Forums > Personal > Luck, serendipity, divinity etc.

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GratefulFan user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 30 Nov 11, 15:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There have been many times that I've wound up for a good long ramble here on QZ, but spared you all at the last moment. :)  I'm about to make up for all that now. LOL.   A rather lengthy convoluted story follows.

I mentioned recently that I was car shopping on the random thread.  I sealed a deal in a city east of me last Wednesday - and if as a Queen fan I was looking for significance in that it was the anniversary of Freddie's last full day of life - OK that's a stretch maybe - ha ha - but anyway the car was delivered yesterday.  A 2011 Sonata with just under 44,000 kms, red in colour.   The reason my new (to me) red car has inspired this thread is that it reminded me of a time in the mid/late 90's during which things were not very good for me, very uncertain, a very difficult and sad time.  At the time I was struggling to look into the future and imagine a different situation, and one of things I decided I'd like to have in this future was a red Pontiac Grand Prix.  I have no idea why I wanted that model, but I had always kind of liked red cars, and it was one simple little dream to hang on to at the time.  I never did get that car, but life ticked along and I had a old blue one and a couple of grey ones in the years that followed that were just fine.   I'll digress for a second to say that in the relative calm that follows many years of raising a young child it was nice to be able to think about my own thing for long enough to remember that I once had a little dream of owning a red car, and to be able to fulfill it, as much as it pales to the many more important things in life.  Anyway, my new car doesn't matter to this story, but that red Grand Prix that I never did get does. Eventually.  Ha ha.  I'll get there.

When I was very young my mom and I used to travel to frequently to see our family a few hours north of us.  We had an old well used car and on one of those innumerable trips something kind of special (to us) happened.  We were travelling over a bridge that was always a milestone on our trip and in the middle of that bridge the odometer rolled to 177,777.7 miles and it happened to catch my mom's eye.  From there on in it was our 'lucky bridge' or our 'sevens bridge' and it became a reflexive habit to check the odometer every time we were on it.  Of course that 'lucky' event never did repeat itself in any form, but it remained a warm memory of a moment when just for a second the universe seemed to be giving us a private hug.

Fast forward 20 years or so to the 90's and that time that wasn't the best for me.  In a week where everything seemed to be going wrong, and the slightest thing added on had come to feel immense, I had booked a rental car for Christmas Eve day to make that same drive to join family and the rental agency screwed something up.  Literally 20 minutes before closing they had nothing to give me.  I was crushed and totally overwhelmed.  They made a bunch of frantic calls on my behalf and secured the last available car at a competitor across town who agreed to hold the car and leave the place open for me.  They sent me over in a taxi and I got the keys to the last car on the lot.  It turned out to be...a red Grand Prix. :)  It made me smile and that little bit of serendipity and symbolism of a dreamed of better time even made the last minute alarm and scramble seem worth it.  I wondered if it had been 'meant to be'.  Those of you with a finely tuned sense of the sentimental who have bothered to read this far can probably imagine what comes next.  On my lucky bridge I looked down at the odometer as had become my lifelong habit....and it was just a few random numbers.  Oh no! Narrative disappointment! But it's okay, I'm not done. :) In a thought that felt like it came from entirely outside my own brain I reached out and flipped the odometer from the trip count to the total count. The total count was 7777.0 kilometres.  It literally made me cry, that connection back to a simple happy time and a simple happy memory.  I felt very lucky, very comforted during a bad time, and once again, very hugged by the universe, there in the red Grand Prix I wasn't even supposed to have but for a twist of fate.

There's actually more to that story, that car and the sevens, but this is well long enough.  It's been quiet here and this may drop like a stone, but I hope some of you might share some happy stories of lucky or serendipitious things.  Maybe you found something special, or met somebody special in an unlikely way, or just had something good happen when you needed it, or perceived something like divine intervention, or were the catlyst for something special for somebody else or whatever.  

Story Illustrations: :)

My lucky bridge
My new car (one just like it actually as mine is gone from the online inventory)

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Posted: 30 Nov 11, 17:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great story GF.

The strangest thing that ever happended to me ...

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I used to go backpacking to Europe every summer. One summer I was in Bayeux and my friend wanted to see the tapestry. Being an uncultured oik at that time -- probably now too -- I wanted instead to see some World War Two stuff. There's a D-Day museum nearby and a cemetery, so I left my friend to look at some medieval illustrations while I went off to see some big guns and graves. Within about 90 seconds of entering the cemetery I was standing looking at my grandfather's grave. I had no idea he was buried there. I knew he had been killed in the months after D-Day, but I didn't know where exactly. I had no plans whatsoever to look for his grave. In any event in those pre-internet days I wouldn't know where to look. There are 100s of war cemeteries in Europe so the odds of walking into one and finding my grandfather's grave must be astronomical. That incident always starts me musing about whether there are some unseen patterns in life and death that we aren't aware of until something like this happens.


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Posted: 30 Nov 11, 18:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is a topic that interests me.

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Posted: 01 Dec 11, 13:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What an amazing experience that must have been Holly.  Crazy!  So cool though. Awesome even. :)

It's such an odd feeling to be having an extraordinary experience in the middle of ordinary events in an ordinary world rolling along as usual. It's disconcerting and thrilling all at once, and though time seems to have shifted the advantage to the logical mind and earth bound explanations in making sense of things for me, there remains a visceral recall of how I felt in that moment and it's aftermath- that whisper that maybe just maybe everything there is to know cannot be seen and reached directly.  Whether it's something real or a wonderful mystery of they way the human mind organizes it's needs, it's fascinating either way.

