Synchronicity is a concept, first explained by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. During his career, Jung furnished several slightly different definitions of it. Jung variously defined synchronicity as an “acausal connecting (togetherness) principle,” “meaningful coincidence”, and “acausal parallelism.” He introduced the concept as early as the 1920s but gave a full statement of it only in 1951 in an Eranos lecture.
It was far from a blasé drive home late this afternoon from the car dealership. In this instance I was gloatingly buoyant! The service department had vindicated me! I was right, there had indeed been a malfunction! It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve trudged to a service department with trepidation about the legitimacy of my complaint especially when – as was the case today – the alleged problem no longer manifested itself upon my appearance at the reception counter. But today I was acquitted, my suspicion proved to be both reasonable and justified.
The greater absolution is that the concern has been addressed and repaired. Initially I dampened my enthusiasm to tackle the issue because I persisted in imagining it had gone away (because it had in fact temporarily disappeared) or that I would be wiser to wait for it to return (when a real emergency should arise) or that I was being obsessive (because I regularly dote upon even the most trifling blips). But I was spared all those hypotheticals by doing what I have ultimately always done, deal with it (though admittedly I can take my sweet time in doing so). What more than anything prompted an early recognition of this particular bone of contention was our upcoming road trip which will take us beyond immediate resources. The prospect of being stranded with a malfunction didn’t sit well with me.
How much brighter the day shines when its seemingly unrelated features and events fall into place with one another. Their cumulative effect is quite staggering. Yesterday I had downloaded an album, “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90“:
Personnel: Gray Sargent (guitar); Mike Renzi (piano); Harold Jones (drums).Audio Mixers: Dae Bennett; Tom Young .Recording information: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY; The Colosseum, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV.Editor: Dae Bennett.Photographers: Don Hunstein; Myrna Suarez; Mark Seliger; Kevin Mazur; Herman Leonard; Larry Busacca; Noam Galai; Vikas Nambiar; Christopher Boudewyns.Arrangers: Rich Shemaria; Tom Scott.Released in conjunction with an NBC-TV special, 2016’s effusively delivered concert album Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 finds vocalist Tony Bennett marking his 90th birthday with an all-star concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. A lavish event, the concert showcased Bennett performing a handful of his most famous songs, with the legendary singer joined by a bevy of musical guests including Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga, k.d. lang, Kevin Spacey, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Generally speaking, the album is front-loaded with the guest performances and largely consists of each artist doing a rendition of a popular standard Bennett performed and/or recorded at one point or another. We get Bocelli doing “Ave Maria,” lang doing “A Kiss to Build a Dream On,” Michael Bublé doing “The Good Life,” and more. We also get Elton John delivering a thematically fitting version of his own classic “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Particularly engaging are Lady Gaga’s exuberant renditions of “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “La Vie en Rose.” Given her history as a duet partner with Bennett (much like lang), Gaga displays her growing talent as a traditional pop vocalist and proves to be one of the highlights of the evening. Also a highlight is the poignant duet between Bennett and Billy Joel on Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Despite the high caliber of the guest performances, the real focus of the concert is saved for the latter half when Bennett himself takes the stage. Although well past the age that most of his contemporaries retired, Bennett remains a magnetic stage performer with a voice that’s as robust and nuanced as it was in his prime — and perhaps even more full of character. Every time Bennett sings, he delivers a veritable master class on how to sing a jazz standard, and this performance is no exception. Here, we get a handful of some of his best-known numbers, including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “The Best Is Yet to Come,” and more. Ultimately, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 is a joyful birthday fete to Bennett and a heartfelt tribute to his illustrious career. ~ Matt Collar
Music has always moved me. I can be reduced to tears when listening to Luciano Pavarotti singing Giacomo Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma“, or in this case Andrea Bocelli singing the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria” with a choir of seraphic children’s voices. Likewise I am stirred – though not to tears but to inspiration – by energetic jazz and syncopated rhythm. As a wallpaper to my life experience, music is irreplaceable. Sailing along the Island Parkway today – over the surrounding marshes, coves and flatlands – it was a picture of bliss.
Driving a car is for me about the connection to the machine, sensing its performance, not unlike feeling the responsiveness of a fine piano. There is enormous satisfaction in knowing that the parts are moving in concert, an uplifting sensation. I had put down the windows. The wind buffeted the cabin. The air was cool but fresh. There were clouds but the setting sun could be seen through the canopy of trees. I headed to the car wash for the final act of decontamination! I would erase the anomalies of life. This was a fresh start!
Speaking of oddities, I was awoken this morning (and I use the term loosely) at 11:30 am! Hours before, around 8:30 am, I had taken my usual handful of pharmaceuticals (including pain killers) and they appear to have sedated me. Anyway I needed the rest. For the past several days I have been awake – texting or reading stuff on the internet – for hours in the middle of the night, corresponding with friends in New Zealand (they are 18 hours ahead of our time) and my sleepless (and equally vexed) friend back home. I’ve never been a good “sleeper”. I am constantly preoccupied – “ruminating” as I like to say, though “worrying” is probably closer to the truth. But it’s that or collapsing in a drunken stupor (which for years I was accustomed to do). On balance I prefer the authenticity of sobriety to the soporific of booze in spite of the comparative lack of dazzle. Yesterday my manicurist confided to me that at night she regularly takes a glass of wine and two Benadryl to help her sleep. Who is to point the finger? It’s a harmless indulgence for the most part. And there may even be a case in support of getting much needed sleep. Who’s to say?
It won’t last. It never does. Not because it should but because nothing lasts. But that never stops me relishing the moment. I used to torture myself by claiming to be mercurial, a distortion I attributed to people who haven’t the stability of continuity or evenness generally. Then I discovered that no amount of analysis or constancy would improve the condition. Meanwhile it’s better to rejoice in the moment, to soak up the energy, to absorb the colour and the sounds and the waves of Nirvana.