Kurt Vonnegut self-portrait
Synchronicities can happen anywhere, anytime, even when waiting out a major storm. As Hurricane Matthew approached, we kept the Weather Channel on, listened and occasionally watched the latest updates. Our house was shuttered and Trish and I were settled in with two dogs and three cats. Stuck inside, I took the opportunity to organize some of our books that were piled here and there, and see if I could find shelf space or set some aside for recycling.
I noticed two books separate from the others, one atop the other. One was The Dreaming Universe, by Fred Alan Wolf. The other was Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country. I considered putting Wolf’s book in a bag for Goodwill, but noticed there were several paper tabs marking various pages. So, curious, I open the book to one of them, glanced down the page and my gaze stopped on the phrase… ’Vonnegut’s experience.’
That seemed like an interesting coincidence since Vonnegut’s autobiographical book had been resting atop Wolf’s dream tome. So I backtracked a few paragraphs to find what Vonnegut’s experience was about.
The story comes from a book on dreams in which Alan Vaughan, one of the co-authors, wrote that he had watched an interview on TV with Vonnegut and a few nights later dreamed of Vonnegut. He wondered if the dream meant anything to Vonnegut, so the next morning, March 13, 1970, he wrote him.
“You appeared in a dream I had this morning. We were in a house full of children. You were planning to leave soon on a trip. Then you mentioned that you were moving to an island name Jerome. As far as I know, there is no such place, so perhaps the name Jerome or initial ‘J’ has some related meaning.”
Vonnegut wrote back a couple of weeks later. “Not bad. On the night of your dream, I had dinner with Jerome B. (an author of children’s books), and we talked about a trip I made three days later to an island named England.”
Here’s what Wolf had to say about the exchange about the dream. “Clearly there was a connection between Vaughan’s dream and Vonnegut’s experience, all happening the same night, although it is probable that the discussion between Vonnegut and his friend Jerome took place before the dream. But the connection cannot be considered to be causal or local since there was no signal between the two events. One would have to consider this a spontaneous telepathic dream containing the fact of the conversation mixed in a capricious manner, typical of such dreams.”
You could call it telepathic, yes, but also synchronicity.
I was going to end the post there, but as I wrote Wolf’s name in the title, I suddenly realized there was yet another synchronicity here. Just before I took on the book organizing task, I’d been working on a chapter on shamanism for a work in progress on spirit contact. Specifically, I was writing about the meaning of power animals that can appear in shamanic journeys. I looked back to where I’d stopped and yes, I’d left off with Wolf. For the record, some of the attributes of Wolf Medicine are communication, working in harmony, and sharing knowledge in a structured way.
Oddly enough, in 2009 we wrote another post here about synchronicity involving Alan Vaughan and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Interestingly, Even though it’s a completely different story, it also involved Vaughan writing a letter to Vonnegut and in that instance Vonnegut had written back about being surrounded by children. He and his wife had adopted six children all at once after their parents had both died – the late mother was Vonnegut’s sister.