Monday, May 21, 2007

Strange coincidences

I have loved this quote since I first saw it on a greeting card in the early 1970s:
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really merely commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the planning, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chain of events, working through generations and leading to the most outré results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable."

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), English author. Sherlock Holmes to Watson, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, "A Case of Identity" (1892).
I shared the quote recently with a friend whose life had taken an amazing and wonderful, almost unbelievable happy turn, at a time when she was in need of good fortune. I found the quote easily on the Internet and e-mailed it to her. I remembered the card as having an illustration of Peter Pan and Wendy-like characters, hand-in-hand, flying over London. Imagine my surprise when I recently found the greeting card when I reorganized my office:


In case you can't see the illustration clearly, it is a drawing of a monkey playing the cello by candlelight to an audience of large birds: herons, dodos, penguins, flamingos, pelicans, etc. It is a much more an Alice-in-Wonderland theme than a Sherlock Holmes theme, but then again, this card was published in 1970, and it reflects the psychedelic times. It is most amusing to see the cello there, predating my obsession with the instrument by almost 30 years. The cello has five strings and four pegs. I am going to ignore that for now. As for the monkey and the birds, my father used to call me Marilyn Monkey, and I am fond of drawing birds.


I am not sure how they all go together (in the absence of psychedelics), but it was fun to find the card again. I still love the quotation. I still haven't read the story the quotation is taken from.

1 comment:

Marisa said...

Synchronicity. Beshert.Destined. Fated. Meant to be.