three things


On Monday night I finished Dawn Tripp’s wonderful novel, Game of Secrets, and wasn’t ready to start a new book or go to sleep. Mindless TV seemed the solution, and I found The Kennedys (some sort of mini-series) on Netflix. I watched a few episodes–through the courtship, the inauguration, and the Bay of Pigs invasion.


Thursday morning I was sitting at a cafe reading, and having coffee and a muffin, when a man, as he walked by, asked me if my book (Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things) was good. I said it was. Then he came back to chat. At one point he said he hadn’t finished college the first time around. “Well, that was the sixties,” he said. “I was too busy trying to stop a war.”


Now Friday afternoon, I’m reading another book, Thomas Merton’s 1965 Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (recommended by someone who left a comment here), and I came across this passage: “January 22, 1961: President Kennedy’s inauguration speech has just been read in the refectory.”

9 thoughts on “three things

  1. How much fun to have everything connect like that! When I was in college in the 80s, there was a man nearly twice my age in my sophomore seminar in American politics. He’d dropped out of college in the 70s due to all the riots and (now a father) was back to finish his degree. I wish I’d asked him more about it now.


  2. Hi Cynthia! So glad you’re reading Merton’s “Conjectures”–I’m working on an essay that came of that comment stream. That was an amazing conversation! I like your list of three things here and now I’m wondering: is this a sign for you? Will you write something of this era, of this time? Perhaps it’s time to pick up the Stephen King book, “11/22/63”? Curious to see where the three things lead you.


    • Ha! I’m glad you saw this. And that’s cool that you’re getting an essay out of that comment stream. I’d like to read that.
      I’m wondering what all this means too… It has my attention : )


  3. I had a friend who used to get very excited about coincidences like this. She would clap her hands and say, “Oh, synchronicity!” and look totally thrilled. Except that for some reason she had a verbal tic with this word and she’d ALWAYS say, “Oh, synchronOcity!” About half the time she’d wrinkle her brow after her second of appreciative bliss and say, “Did I just say ‘synchronOcity?’ I meant ‘synchronIcity’!” She didn’t appear, ever, to remember having corrected herself in the past. I’ve never known anyone else with such a persistent verbal tic. It was so consistent and her unbridled joy for these moments was so infectious that I now can’t think of things like this without, in my head, both feeling affection for this friend and cheering for synchronOcity. Anyway, lovely coincidence. And always so great to connect like that with a stranger.


  4. Pingback: four things | catching days

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