A serendipitous life is like an “allemande left.”
In square dance terms, this call requires each dancer to take the other’s hand, making it easier to enter and exit the movement. Serendipitous dancers move freely in life, acknowledging that all things work together like an “allemande left” to allow them to take take hold of and to learn from the fortunate accidents they encounter.
A few weeks ago, I had a creative dream. When I woke up, song lyrics trickled in my head like a gentle stream. But one word spewed forth like the spring–Celie.
Never heard it–at least, so I thought.
I wrote down the lyrics but changed the name to Cecilia, which is what I thought my mind was probably trying to dream. Hey, it worked for Paul Simon.
Of course, my OCD nature compelled me to research the name’s meaning. Historically, Cecilia was the patroness of music because when she was dying she sang to God. A little more research revealed the name’s meaning refers to “a way for the blind.” Hmm. Music? A way for the blind? Yes. And, of course, “blind” can be interpreted on a myriad of levels.
I was so pumped. What a very cool dream. But one thing kept nagging at me. I didn’t dream the name “Cecilia.” I dreamed “Celie.” Once again, I felt compelled to grasp the hand before me and examine the next clue to find out why I dreamed this song.
Turns out Celie is derived from Cecilia. I don’t want to give away my song ideas, but I wanted the song to have a Delta feel about it. As most of you know, I love, love, love the blues, so I built the song around a mysterious woman named Celie who could read people.
A little more research revealed the French origins of the name. Okay. Louisiana. That works. And according to my Internet “baby names” search, people with the name “Celie” are often great analyzers or mystics.
At this point, I had the whole song written with multiple layers of meaning. I thought I was finished, but then I found one more detail that put the icing on my joconde. (So, I’m trying to be clever here. Get it? For those of you who don’t know, a joconde is a French opera cake. It will make even more sense when you read the next couple of sentences.)
So here’s the missing link (literally) to today’s serendipitous story.
I’m a fan of the show Nashville. I serendipitously showed up at a taping and was an extra. I serendipitously met one of the stars at the Aerosmith concert. My favorite singer on the show is Clare Bowen, who plays Juliet. While I was creeping my Facebook newsfeed, I found a post from my favorite shop, the upscale Two Old Hippies in the REAL downtown Nashville.
(Sidebar: I love Nashville, the city. I really like to visit Two Old Hippies. It’s fun to browse for, not just merchandise, but also details and vibes for stories and songs.)
Back to story, the post revealed that Clare Bowen had just bought the last pair of Liberty fringe boots, the same pair of boots I admired but could not purchase. The Two Old Hippies post included a video clip of Clare wearing the boots on The View with Whoopie Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd.
I don’t always click on links, but, hey. I like Two Old Hippies. I like Clare Bowen. And I like the boots. I clicked on it.
(Another sidebar…I had the opportunity to interview Sherri Shepherd several years ago. What a lovely lady! Her presence in this story just makes me smile. Squirrel! Yes, I know. I’m a little spastic.)
Back to the story…again.
Anyway, when they interviewed Clare Bowen, the ladies of The View revealed that the beautifully Southern singer was actually from Australia.
And she was a trained opera singer. (Remember when I made the witty remark about the joconde?) Clare had to learn country. And she had to learn Southern.
Turns out Clare Bowen herself was having a serendipitous moment on the show.
She couldn’t tell her own story without revealing how a song about Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Miss Celie in The Color Purple, changed her life.
(Sidebar Number Three…Miss Celie! My dream! Maybe I had buried that little detail far back in my brain and my subconscious was trying to help me dig it out. We can’t even comprehend how God designed our brains. We think we know so much.)
“Miss Celie’s Blues” opened the door to a new understanding of music for Clare Bowen. She found freedom in the blues. She loved the bluesy feel of the song.
The blues. Miss Celie’s blues. Sister Celie’s blues. Of course! THE BLUES!
Clare Bowen’s first real taste of the blues change her life and brought her to Nashville. How serendipitous.
And, had I not been sick for seven days with what I am sure is the plague, I would have never have had to leave work today to go to the doctor. And if I did not receive the dreaded shots, I would not have had to go home instead of back to work.
Because I came home when I did, I serendipitously read the Two Old Hippies / Bowen post as it was the first to pop up on my Facebook feed.
Now I know how Clare Bowen, Two Old Hippies, the show Nashville, Liberty fringe cowboy boots, Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, the plague, and THE BLUES worked together today to create my tailor-made serendipitous story.
“Allemande left” everyone.