My ex and I had this thing we used to call “the pluck”. Sometimes we’d find ourselves saying out loud the exact thought that the other one was just thinking. This was spooky because the thoughts were totally random. Like, “Hey, what was the name of that summer camp you went to?” just after the other had a spontaneous memory of summer camp. Or, “I wonder if Simon & Garfunkel will do one more tour” a minute after a Simon & Garfunkel tune pops into the other’s head.
It happened so often I started thinking thoughts were free-floating around us.
We dubbed it “the pluck” since it was only a matter of who plucked the thought down and said it first.
Interestingly, it seemed to happen more if we were both in this kinda relaxed, contented, non-bothered space. Like mind’s open, positive and gently roaming.
Now hold that story for a sec.
My sister and I have this very freakin’ weird thing where we almost ALWAYS show up at the same hairdresser’s, on the same day, with overlapping time slots.
Doesn’t sound too strange? Well, consider that we never plan it, my sister lives out of town, and the intervals are not regular at all. Like just recently I went in at 13 weeks when I usually go at 9 and my sister was lo, poppin’ in for a bang trim. WTF?!
Hold that story for a sec too, ’cause it’s about to get weirder.
Liz Gilbert tells in Big Magic of a story she was writing about a spinster from Minnesota who gets sent to the Amazon jungle to solve a number of mysteries involving her boss. In other words, a very specific, kinda obscure, story.
Then Liz meets one of her idols one day. They share a friendly kiss and a lovely exchange and go on to become friends.
Time passes and Liz loses all gusto for her story. She then meets with her friend much later who regales her with this new story she’s writing about – get this – a spinster from Minnesota who gets sent to the Amazon jungle to solve a number of mysteries involving her boss. (!!!)
They had never spoken of the story to each other.
They trace back Liz’s lost umph for the story, and her friend’s newfound inspiration, to that exact day they met. In fact, to that exact moment that they….exchanged a kiss.
W the F is going on here???
Liz figures that inspiration is sorta airborne and is seeking a human partner to make the idea come alive. She says that since she lost commitment to the story, the inspiration went ahead and CHANGED PEOPLE at that moment that they kissed.
Hold that, too.
Back to my hairdresser. My sister and I never used to accidentally meet at the hairdresser’s on the same day. It only started happening after this one incident.
The prep for my sister’s wedding happened in my mum’s basement. As I arrived, I walked down the stairs and heard excited, girlie, pre-wedding chatter and saw the back of my sister’s hairdresser prepping a ‘do area. My sister started to introduce me to her hairdresser who turns around and it’s Dana, MY hairdresser.
All three of us start howling. My sister and I had both been going to Dana completely unbeknownst to each other for years. It’s this hilarious moment of connection cushioned in the excitement and deep bonding of a wedding day.
It’s since THAT day that I’ve been bumping into my sister at the same hairdresser at the same time.
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??!!
This doesn’t seem purely coincidental. It’s too … precise.
I learned in The Hidden Life of Trees that trees communicate underground through interconnected systems of roots and far-spreading soil fungi. They look totally separate from the earth up, but in fact, they’re intricately linked underground.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking.
We have these things called mirror neurons in our brains. When we’re observing someone doing something, neurons fire in our own brains that mirror the neurons firing in the brain of the person we’re observing.
Like if a friendly person approaches you and is smiling, your mirror neurons for smiling fire. Or, you see someone trip and land on their elbow and you instinctively flinch and reach for your elbow. Mirror neurons at work.
We’re so socially wired and naturally empathetic that when we watch things happening to others it’s like it’s happening TO US.
I wonder if those neurons aren’t actually mirroring though. Maybe they’re the endpoints of a signal system that physically runs between us. And we just don’t have instrumentation sophisticated enough yet to see the tracks between us, so we only see the endpoints.
Maybe we’re like those trees with the interconnected system underground. Signals – thoughts, feelings, ideas, – are traveling between us all the time along dendritic branches that touch each of us. And emotions and receptivity are playing a role in the transmission and new connections that get formed.
I bet we’re way more connected than we realize.
For now, these weird & wonderful happenings will remain a mystery. And I’m just stoked to be there when they happen.
What about you? Do you have any stories that are just too strange, too unlikely to have happened….and yet they did? Tell us about it in the comments below! What do you think is behind this mystery? I’d love to hear all about it.