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LJI 10 Week 20: Filaments

This is my entry for Week 20 of LJ Idol (therealljidol), Season 10. This week was an Open Topic.

Unable to control myself any longer, I blurted out the exciting fact I'd just discovered during my genealogical work into my husband's family. I'd managed to control myself most of the Memorial Day party, but when an opportunity presented itself, I couldn't wait any longer.

"So The Gryphon has a family connection to Aaron Burr," I revealed. "Aaron Burr is the second cousin, once removed, of his fifth great-grandfather's second wife."

My conversation partner blinked, saying nothing, and I thought, "This time I've really done it. I've bored a friend into silence with my constant genealogical talk." Then he spoke.

"That's interesting," he said. "That's about the same relationship I have with Alexander Hamilton. He's a distant cousin of my grandmother." I could tell from the somewhat amazed look on his face that he was telling the truth. With a wry smile, he remarked to my husband, "I wonder if I should challenge you to a duel."

"If you do," I said, "he'll win."


On my first ever solo airplane trip, I read "The Celestine Prophecy," most of which I now forget. One thing I do retain, however, is the concept that there is no such thing as coincidences. I tend to believe that. Walking through my life, I've again and again found portions which seem to connect.

My childhood home's upstairs bathroom and its attic door, which has haunted my dreams for years, eventually became the place my mother collapsed in death.

As a girl, I gave my favorite Ken doll the same first name as my husband, The Gryphon, 25 years before meeting him.

One of my favorite names has always been Sarah, which turned out later to be the name of one of my best friends in college as well as the name of my future mother-in-law.

None of these events, you might say, necessarily connect to one another. That is, indeed true. Yet, connected they are, as any two events in my life might be. Me, the thinking brain that makes sense of it all, can always find ways to link the disparate elements of my life.

If nothing else, these fragments connect through my experience. My presence, the active seer, the "I" (and the eye). Just like I am no longer truly surprised to discover that friends I met at wildly different times and places know each other. After all, the same similarities that drew me to one friend may draw that friend to another friend of mine.

We are all egocentric. Perhaps not given to Twitter rants, declaring worldwide media conspiracies designed to bring us down. (That sort of egomania would take a truly deluded individual. Sad.) But seeing the world through our own prisms, we connect it all to ourselves. A movie is worth seeing if we liked it. Roses (or violets, or honeysuckle) smell best because we deem it so. Not to be rude, but we are the ones who matter, after all.

Undeniable, I must say. If you can experience no other framework than your own, you matter supreme. The individuals who surround you, matter only as they connect into your divine plan.

Except that the universe is sneaky. Did you, for example, know when you set out this morning the destiny you shared with the man you collided with in the coffee shop, whose unwitting elbow bumped your hand and blessed the floor with hot coffee? Were you aware that the serious-looking woman you smiled at while leaving the YMCA had just learned some bad news and needed some cheering up? Did you know, as a youngster, exactly how the different steps you took would lead you to where you are now? Or whose lives you would touch along the way?

We are all important. We are all, also, connected. My son is eating his carrots right now, carrots grown by a farmer in Ohio, perhaps. A farmer who might have voted for the president I cannot abide. And yet, he gave my son sustenance, and so I must love him.

My son admires a celery stalk, and all I can see are the various strings leading from that moment to everyone he has met and will meet. This little life I brought into the world.

And all is good.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2017 01:52 am (UTC)
Very nice! I almost talked a bit about Hamilton and Burr in my piece this week, too. Connection! But my thoughts were of the musical, of the interesting contrast it draws between boldly seeking and patiently working and abiding. That might be a useful duality with which to lookat the world, but can a hero patiently work and wait? I really liked your connections here.
Jun. 7th, 2017 03:01 am (UTC)
One would think you had a knack for this writing stuff! I had a boss who was into Buddhism, and he was always saying the only reality there is is your own. Everyone perceives the same events differently - and that indeed, there was no such thing as coincidences.
Thanks for a thought provoking write! Hugs and peace~~~D
Jun. 7th, 2017 03:19 am (UTC)

I used to believe in coincidences, but for a very long time (several decades I'm sure, but i cannot give an exact moment), I no longer do.  I also give much more consideration to dreams (both mine and others).

Well writtwen and verythought provoking.

Jun. 7th, 2017 06:40 am (UTC)
One of the tenets of the interfaith group I worked with for many years was that everything and everyone was connected in one way or form. Not just by blood, but by actions as well. It's neat to see those ideas ruminating here as well.
Jun. 7th, 2017 07:17 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful thought and I need to hold on it for a while. I do believe in coincidences and probably I have never given too much of a thought to find the connection actually :) I loved the part about how you connected those dots over the years. A great read!
Jun. 7th, 2017 01:17 pm (UTC)
This was really sweet and reassuring. Nice post.
Jun. 7th, 2017 01:53 pm (UTC)
Try as I might, I am pretty much blind to these connections. I'm not sure why, I just can't see them. This goes also for the genealogy of my family, which is a mystery of bad communication and lost connections.
Jun. 7th, 2017 01:57 pm (UTC)
I, too, don't believe in coincidences and have multiple similar stories. Same with premonitions.

This was a sweet entry!
Jun. 7th, 2017 04:46 pm (UTC)
This was a very thoughtful, very nice entry. I liked the way you moved from the genealogical connection to connections/coincidences at large. A child who eats his carrots and admires celery is special indeed!
Jun. 8th, 2017 03:20 am (UTC)
Does Aaron Burr count as an assassin? If so, we have that fact in common, as I am apparently related to as assassin as well: John Wilkes Booth. I find it really interesting that the elements that are in our families, once you start pulling those threads, can truly surprise or create the need to reassess what you thought you knew.

I remember all of the hype about the Celestine Prophesy when it was on the best seller lists and when I got around to reading it I was shocked at how badly worded it was; not that the message was particularly bad, just that it was delivered in a way that read poorly. I'm not surprised you forgot it!

I agree that there are no coincidences, but the question now, really is
Jun. 8th, 2017 09:19 pm (UTC)
(That sort of egomania would take a truly deluded individual. Sad.)
Hahahaha-- nicely and slyly done.

We always see the world through our own prism, but it helps to remind ourselves of this and intentionally use others' prisms as well. Only then can we hope to avoid running roughshod over those whose voices are less loud or less common in sharing their own viewpoints.

Jun. 9th, 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)
Very sweet take on the connectedness of life. "Aaron Burr" always makes me think of those "Got Milk?" commercials, lol! :)
Jun. 9th, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
If you can experience no other framework than your own, you matter supreme.
Exactly. It's the people who are aware that this is the framework they're in, and make allowances for or watch for connections with every other (supreme) person who move through life the best, I think.

I like the idea of connection as you represented it here, thanks for the thoughts.
Jun. 10th, 2017 11:00 am (UTC)
Those are some fascinating and intriguing connections. A fun piece, I liked the final message of it.
Jun. 10th, 2017 07:06 pm (UTC)
Very cool connection!
Jun. 10th, 2017 10:11 pm (UTC)
This was really well written. I love all the coincidences, and it's so true about how everyone and everything is connected. This was a great thinking piece, and I really enjoyed it!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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