Do Coincidences Travel in Packs of Three?

There’s a book called The Celestine Prophecy, a novel based on some new age spirituality, mostly rooted in some old spirituality. This post is not about that book, which has a number of detractors, as well as a number of fans, although having read the book, it’s what I tend to think of when coincidences occur.

Basically the premise of the book is based on 9 spiritual insights. The Third Insight – A Matter of Energy – is based on the theory that there are no coincidences, that things or people come to us because of a draw of energy, and the more times a theme occurs, the more attention, or energy, we need to focus on it.

No doubt every person has had the experience where something will come up in conversation, and then a day or so later, it will come up again. The phrase “speak of the devil” works on the same premise – you can be having a conversation about someone and then they’ll unexpectedly appear. These things happen all the time, but when they start happening in groupings, then it begins to get a little weird.

Coincidence #1 – The Brooch
In the summer of 1985, I spent a long weekend with my friend Toby and her family at their cottage in Economy, Nova Scotia, on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. The town is just outside of Parrsboro, and the whole area is known for rich deposits of amethyst which can only be accessed when the huge Fundy tides are out. During that visit, I bought a brooch at a roadside craft shop. The brooch is shaped like a painter’s palette, with little chips of semi-precious stones to represent the daubs of paint. I’ve had it 23 years and have never worn it – the stones are prone to falling off and I’ve never really considered myself a brooch person – until recently when I added it to the lapel of a brocade jacket. I wore this jacket (and brooch) out to dinner earlier this month at the new restaurant at the AGO where I met Melissa, one of the writers at TasteTO. She immediately remarked on the brooch and I told her the story of how I had bought it, and a little bit about the town and the amethyst deposits. We had some time to kill before our reservation and so wandered around the gift shop. I ended up in the children’s section and picked up an illustrated atlas of Canada. I flipped open to the map of Nova Scotia and not only was Parrsboro marked on the map (which never happens) but there was a coloured sketch of a chunk of amethyst.

Coincidence #2 – The Libertine
I never watch Saturday Night Live, but Greg downloaded a recent episode because John Malkovich was the host and he knows I’m a big fan. In typical SNL fashion, it was a bad episode, and we got to talking about some of the duds Malkovich had appeared in over the years, but also some of the stuff that was under-rated or ignored, such as Ripley’s Game (the sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley), and The Libertine, which starred Johnny Depp as well as Malkovich. The Libertine had lagged in post-production for years and had no promotion, and spent all of a week in theatres when it was finally released. But it was quite brilliant – Depp’s character dies of syphilis and his final scenes are extremely graphic. I remarked to Greg that I’d really like to see the film again. The next day, we were at Zellers picking up a few things and Greg started rifling through a bin of crappy DVDs. And pulled out… a copy of The Libertine.

Coincidence #3 – Quality Street Tins
On December 8th, I made a post about Christmas food memories, and one of the things I mentioned was the tins of Quality Street chocolates that my Grandmother always received. That same day, before the post was published, my Mom packed up a box of Christmas presents and baked goods for me. She put the baked goods in two old Quality Street tins.

I don’t know if this series of coincidences means anything. I don’t know if they’re happening for a reason or if I’m just finding them because I’m more attuned to them in general… or maybe they are just what they appear to be, simple coincidences. Heck, if I’m feeling especially superstitious, maybe I’ll just assume that they come in groups of 3 and I’m done. But they’ve all been very pleasant occurrences that have brought, at minimum,  a smile to my face, so I’ll just be thankful for the positive “energy” (if you want to call it that), and hope for more.