celebrating the big 5-0 and “the coincidence”

This is my 50th blog post, so I want to do something commemorative. (Sorry if the title is misleading to seem like a birthday, but I am still just barely over that halfway mark to 50 years of life.)

So how should I celebrate? Tequila!

Tequila etcAbove is a photo of the tequila I got today in front of a painting my dad did (of a man named Peter Franco (yes, of relation to James)); a bamboo steamer my sister gave me for Christmas and which I stuffed at the top of my hiking pack for the post-holiday flight back to California; and a stack of books, all of which I recommend. They are, from top to bottom in this photo, This Common Ground, The Drunken Botanist, Preserve It!, & The Plan of Chicago which I do not see available online in this same form. It may be a rare reprint since I got this when I worked at The Burnham Plan Centennial. This version seems like it could be a reasonable substitution but I wonder about those famous Jules Guerin watercolors.

So after tequila, how do I want to celebrate? I guess as always I want to reflect on “the purpose” of keeping this blog which is to share sights, smells, thoughts, events . . . but even more fundamentally it is to mark something that is happening in my life. So, with that in mind, I just came across this book description the other night and looking at it now, it is exactly on-point.

“Not only are everyday coincidences meaningful, they actually provide us with glimpses of the field of infinite possibilities that lies at the heart of all things. From this realm of pure potential we are connected to everything that exists and everything that is yet to come. ‘Coincidences’ can then be recognized as containing precious clues about particular facets of our lives that require our attention. As you become more aware of coincidences and their meanings, you begin to connect more and more with the underlying field of infinite possibilities. This is when the magic begins. This is when you achieve the Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.”

That description is particularly ripe for me, having had the last couple days filled with meaningful coincidences, lessons, and heavy-hitting reminders. There have been enough coincidences that I might even call them significant collisions. One thing happens and another does not. One chapter ends and another is marked with ellipsis.

Basically, I feel both this:

IMGP8419And this:IMGP8432

This American Life also did a great story called “No Coincidence, No Story” back in March and if you are at all keen on that show, I would recommend that as a fun one to listen to.

And I will add that all three of these photos were taken today for different reasons and somehow now they have coalesced nicely to form the visuals and help tell the story of this post.

And finally, a toast: Cheers to the next 50!

All photos in this post are by me. All are subject to creative commons license. Thank you!
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