When I first set up my site, I wanted to use a picture I had taken of Kuan Yin, a statuette of the “female Buddha” I’d brought home from China last spring. Kuan Yin sits in my home against a backdrop of leaves, guarded by temple guardians, and illuminated by a lamp with a base on which horses galloping through the mist are painted. But my photo of Kuan Yin was too big, and every time it was cropped, she ended up headless. Finally, after multiple attempts to find suitable photos, I discovered that a picture of my daughter’s dog was cropped by the program in an interesting way, revealing only a fragment of her face, her tiny button nose and a single eye. At that point I decided to incorporate her into my site because every time she snuggles on my lap or follows me from room to room I’m reminded of the great mystery of life.
Bridgey arrived in our household as the result of an act of supreme synchronicity, an extraordinay coincidence that makes her special to me in a way more profound than had she been just any dog. I had separated from my ex-husband at the time Bridgey showed up, and had just found my own little place, a studio apartment. My dog, a little Jack Russell given to me by a good friend, had been sleeping with my daughter for several years because my husband didn’t like her in the bed. But I wanted my dog for myself, because I was going to be living alone, and dogs have always been an important part of my life — a “curl up in bed at my feet” part of my life. But I was concerned about taking Sadie away from my daughter, who had suffered from night terrors till the dog moved in with her. So I stood in the kitchen of a friend’s house, and told him that I wanted to find Zeke her own little dog. Then I described the dog. I wanted to find a shaggy little terrier-like female mutt dog, but without the terrier personality. I wanted a mellow and forgiving and totally pliant dog who would worship Zeke, love kids, and never get into fights or bite. I wanted the dog to be a little smaller than Sadie, for ultimate “portability.” In my head I had a picture of the dog, a scruffy, funky little dog with shaggy hair and round dark eyes. A few minutes later I left my friend’s house to head downtown to meet my daughter and her father. On the way, “my” dog ran into the street in front of my car. My vision. My scruffy mutt terrier-like puppy creature. I slammed on the brakes, then began looking for a safe place to park. It took me about 15 minutes to find her. A couple had picked her up and when they saw my frantic face they brought her over to me. “Yours?” they asked. I shook my head. “Do you want her?” they asked. I nodded. They handed her to me. She was shivering, but when I held her close, she licked my hand and looked up at me with adoring, sweet eyes.
I was late to the cafe. My daughter saw me and came storming over, accusatory and frustrated at my tardiness. “Look what I found,” I said, and I took my coat off and uncovered the dog in my arms. I’ll never forget Zeke’s face, or Bridgey’s. They fell in love instantly. Of course we made an effort to look for her owners, although she didn’t have a collar and tags. We put an ad on the radio, checked the pound records, looked for flyers on lampposts. No one claimed her, and so she became part of our household–Bridgey, my daughter’s devoted companion. I will never understand how I could have so perfectly described her to my friend, how I could have envisioned her as I spoke, and how she could have appeared in front of me five minutes later. Life is a mystery, a place of impossibility and beauty. Other synchronous events, other strange and unanswerable mysteries, have punctuated my life. One, most significant, involved my mother’s death. But I will save that for another entry. So my answer to the question do I belive in synchronicity is that I believe in something far larger and more powerful than we are. Some call it God, some Allah, some Shiva, or Vishnu, or the Goddess. It is pure mystery, too vast for our puny brains to comprehend, and in rare moments we open our eyes to it and Know. At times, inexplicable events give hints of its existence. Some people, like my father, would scoff and call it stupid superstition. But he won’t go to Hell for not believing. I don’t believe in that kind of God or in the Heaven/Hell dichotemy. I do believe that what we cannot prove exists, and that Bridgey is “proof” enough for me.