usually I do my test and then move on to the next one, not paying any attention to the customer I am using. Later yesterday evening, I was reading the local newspaper, and there was a story on page three about somebody called Tighe. I don’t know what the story was about, but again the name stood out because I had ‘discovered’ it earlier that day. I mentioned this to my Mum, as I always point out my coincidences to her, and she told me a tale of someone who had tragically died as a result of a road traffic accident many years ago. This story was one she used to always tell us when we were younger to remind us of road safety, and she has used it, or mentioned it, many times over the years. Never once, though, did she mention this young woman’s name. It was Tighe.
So, indirectly, the name Tighe has linked me back to the Seventeenth Century through looking into coincidences and the origins of the word. Or maybe everything is all just one big coincidence and I’m making it far bigger than it actually is. But this brings me to the title of this post, can coincidences occur over time?