There is a guy named Arnold Schoenberg. I don’t know him, I just read a story about him. He suffered, chronically, from triskaidekaphobia. The fear of the number 13. There was a time when I didn’t like the number. I didn’t have a fear of it, or anything. I just didn’t want it on my sport jersey, or to fall on a Friday. I never liked it at the store when my total came to .87 cents at the end of anything, because it meant I would bet a dime and three pennies in return. But then, one day, we found a dog. She was pregnant as it turned out, and she gave forward 13 puppies. Thirteen, glorious, wonderful, pooping and peeing puppies. And since that time, I have softened on the number.
Anyway. Arnold. Back to him. He had a fear of the number 13. So much so, that it could be paralyzing. When he died, he was 76 years old. And, 7+6=13. Not only that, he died on a Friday, the 13th. Probably scared him to death.
My Dad also died on the 13th day of a month. The date was 3-13-13. 31313. He didn’t have a thing for the number 13, as far as I know. But he sure was a symmetrical guy, liking everything neat, tidy, lined up in a row. He passed over at 12:12 in the afternoon, to boot. All in an orderly fashion.
Which brings me to this. I think, the Universe is a pulsing, beating, well-spun article. It is like the perfect clock, each gear and cog, clicking along, connecting at precisely the right instant, to keep the entire mechanism running, turning, at just the right pace.
Or. It could be a completely random swirling mess of frenzied energy.
Either way, that’s what I think, because I don’t know for sure. But it seems, that sometimes, the Universe simply lines up perfectly. And other times, it trips and falls so hard, everyone stands around looking in disbelief.
Does it know? Is there an inside joke? There sure are an awful lot of crazy coincidences out there. Like good old Edgar Allen Poe. In the 19th Century, that famous horror writer penned a book. He called it ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’.
It was about four survivors of a shipwreck. They were out in an open boat for a lot of days without food. So, they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy. His name was Richard Parker. Then, fast forward a few years. To 1884. There was a boat called the Mignonette and it ran in to big trouble, leaving only four survivors. As with the book, these fellows were in an open boat for many days. Eventually. You guessed it. The three senior members of the crew, killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.
Not such a good day if your name is Richard Parker. But you have to wonder about the coincidence. Sort of like Mark Twain being born on the day Halley’s Comet first appeared in 1835, and then dying on the next time it was spotted, in 1909.
Happenstance. Measured, or random?
Lined up like row of soldiers, or scattered about, like a congregation of ants?
I watched a video this morning. (Below) It was of a Golden Retriever teaching another Golden Retriever how to swim. One dog showed the other how to “paddle” its paws, and the success was immediate. It made me smile. Like, it was all perfectly planned to happen precisely that way. Or, perhaps, it was an unpredictable and random act of kindness.
I think sometimes, the Universe is exactly as it should be. Which, is all the time.
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
― Rachel Carson
“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”
― Ray Bradbury
“Nothing happens until something moves.”
― Albert Einstein