Sunday, October 02, 2005


Yesterday, I jokingly called for the end of summer, though in reality I could do with an endless summer. (America, keep driving those SUV's!) Today, the air is cool and a light autumn rain is falling. Coincidence? Hardly, since it is typhoon season, and these storms are usually preceeded by a few days of muggy heat. At the moment, typhoon 19 is out west, heading toward China. The official name, is "Longwang," which is fitting, since this weather is totally screwing all those people nationwide who had planned to have Sports Day today. THAT part is the coincidence.

I am a big fan of coincidence, which is why I am extremely fond of the work of Paul Auster. Yesterday, Local Legend Tim told me that he attended a game at Yankee Stadium on August 15th. I had planned on going to the same game, but choose not to, in order to spend time with my injured Nana. I am certain that if I had gone, the gods of coincidence would've arranged it for Tim and I to run into each other.

The other day I mentioned my friend Colleen. Back in January, when preparing for my trip to Ireland, I had emailed my Irish mate Eunice asking for advice. She sent a lengthy response, closing with, "as I write, an IM has just come in from miz colleen sheils, resident of tokyo, to say she'll phone me in a few minutes, so I will wrap up kind sir." The next day, I go to Tokyo to play percussion at a kirtan for tsunami relief, with Reema Datta and Danny Paradise, in town for an Ashtanga workshop. I'm a bit early, so after dropping my stuff at Sun and Moon Yoga, I go across the street to the Starbucks in Meguro Station. As I await my caramel machiatto, I hear someone say, "Ted?" Sure enough, it's Colleen, though I'm baffled as to how she recognizes me after 6 years. Stranger still, we've both ordered the same drinks, plus she's on her way to the kirtan I'm about to play.

The Japanese call this kind of phenomena, "en." It's a vague term, almost meaning fate, but not quite. I think of "en" as the dental floss that binds us to the mystery of the universe. "Dental floss" may sound trite, but really, this "en" is something that everyone is familiar with, yet seems to be overlooked as insignificant by most people.

On the turntable: Wilco, "A Ghost is Born"

1 comment:

-c said...

Ha. I like that:"the dental floss that binds us to the mystery of the universe". I shudder, though, to think of the poor souls with little regard for dental hygeine who have to miss out on their connection to the cosmos...