Winter has now officially arrived. Am I the only one who enjoys this time of hibernation, short days, and long nights? It is my last week before I return to work. Soon it will be 2010, and I realise that it is really only this year (2009) that I truly entered and acknowledged the digital age! I have at last surrendered, and now I write a blog and read from a Kindle. I hardly recognise myself!
My life has always been one of coincidences - synchronistic happenings which occur in different countries, at different times. Seemingly miraculous meetings with people from my different and varied experiences, places, and interests.
I remember a long ago very dark winter in London, trying to descend the stairs into the tube at Oxford Circus, being jostled by the teeming crowds. I banged against someone and we both turned around to either shout, or apologise to each other. I found myself staring into the face of Michael Klein, last seen years before at Northview High in Johannesburg. Or the time when I walked through the stiles at Earls Court station, at rush hour, and heard a voice from above, "well, if it isn't Nesta." I looked up into the face of the tall man hovering above, Peter Cimring, also from high school. Peter was a year ahead of us, a really clever guy. He suffered from congenital cirrhoses of the liver and sadly he died in a pensione in France a few years later. These seemingly random events heralded a lifetime of similar occurrences.
Doris Lessing has described these events as being synchronistic, rather than coincidental. Everything exists simultaneously. Past, present, and future are constructs we have created in order to function. Every person, place, object, and thought, are interconnected. For the most part we are closed to these experiences. But they seep through. How often is it that we think of someone only to have them phone us in the next minute? When I wrote my first, (unpublished) memoir, I sat typing in my cottage in Rockridge in Oakland. It was at night, and I typed about Raymond (Rafi - my late husband)'s nightclub in Tel Aviv. The phone rang, interrupting the flow of my writing. I answered and heard a man ask if I was Nesta, who lived in Israel. This was the man who co-owned the nightclub with Ray, a tall, brash American who returned to America at the time we moved to a kibbutz. I remember Ray telling me that he heard he had died of a drug overdose! He assured me he was alive and well, and then he asked whether I was still with Raymond, and I told him Ray had been killed in the Yom Kippur War. This man had obtained my number through a potential business partner of his, a South African man who lives in San Francisco.
Last week I checked my e-mail to find invitations to people on Facebook that I last saw 35 years ago! One woman is Danish, I told her I still own a pair of socks she knitted for me 35 years previously. I have connected with family and friends in Australia, Denmark, South Africa, Israel, Canada, all in a week. My sister-in-law found me online and we reconnected. She and her family live in Toronto.
These are the same connections and synchronistic experiences, but they now happen in the digital age. Thanks to the web, the internet, e-mail, skype, videos, we don't even have to step away from our sofas or tables to meet old friends.
Indeed, we are all connected.