S is for Synchronicity, Symbiosis, and Serendipity…

S is for Synchronicity, Symbiosis, and Serendipity … The BIG THREE…


noun \ˌsiŋ-krə-ˈni-sə-tē, ˌsin-\




: the quality or fact of being synchronous


: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung

First Known Use of SYNCHRONICITY

circa 1889


\ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs, -ˌbī-\


Definition of SYMBIOSIS

1: the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms (as in parasitism or commensalism); especially: mutualism

2: a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups) <the symbiosis…between the resident population and the immigrants — John Geipel>





                        See symbiosis defined for English-language learners »

See symbiosis defined for kids »

Examples of SYMBIOSIS

  1. The      bird lives in symbiosis      with the hippopotamus.
  2. Their      professional association was one of symbiosis.


New Latin, from German Symbiose, from Greek symbiōsis state of living together, from symbioun to live together, from symbios living together, from syn- + bios life — more at quick

First Known Use: 1622


noun \ˌser-ən-ˈdi-pə-tē\

Definition of SERENDIPITY

: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also: an instance of this

See serendipity defined for English-language learners »

See serendipity defined for kids »


  1. They found each other by pure serendipity.
  2. As they leapfrog from South Africa to Singapore in search of local delicacies, the authors prove again and again that serendipity is the traveler’s strongest ally: many of their most memorable meals issue from the hands of generous strangers … —Sarah Karnasiewicz, Saveur, June/July 2008
  3. If reporters fail to keep these files, they seldom luck into bigger stories. Their investigative work typically happens only by design—analyzing the news, for instance—not by serendipity. —Michael J. Bugeja, Editor & Publisher, 13 Jan. 2003
  4. A week earlier, the doctor would have had no recourse but to make an incision in the baby’s skin to get to a vein—a precarious option now, since time was running short and it would take nearly half an hour to assemble the necessary equipment. But in an extraordinary bit of serendipity, Hanson had attended a seminar on emergency medical care for children just a week before. —David Ruben, Parenting, December/January 1996
  5. [+]more[-]hide


from its possession by the heroes of the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip

First Known Use: 1754


Where to start, where to start …

I have so many instances of synchronicity with my writing that my writing life has become downright eerie. I mean, really. Did you know I never knew a “Nan” before writing The Fishing Widow? Now I know FIVE of them. Did you know there is a petroglyph in Southeast that illustrates a story similar to what happened to Elizabeth in 1835? I didn’t, either. Did you know about Chinese Door Gods who guard the portal between the worlds and there are two creatures that live at the base of a mountain as a last defense should something evil break through? Me, neither. Characters that I believed were “just these guys” turn out to be anything BUT. Maybe there IS something subconscious and Jungian going around in my brain, but I doubt it. I’ll also refer the reader back to an earlier post about the lack of coincidence in my life … It’s about the Alaska OWL Project and the Bill & Melinda Gates Video, and how just SOMEHOW everything worked out. I mean … it really worked out.  http://www.akmarshall.com/2012/09/21/the-speech-they-never-heard-my-unsaid-remarks-at-the-alaskaowl-sustainability-summit/

I chuckled when I saw “symbiosis” blip across my cell phone screen. “A close union of two dissimilar organisms.” You mean like men and women? You mean like you and me, honey? Tim and I are, in many respects, as different as night and day. “Mom!” I laughed into the phone, “I’m getting MARRIED!” There was a silence and then, “What in the world do you want to do THAT for?” It’s not that my mom is anti-marriage. It’s quite the opposite—she and my dad have been married nearly 63 years (yeah, get your mind around THAT). It’s just that she knew her daughter. Well, knew her daughter when her daughter was in her 20s; not that I was a wild-child or anything…it’s simply that I didn’t want to slow down. “We thank God everyday for Tim.” That’s her new thing to say. He keeps me on the straight and narrow–he keeps me from getting all weird and feral. I make sure he eats and has clean clothes and a decent cholesterol level. We make each other laugh. So far so good for nearly 18 years…

Serendipity was the last word he offered via text message. Serendipity was walking into Cashel Woollens at the bottom of “THE ROCK” [of Cashel] during our last Ireland trip and talking to Inga, an absolutely lovely lady, who pointed us in the direction of Athassel Priory.

Inga gave some of the best directions I’d ever heard in Ireland (especially when it came to the “crazy bridge”), and we had no problem finding the place. We hopped over the stile and crossed the field. The light was dramatic, but it didn’t need to be because THIS PLACE is dramatic enough for any light. It’s enormous and such an impressive ruin that we spent hours exploring it without realizing that hours were passing. Lonely Planet warns visitors that it’s “sufficiently creepy at dusk,” but it wasn’t so much that it was “creepy” as it was evocative. The openings–windows, doors, nooks, crannies, arches–were like an Escher painting. The effigies–the artwork, hidden bits of sculpture and art among the stones, kept us intrigued and looking for more. It’s haunted. Okay, I don’t doubt it, but I don’t think anything “haunting” it would be malicious … it’s a beautiful spot and one is struck by such a sense of peace and awe that, well, it’s hard to put into words, but you show up as one person and leave as someone else for the experience. Hyperbole? Maybe. But, no doubt that you should not fail to show up here and see for yourself. “It’s as impressive as The Rock,” Inga smiled. That was not hyperbole.

Poetry Form: Sapphic Stanza

The Sapphic   Stanza is made up of three unrhymed lines of eleven syllables and one of   five. Each line consists of two trochees, one dactyl and two trochees. This   line is termed a Sapphic.
The (fourth) last line consists of one dactyl and one trochee, and is termed   an Adonic.  (from   http://www.thepoetsgarret.com)

We   two stand approximating night and day

We   set sail among bewildering landmarks

We   share a common soul, cling to common cairns

Drift   through conjoined seas.


2 Replies to “S is for Synchronicity, Symbiosis, and Serendipity…”

  1. Lovely poem! A very informative post, and a great story about a haunted ‘crazy bridge’ – the photo is beautiful. 🙂

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