Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Duality. Synchronicity. And Spotlights.

Microcosmos, originally uploaded by askthepixel.

The beginning

I mentioned ages ago that my boyfriend and I originally met on a tram. This is not technically true. We saw each other on the tram. We both happened to get off at Federation Square. As we both walked along Swanston St he casually turned to me and said, 'How are you going?'

It was in such a casual way I assumed I must know him already. I turned and realised I didn't. 'Oh! I'm fine, how are you?'

We chatted about how busy it was in the city due to the Commonwealth Games and when we got to the corner of Little Collins st (a few blocks away) I said, 'Ok well I'm going down here so see you later,' and turned away.

'Hey,' he said. I turned back. 'Do you want to go for a drink sometime?'

'Oh? Ok.'

I sent a text message to numerous friends instantly, 'Some random guy just asked me out on the street. I think he was cute. I said yes!'

So that was how it began.

A few weeks ago Laurence and I were heading out to dinner in the city. He was running a bit late and so was I and I didn't think anything of it when he sent a message saying 'can you just meet me at the corner of Swanston and Little Collins'.

You probably know what happened next.

So we got there and chatted about the day. I had bought myself a necklace (go sportsgirl) and that created a nice segue for Laurence who had also bought me a necklace ... he put it on. And asked me to marry him!!! And I said yes!

The fact we then went straight to a shoe store to replace the shoes I was wearing for the first time as both heel tips had fallen off only added to the charm of the night.

It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect.

We both had the most exciting evening ever, beaming, drinking moet, ringing our families. We had a reservation at il bacaro, our favourite restaurant and when the maitre de overhead me telling my sister (she screamed!) there was more French champagne. We could barely eat and our faces are completely illuminated in the photos we have of the night. The waiters kept commenting on how happy we looked.

So. Much. Joy!!!

This is not the end of my story.

Two days later we were to drop our friend at the airport. We'd agreed to go to a cafe nearby to us for breakfast first and when Laurence did a u-turn in the opposite direction I reminded him of our plan.

'No' he said, decisively. 'We're going to Albert Park.' Laurence kind of loves Albert Park but it is unlike him to override the opinion of two other people.

As we drove there we passed a tram stop. An older man had clearly just collapsed and passersby were trying to assist. We pulled over. I don't know how this happened but somehow we ended up in the centre of it. By coincidence, I had just done my CPR update two weeks previously.

Like most people, I never thought I'd use it.

We did all the checks. No breathing. No heart rate that we could detect. He was already quite blue. I started compressions and there was some kind of sign of life. We put him back in recovery. I somehow then ended up on the phone. Someone had called 000 but was getting frustrated. It was all kind of hysterical.

The lady on the phone snapped me back into line and from there it was all 'you need to take control, listen to me, say this, tell them to do that, check this'. Another guy had come along and did the CPR and Laurence held the man's head and later told me he was saying prayers for him and doing his best interpretation of the last rites (he is Catholic).

This went on for twenty minutes. Finally two ambulances and a fire truck arrived and then there was defibrilation, oxygen, machines, adrenaline, everything. After twenty minutes more we had to leave - there was certainly nothing further we could do and we needed to get to the airport.

I would like to tell you there's a happy end to the story.

And we all lived happily ever after.

That is not what happened. The man died.

So far I've gone from laughing to crying in this blog post, hopefully you're faring better than me!

I want to tell you what we learnt.

The same force that created that happy synchronous event of Laurence and I meeting is the same force that brought us to that man. I believe it was his time to leave this lifetime. I believe we were meant to be there. Doing what we did but also bringing our energy to the situation.

We later found out the man was Italian (Laurence's father is Italian) and Catholic.

We refuse to see the event as a bad thing or unlucky or anything else. To torture ourselves with what ifs. If it were meant to be different, it would have been. It was enormously distressing but we talk about it, and intend to use the experience positively and to celebrate the joy of life when we can. As we all know through our various different experiences, we never know what's around the corner.

I have learnt it is possible to hold great joy and sadness in your heart at the same time. The sadness did not dim the joy but we did need to move through it, and spoke to many people to help this process.

That weekend it was like life turned the spotlight on full beam and there it was, the duality of life.

Synchronicity surrounds us if we care to pay attention

Soon after this all happened, I bought a new book, Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss. I truly believe that life brings the experiences and the support we need at the time we need it. She explains her belief about the way life and synchronicity work and it closely reflects my own:

Each of us is meant to follow a particular path that reveals itself to us.

We are meant to treat our life as a journey, and at each step along that journey, we are meant to notice what is around us and act on opportunities that present themselves.

How we act - the decisions we make when we face opportunities or challenges - helps us to develop inner strength. This is how we become empowered human beings.

If we ignore everything around us, if we cover over our senses with a cloud of indifference, we'll miss the coincidences and synchronicities that signal where we are to go and what we are to do.

We have to recognise, accept and respond gratefully to these synchronicities. Becoming conscious of help that we are offered and willing to use it increases our power.

What about you, is there anything you might take from this story?


  1. Plenty. Like you, I believe very strongly in the idea that life presents us with opportunities/experiences and it us up to us to run with them when it does so. I follow my gut when it comes to decisions, and usually, my gut is right. Thanks so much for sharing your story with your readers; I got a lot our of this today- maybe synchronicity sent me here!

  2. Thank you Jenny. It was lovely to receive your comment and I'm so pleased you got something out of this. Of course it's synchronicity! :)

  3. Thankyou for sharing your story of your exciting engagement and then the confusion and sadness of the man's death.
    Certainly the extreme of highs and lows in life.
    I appreciate the way you have been able to make sense of it all and move on to enjoy the next happy phase in your life. Wedding plans!!

  4. Ahh beautiful post Kerry. Got me teary, from both the happy and sad events that took place so close together! Congratulations to such a lovely couple. x

  5. What a beautiful, meaningful way to propose! I certainly think that each person is to follow a path to reveal themselves. Often you need to allow yourself time and space to actually see what you can take from your experiences which you've done here. I like the way you presented a post that showed that life isn't all rosy (even in some of the best moments of your life), but it's what you make of it. Nice...

  6. What a touching story Kerry - beautifully showing how life can be so beautiful, but also so sad. You seem to be very open to all experiences and eager to learn from everything, the good and the not so good - that is really inspiring.

    My favourite line was:

    "It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect."

    Love it!

    Congratulations on getting engaged - as a newly engaged person myself I can tell you it's fabulous :)