Mother's Birthday, l'anniversaire de maman" (birthday in French is anniversaire.) Click on title to read it. Mother loved hydrangeas, so I'd always give her one, a different color every year. Now I have hydrangeas growing in the front yard in Georgia. I'll need to move them to Nashville.
Books in the Mountains, I mentioned that Nancy Pelosi was born on March 26 as well. Then strange things started to happen. I am not making them up, because what would be the use. Since I am going through my late husband's books to give away, I usually pick up one or two to read while in Georgia. That one evening I found 3 books by an author I did not know. Her name is Amy Blackmarr. The three books were: "Going to ground: a simple life on a Georgia pond," "House of Steps" and "Dahlonega Haunts: Ghostly Adventures in a Georgia Mountain Town." I started to read the ghost book on Dahlonega as my husband and I went often to that little town in the mountains, then decided it might be too spooky for that evening. Instead I started Going to Ground. In it, Amy Blackmarr was recounting how she went back to live in her grandparent's cabin, far away from people. I checked to see how old she was when she moved there and found out she was born, as me, on March 26, but in 1958. Coincidence.
I dwell in a lonely house I know,
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow....
...I dwell with a strangely aching heart,
In that vanished abode there far apart,
On that disused and forgotten road ...
OK, enough I thought. I am back here in my old house in Georgia and don't need to become even more gloomy. Instead I picked up Tennessee Williams's Memoirs and started to read it. I wondered where in Tennessee he was born, because of his name. I looked it up - he was not born in Tennessee, his father was. Then I saw when he was born: March 26, 1911. Another coincidence again, thought I? So I checked Robert Frost, why not - he was born March 26, 1874 (the plot thickens?) Just to make sure I also checked Richard Dawkins - he was born March 26, 1941. I was apprehensive when I checked when the pecan log merchant, Stuckey, was born. I found out that Williamson Sylvester Stuckey, Sr., was born on March 26, 1909. Too weird. All right, enough, I decided not to read but to listen to music. I went to bed and played music on my cell phone. It was Beethoven's Romance No. 2 - so beautiful and soothing. At least I knew Beethoven was not born on my birthday, I thought he was born in December. To make sure I checked - yes, Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized on December 17,1770. But then I saw it ... WHAT? and I got goose pimples. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827. Am I going crazy? Is someone playing with my head? What is this?
Is this what is called synchronicity? Wikipedia says: "Synchronicity (German:Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related." I checked several sites on the Internet. Judy Orloff, MD, says "Synchronicity is a sign that we are intuitively attuned, not only to our immediate friends and family, but also to the greater collective." Another site indicates: "Synchronicity is an unconscious awareness of life. It is a set of messages. Synchronicity is an unlikely or impossible coincidence that cannot be explained by luck and chance." Another site says "Often mistaken as coincidences, these amazing synchronicities are actually universal nods, confirming that you are on the right track. Synchronicities, when recognized, are meant to be road signs to help steer you in the best direction. Quite helpful at times when you are feeling confused or lost in some way." In an article on synchronicity in Psychology Today it said "When you're on the right path, the universe winks and nods at you from time to time, to let you know." I like this, the universe nodding at me :-) I searched for a photo symbolizing the universe - but I don't have one in my collection. May be one of the secret paintings of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, Children's books author and cartoonist, American 1904-1991) can give some feeling about it?
This time, back in Georgia, I am reading one of my books, in French - the childhood memoirs of Marcel Pagnol (French novelist, playwright and film maker, 1895-1974.) It was a magical time for him in Provence and a delight to read. The Kidney Foundation called saying they would come by this week to pick up any clothes, books, etc. During the days I have been busy collecting some of my husband's clothes. There is so much of it as he kept everything. I found a bag full of socks, at least 200+ pairs, some old, some brand new with tags. I even found two uniform work shirts from when, as a teenager, he worked for a Coca-Cola bottling plant. They are from 1955 at least. They are in pretty good shape for being so old. Here they are below.
Looking at some of the shirts or sweaters given to him for birthdays or Christmas was kind of sad. I tried not to think about it. But again, something happened. I was not going to mention it, but since I told you about the happenings around my birth date I'll tell you what happened yesterday. I had already filled 3 large black plastic bags with his clothes and shoes. The 4th bag was almost full. In the back of the closet was a green pair of slacks. I knew them well, as he wore them often on trips, usually with a plaid shirt. Should I give them away? I could not decide. I cannot wear them and both of my sons-in-law wear different sizes. With a heavy heart I placed the slacks in the bag. Then I saw the plaid shirt. I started feeling tears coming up. No, can't do that. I placed the shirt in the bag, then I took it out again. Placed it in the bag once more, and finally took it out thinking I'll think about it tomorrow. Moving the bags through the hall filled with books is not easy. As I pulled this heavy bag, some books fell; I walked on a paper sack. When I came back upstairs I stopped in the hall to pick up the books and the sack. Several pennies had fallen out of the sack, a pencil and a piece of paper. I turned the paper over - it was a photograph. When I saw it I was completely bewildered. I looked around, no other photographs anywhere. I don't know how it got there in that sack. I went downstairs with the plaid shirt and took the green slacks out of the bag to take a photo so I would not think I imagined it all. The picture was of my husband wearing that exact pair of slacks with the shirt in front of an angel statue somewhere by the sea, I think in Mexico. How in the world this happened, I don't know. I took most of our old photos to Nashville and they never were in the hall anyway. Another strange happening, or synchronicity? What do you think? Here is the picture below. As I write this I still can't believe it.
I guess I should take this as a sign that it's OK to give away the clothes since I can see them in the photograph, and not be sad. Actually my son-in-law, whose family is from India, has invited me to come to his cousin's wedding in Atlanta next weekend. This will be a fun occasion - weddings from Indian families are big events, all the women wearing colorful saris, good food, dancing and more. I have some Indian clothes but they have long sleeves and the weather predicts 97 F (36.1 C.) in the shade. I bought an Indian made tunic with tie-die indigo stripes and will wear white linen slacks with it. Most of my shoes now are sneakers because of my bad ankle. I found a pair of white lacy Mary Jane style shoes and will wear them this week while dancing with some music so they become comfortable, like boogie shoes! I used to have great red leather flat shoes for dancing, but they are long gone. Here they are below with a white pantsuit, photo taken in San Francisco decades ago. Also shown is the tunic from the catalog, and future boogie shoes.
My record player is still here with all my albums. I found some old disco LPs so I can exercise a bit with my new shoes. Here is a video of one of the tunes, from the 1970s - "Boogie Shoes" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Might as well wink at the universe and end this post with a song!