Something funny to recount given the subject of this thread: I had initially read both the replies earlier last evening, but came back to this thread on my last perusal of the internet for the night to reread Holly's story and Donna's original reply (she's since changed her mind apparently :) because I thought they were neat.  On that second reading, the "59" in the time of Holly's post caught my eye for whatever reason, who knows, and looking at a time I guess maybe prompted me to flip my eyes up to the time on my iPad, and just that second it turned from 11:58 to 11:59.  It thought ha ha I was just looking at 59 and then my iPad turned to 59 at just that moment.  I then went further to realize that that post made in the UK would have been made at 11:59 local time, I think, if my sleepy calculations were correct, which they may not have been - ha ha.  So it made me smile to realize that on a thread about serendipty I had perhaps somewhat improbably noted that I was reading a post at the precise relative time that it had been made, with the added drama of having the number flip before my eyes.   LOL.  One of the innumerable random patterns that pop under the right circumstances, or some assurance from the great wheel in the sky that we are in fact discussing real phenomena?  You decide.  All I know is that it made me laugh before I went to sleep. :)

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Posted: 01 Dec 11, 13:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Donna13 wrote: This is a topic that interests me.

I want your original reply back!  I had cool things to tell you.  Please reconsider. :)

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Posted: 01 Dec 11, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Some of my posts have a time limit ... so I'm glad you were able to read it.  Ha.  I figure the less amount of time that something stays online if it is personal, the better. 

But speaking generally on the subject ... I think if you talk to an old person they will often want to tell stories about their life.  And you might think, oh ... all old people like to tell stories because they haven't done anything too important lately.  But I think they tell stories because when they think back on things, it is still hard for them to believe their luck and what an interesting life they have had.  Some things that happen to us never fit into our logical thinking.  They don't make sense.  But they did happen.  So we go over this in our minds once in a while.  We can tell other people about things and also listen to their amazing experiences and still it is hard to believe even though there are witnesses and people who also remember these things and so on.

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Posted: 02 Dec 11, 12:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hard to believe for sure.  My brain is particularly wired for reason and logic and evidence so it's difficult to wholly embrace the potentially mystical aspects of life, though that doesn't mean they're not powerful and intriguing. There is an odd coda to my story with that rental car.  During my visit with family I took my son on a day adventure to a local attraction in another town in the general area.  We'd been there before a few times and it was a bit of a tradition, so it was very strange when I went entirely the wrong way to the town and didn't even realize it, arriving in another town all together before I recognized my mistake.  It was an improbable error...not quite on par with forgetting where you live or how to get to your own house, but not that far away either.  I was kind of stunned at the time at how it had happened.  Backtracking and getting to the right town added almost 200 km to the trip overall.

Early on the trip home to my own city to return the car, still thinking about my special and unexpected 7777.0 event on the bridge,  I realized that there was an outside possibility I would get to roll the trip odometer to 777 as well because of my mistake. That  seemed a nice, fitting possible end to events, but there would be no bridge to mark the occasion if it happened.  The only thing remotely like the overhead structure of that bridge on my regular route home was a tiny underpass about 2 km from my house.  In one of those bargains one makes with the universe I cheekily and cheerfully agreed to 'believe' what had happened to me if I made 777, a few hundred or so kilometers away, right under that underpass.  And that's exactly what happened.  Right in the middle of that tiny underpass.  I couldn't believe it.   I still kind of don't.   It's utterly absurd.  What's my theory exactly...that there is a great odometer rifling power in the sky with an excellent judge of distance?  It's absurd.  But so was what happened to me.  I have no explanation for how external to me the prompt to flip that odometer to total distance on my lucky bridge felt.   I have no explanation for having a really, really strange brain malfunction that took me on just the right amount of detour to have my challenge to the universe to prove itself met.  Hard to believe.  Hard not to believe.  But you're right...I'll never forget it...even when I'm old. :)

P.S.  That's still not your original post. ;)

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Posted: 03 Dec 11, 11:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If you have a memory for numbers you will always find the same or similar numbers coincidentally appearing in your life - they are just coincidence. No divine power is behind that imo.  Of course these incidents can gain a very special meaning for you when they coincide with a certain state of your mind. To tell you an example from my own life: except one person all family members I ever lost died within 5 days before, on or after my birthday. My mother lost her sister on the day when I was born - the sister died in childbirth. Even my favourite musicians tend to die around that time - Freddie Mercury died on my birthday and George Harrison died on my grandmother's death day - November 29th.  I really do not think that there is some November curse - it's just coincidence. I have nothing to do with all these numbers, they are just accidental. However - I have to admit I am always glad when December arrives and nobody I care about died :-) Each year I make an effort to avoid the November blues or a slight panic that something bad might happen!

The story of Holly stumbling across his grandfather's grave is really impressive. The most unlikely coincidence you can think about!


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Posted: 03 Dec 11, 15:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That was far too long for me to read but the other people liked it so I do too.

:-)

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Posted: 03 Dec 11, 17:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

^ Lucky for you there's a Bon Jovi cover.  Much tighter and more concise. :P