Monday, January 5, 2009
I am fascinated by the phenomenon of coincidence. Like years ago when Katydid flew to Florida to see the space shuttle launch from the rooftop of Nurse Jane's condo. She fainted 8 seconds before liftoff and missed the whole thing. That's not the fascinating coincidence part. (Although it's really funny and I tell it often, usually laughing uproariously. Sorry, Katydid.) Back here in Georgia, I fainted the same morning. For no apparent reason. I wasn't sick, I wasn't pregnant, I wasn't startled by a rodent or a burglar, I just fainted. With electric curlers in my hair. Weird. Not to mention painful.
Even longer ago, before there was such a thing as three-way calling, we managed it one day by accident. I called my sister, she called Mom, Mom called me (or some combination of those three), all at the exact same time. And we all got connected. It was bizarre. If you didn't know there hasn't always been three-way calling, please shut up. We also used to have rotary dials and we had to go to the phone company to pick out a phone. And "rent" it.
Today's coincidence, however, doesn't even involve me. I read this story in the paper this morning about two women who took photographs of the same cloud at the same time, and they didn't know each other. That may seem strange enough. But they were in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at something called Musikfest in 1990. And they met in 2007 in the small town of Winterville, Georgia. Somehow the conversation turned to Pennsylvania, Musikfest, and the photograph of the cloud. Keep in mind that neither of these women was a photographer; the cloud just happened to catch their interest. And their lenses.
They determined that they were at practically the same angle, but probably a quarter of a mile apart. And they had to have taken their photos within milliseconds of each other, because the cloud changed so quickly that one of the women didn't even get a second shot.
And these two women wind up 17 years later approximately 753.31 miles down the road from where the picture was taken (I guess for one of them it was 753.06) at the same potluck dinner.