Monday, January 16, 2012

Momentarily Amazed

Baby, I'm a little bit amazed
Last night I was in the kitchen making dinner and listening to music on my iPod, on shuffle as usual. While the stew was simmering, I read the latest film reviews in the Washington Post. In the review of the new Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton feel-God vehicle Joyful Noise, I read the following sentence: “And to ease in non-believers (or those apathetic toward religious ditties), many of the early ballads – Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney – are crowd-pleasers.”

When I read that sentence, the song playing on my iPod was Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney. As there are over 21,000 songs on my iPod, that was quite a ‘Ha!’ moment.

I know a few people who would immediately read more into it than just pure coincidence. A sign of something. Unlike the thousands of other times when I’ve heard a song on my iPod and haven’t come across a mention of that song in whatever I was reading at the same time. Or the several dozen times I’ve heard Maybe I’m Amazed in my life, but wasn’t reading a newspaper article that mentioned the song at the exact same moment.

At the same time, you can’t just ignore such moments because you abhor superstition. “It is wrong… to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences,” Milan Kundera wrote in The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, “but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.” Maybe you’re momentarily amazed, or maybe you’re not. Just for a second or two, I was, and that’s better than another evening when I wasn’t amazed at all. 

5 comments:

AMD said...

But it will be a sign when you read an article in the Washington Post about frogs, and "We All Stand Together" comes on the iPod (especially if, as I suspect, you dont have that song on your iPod).

No Good Boyo said...

It's what Koestler called a "shower of coincidences". Happening all over the place. Once I sober up I'll explain. It's 1441 here. Time, not year.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

AMD - your suspicion is correct- no frogs on my pod. But your scenario has got me thinking about other possible McCartney-related coincidences. The ex-Beatle crashing into my kitchen driving a Land Rover just as 'Helen Wheels' comes on. My uncle Albert coming over with his friend Admiral Halsey just as I'm making a pot of tea (except I don't have an uncle Albert). 'Let 'Em In' playing just as someone rings our doorbell (which has the exact same chime, and starts that song off in my head for hours every time someone comes round). All the members of Wings ringing that same doorbell one night while being hunted down by a police search team...

Boyo, I'll look forward to your explanation upon sobering up, in whichever year that may turn out to be.

Mark Sanderson said...

These moments certainly have the power to spook. Maybe it's a message to jolt you out of your current mind state - don't hang up your boots!

Nathan said...

Nicely put Ian. I'll take momentary amazement over the lack thereof every time, regardless of the source.