Following up my last post, more about coincidences.  Monday I was back in Jane’s garden on Potrero Hill.  A few years ago, a locust tree was cut down near the back of her garden, and ever since locust suckers have been sprouting all over.   I spent a good deal of time spading them out, a difficult task given the resilience of the roots, even though she had tried her best to keep them at bay.  In the gardens behind and to the sides of hers no such effort had been made, and there were thickets of locust in each of them, with suckers that had attained twenty feet or more.  A monoculture in the making, a will to survive writ large.

Yesterday, in a different garden in the Mission on Liberty Street, I encountered more locust suckers.  Nowhere near the number in Jane’s garden, however, since the ancestor tree stands tall in the garden below.

Coincidence writ small.

Coincidence writ large is what Jung calls “synchronicity”, the concept of “meaningful coincidence” in which the boundary between inner and outer realities breaks down, the causal and the acausal interpenetrate, and the universe is seen in the light of continuous spontaneous creation.

Here is a quote from Paul Levy:

“Synchronicities are expressions of the dreamlike nature of reality…our night dreams can manifest in our waking life, but also in the sense that, just like with our dreams at night, our inner process is given shape to through the seemingly outer world. In a night dream, the seemingly outer dreamscape is synchronistically reflecting the internal psyche of the dreamer, as the dream is not separate from the inner world but is nothing other than the psyche within apparently externalized.”

The shaman, the magus, the master teacher point toward these epic interactions with their equally epic interpretations, but on my knees sharpshooter in hand assaulting the locust roots I don’t see meaning so much as a kind of rhyme, a metaphor, which is a writer’s way of rhyming in image or meaning.

This morning I got an email from my neighbor telling me he’s decided not to put in an offer on his house and mine, which are being sold in tandem.  Last Saturday he told me he was considering putting in a bid at the asking price, and though it was a long shot, had it been accepted my staying here would be secured for the time being. So it’s up in the air.

The bids are coming in. Developers descend.  Like locusts?  Maybe the universe is making a little joke with a subtle punch line.  Just to see if I’m paying attention.

But I doubt it.  There’s nobody home, no big jokester.

Last night I had the dream wherein I am unable to contact Richy.  He’s gone.  There’s no explanation, no way to get in contact.  Admittedly, there nothing but truth in that reality, but still, does the subconscious, the tireless metaphor-monger, need to add the feeling of rejection to it?  Add insult to injury?

It’s a new morning.  The fog is thick, but may burn off. No metaphor.


3 responses to “LOCUST SUCKERS

  1. Marcia (of G F) Donahue

    I’m paying attention and you are the jokester who’s home — you’re the one who can articulate it all so splendidly that I gasp. Some jokes sure are not so funny. Glad some are!

  2. %$*^@^&*%!!@#!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  3. What DebP said.

    And also this recent story about synchronicity, which I find increases as I get older and the web gets bigger. To be expected, I suppose.

    For Lucy

    Later, I could find no beginning. Like a circle, a mobius strip, the yang-and-yin
    of life-and-death, no start or finish line in this design. I can begin to tell it

    anywhere then, the story of Us, this coincidence, this connecting convergence. Start
    with poetry or the mutual friend. Or the night of charges and counter charges,

    the sudden swerving and severing, the tentative reaching toward, the determined
    finding a way to continue, apart from the others. Or skipping that, forward to

    Wednesday mornings. “Japan,” as you dubbed our meeting spot, the Garden free if we
    got there by 10:00 to warm hands and bellies with cups of tea in the chill

    of fog among ferns. And our sharing there of poems, the ones recalling
    the girls we were before we were women and the women we were before we were

    mothers and before we were all the ones we were before we were who we are now.
    Last week yours about summer camp segued to mine about friendship and losing

    a friend long ago. His death dramatic and sudden in public while he sat between friends—
    me and another— waiting for the lights to go down and the film to begin. Or

    skipping the build-up, I could cut to the climax, the moment of mystery—
    that poem’s last line, my eyes moving from the page to your face, and your words:

    “I was there.”

    Then the silence. Stunning. Expanding. Something naked and sacred. You were
    there. Right behind us to help us to lift his heaviness out of the seat into the aisle. To join

    in the praying, the waiting for breath. Or death. An ordinary witness. Another human
    being in the crowd. Then and now. Something extraordinary. Something comforting.

    Anita Kline

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