I’ve experienced some really symbolic and seemingly impossible personal coincidences in the past, but the one that happened recently (4/20/13) really rocked my world. That was a Saturday on which I was working both in the garage and just outside in my backyard, through a roll-up door that faced the backyard, on a woodcarving.
At one point in the early afternoon I stepped into the garage to get a tool, and I happened to see a piece of yellow paper about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide lying directly in the center of the blue rubber mat in front of my work table. It looked familiar even though it was obviously worn with time and the elements, and possibly had been chewed by various insects, as the edges were ragged all the way around, and it was even stained with mildew all over. The paper itself had become almost that of tissue, even though it had once been the consistency of note paper. It had holes in it, and the drawing on it was almost invisible, but I recognized it anyway and picked it up off the floor.
It was one of 3 elements of a design for a T-shirt I had been asked to paint for a friend of mine a little over 20 years ago. I had completed the simple designs, but never got around to painting the shirts. The specific design lying on my garage floor had been missing from my art valise for many years, and I had actually been looking for it for a few months, after coming across the other elements of the design in the valise in the past year. To my knowledge no designs I had ever drawn had ever had any reason whatsovever to spend any time in my garage, any especially not THIS one, since it had been safely stored in my valise long before moving into this house, and I’d never had a reason to get it out and look at it in my garage. Nonetheless, it looked as though it had been somewhere in my garage for many years, and I wondered why it would choose this particular moment to suddenly show up in the direct center of my rubber mat, where I normally stand to work at that table.
I then wondered if the drawing itself, which is a simple series of curved lines intended to represent the profile of a man’s face (easy to paint on a T-shirt), might actually represent ME somehow. I realized at that time that since it was a little after 12:00 in the afternoon, the drawings for the various afternoon games in the Texas Lottery series would be commencing soon, if not at that very moment. I then mused the possibility that one of two three-digit numbers might play in the Texas Pick 3, either one of which I would consider as strong evidence that the fact that I mysteriously found this piece of my own artwork on the floor at approximately the same time as the official time of the afternoon game drawings to be personally significant somehow. The two numbers I had in mind were 417 and 247. I figured if either one of those played, it would be evidence of a DIRECT PERSONAL CONNECTION between myself and that specific lottery game on that date, which I could then take as evidence that it was no accident that I found my artwork lying on the floor at that time. The reason for those specific numbers are as follows: 417 represents my birthday, which was just three days earlier (the date was 4/20), and 247 is my actual trademark, and I have carved an artistic representation of that number into a big piece of mesquite, the photo of which is the SOATE on the home page of this blog, and will also be featured on the cover of my book, “The Coincidence Collector” (duh!), which should be available at Amazon and other outlets in a few weeks. Naturally, I’ll announce that when it actually happens.
I then reminesced about the time period in which I was asked to create this design, and remembered fondly that I had instead created another, and completely different, design for a T-shirt for my own use, and began designing it in the last few months of 1991. It was to be the most intricate design I ever developed for a T-shirt, and it took me a few months to paint it by hand when I finally got started, after creating not only the main design, but two different fonts for the lettering I eventually painted on it, one of which was to be painted on the front of the shirt, in REVERSE MIRROR IMAGE, so that I alone could read it when looking in a mirror while wearing it.
I used the same font on the back side of the shirt, but not in reverse mirror imaging, so that someone behind me could read it. However, the lettering in that specific font didn’t say the same thing as on the front side of the shirt. Instead, it was meant to describe the title and the design on the front of the shirt. It said, “Evolution Into Flight”. Underneath that on the back of the shirt, it said in a completely different font I had also designed, “ARCHAEOPTERYX“. This is the official scientific name for the fossil found in Berlin, Germany, which is widely believed to be the earliest known bird, likely 150 million years old, or thereabout. I’ve always found the fossil to be quite beautiful, and had considered doing my own rendition of it in some sort of artwork for many years, and the T-shirt idea worked for me at that time.
Anyway, since I found that slip of paper in my garage with my drawing for a different T-shirt, one which I never got around to painting, and I wondered if it somehow represented ME, I went and got my ARCHAEOPTERYX T-shirt off the bed where it had been lying since I’d been wearing it regularly the past year or so, and I put it on over the T-shirt I was already wearing.
A couple of hours later I got brave enough to check the Texas Lottery website to see what had played in the afternoon games that day, particularly the Pick 3 and Daily 4. Sure enough, one of the three-digit sequences I had wondered about had indeed played in the Pick 3. It was the representation of my birthday, in the fashion of 417 (4/17).
Naturally, I got on the phone with my “coincidence collector friend” immediately (who also just happens to be Carolyn Vines, the editor of my book), all excited-like and everything, to tell her the weird coincidence that had transpired a little earlier (and maybe really freak her out as well). She was appropriately impressed, of course, but in short order SHE REALLY FREAKED ME OUT!!! You see, while the fact that 417 did indeed play in the Pick 3, the four-digit number that played in the Daily 4 didn’t look familiar to me, so I didn’t bother with it. However, Carolyn insisted that we look at the list of named and numbered asteroids at Wikipedia to see if the name of asteroid #9860 (the number that played in the Daily 4) might be significant somehow. You might imagine my freaked-outed-ness when she told me that the name of that asteroid is ARCHAEOPTERYX!!!!! My favorite shirt, and I was wearing the thing!!!! Honestly, what the heck are you supposed to think when a coincidence that spectacular and downright personal happens??? Really!!!! Not only that, it turns out that the discovery date of asteroid #9860 Archaeopteryx is August 6th of 1991, the approximate time period in which I began designing my Archaeopteryx T-shirt!