Posted on October 19, 2006
I’m a huge fan of synchronicity. (Here’s a link to a wacky new age definition of the idea.) Another, more common synch is Pink Floyd and the Wizard of Oz, which is a decent example of a movie synch. Basically, you take one thing, then you take another, unrelated, but abstractly similar thing and you put them together and out comes some 3rd and strangely profound thing. Sometimes these synchs written off as coincidence and other times worshipped as miracles. Usually they just make people believe – however fleetingly – in ‘magic.’
The Toynbee tiles are sort of like an axle from which an infinite number of synchronicities are attached. A huge part of my interest in the tiles is the wholly unexplainable set of coincidences and strange events associated with their research. The odd thing is, as strange and improbably as many of these coincidences are, none of them really means anything. But take all these meaningless improbabilities and put them all together and they move the research in the right direction.
Here’s a small, recent example. Justin Duerr, the world’s preeminent tile fan and expert, is also an enormous admirer of Kathy Change. His appreciation of her is near to the level of interest that he has for the tiles. Recently, a suspect emerged as the second, new-school tiler. He’s a Philly artist who works with stencils. Some of his work is very similar to the tiles. He was introduced to the Resurrect Dead message board by a poster who presented a piece of his, Portrait of Kathy Change. (pictured)
But none of this meant anything. The artist found out about the message board discussion and posted. Although he knows of the tiles, he’s not the new-school tiler. But he did go ahead to point out that Arnold Toynbee died on 10/22/75. Kathy Change died on 10/22/96. Aside from these 2 things, he himself was born on 10/14/75, or just 8 days before Toynbee’s death.
In case you didn’t pick this up, the Toynbee/Change memorial days, (31, 10) are this Sunday. And just to throw in an extra piece that you’ll have to take my word on, the Toynbee idea, the inspiration for the tiles in the mind of the tiler was discovered at almost precisely the time of my own birth.
None of this means anything. Somehow though, this information is a step in the right direction.