Serendipity or synchronicity?

I once had this rather wanky conversation with a then-friend about whether something (perhaps our meeting) was an example of serendipity or synchronicity. I remember struggling to remember the exact difference between both but pretending (rather well I might add) that I did. He was smart. Probably smarter than me. But more than that, he was a thinker and I met him during a rather elongated period of not-thinking. So he had one up on me for sure during the conversation. It was witty repartee. The wittiest I’ve experienced, and we flirted our way through it. I was with someone else but for the time we were together that didn’t seem to matter, not because I was attracted in a relationship-sense to this person, but much more because of how great I felt about myself when I was with him. Fact: we are quicker and brighter when we are with quick and bright people. Fact: being quick and bright makes one feel GREAT! Our friendship faded as my relationship at the time faded. In fact, this friendship faded because my relationship faded. You know, it suddently became too loaded with all the stuff we’d managed to avoid because I was in a relationship.

Anyway, the reason for this story (aside from an indulgent reminisce on my part) is because I opened the book I am reading today to the page a stunning but moving postcard was keeping. My book, an inquiry into post natal depression has interested me mildly. The bookmark, a beautiful painting in the form of a post card my father sent from Edinburgh this year. The figure in the painting sits, head down, her figure obscured by a large orange hat. She sits in the muted browns of a traditional English manor library. Her face, if nothing else, is down turned. I think it interesting that my introduction to depression sent me a postcard of a woman (perhaps) on the edge of a depressive episode, which I am using (unknowningly) to mark my book which is about post natal depression. Lying awake at 2am I realised the irony of this and chuckled quietly as I watched the courtyard world revealed by the small slit that sits between the raised blind and the window sill. I’m beginning to realise that I was never going to evade this shadow. I thought I was exempt but that was never the case. I congratulate myself on doing so well to keep this shadow at bay for so many years. In hindsight, it’s showed up to tap me on the shoulder but I am amazed that I have looked at it without recognition. Fortunate for me that I have. Now, while it stays me, it is more at a remove than it would have been had I given it a name and said hello during the times it visited previously. I think I’m doing better because of it.

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