Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Synchronicity

by lizard

Synchronicity is an interesting phenomena. From Wikipedia:

The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined as the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships that are not causal in nature. These relationships can manifest themselves as simultaneous occurrences that are meaningfully related.

Synchronistic events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework that encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems that display the synchronicity. The suggestion of a larger framework is essential to satisfy the definition of synchronicity as originally developed by Carl Gustav Jung.

Before I continue, I need to thank frequent 4&20 commenter larry kurtz for being an unwitting instigator of the synchronicity that inspired this post. Though it annoyed me at first, and I’m still a bit unsure what he means by it, with a bit of google sleuthing I at least understand the reference. Here’s an example:

Uzani, his army with fists open. Uzani, his army with fists closed.

Shaka, when the walls fell.

Ultimately what this means is a failure to communicate.

The reference is to a Star Trek episode (the next generation).

The synchronicity occurred today, when I was flipping through a book titled Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making, by John Fox (Putnam Books, 1995). Below the fold is the relevant excerpt I read in the bookstore today.


There is a famous episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “Darmok” where Captain Jean-Luc Picard is beamed down to a planet with a Tamarian named Dathon. Dathon is also a ship’s captain and, like Jean-Luc, is a leader of accomplishment and intelligence. Their goal is to develop bridges of understanding. But there is a real problem. Communication between the two is virtually impossible. Picard’s thinking and speech is straightforward and rational. Dathon, on the other hand, can only think and speak in poetic terms.

When Dathon sees their campfire about to go out, he says something akin to, “Our stars are fading away.” Picard has no idea what Dathon is talking about and is unable to recognize the link between the embers of the campfire and the stars. When Picard also notices the fire dying out and insists plainly that they gather wood, Dathon does not have a clue what Picard means because he is unable to link his inner poetic experience with practical action.

The story of Picard and Dathon is an excellent illustration of the split between the rational, logical mind and the creative, poetic soul. Jean-Luc kept trying to ascertain certain facts that would allow him to proceed logically in solving their dilemma; this only led him to further exasperation. Dathon, on the other hand, became more lonely and withdrawn as time went on. Unable to convey to Jean-Luc the fullness of all that he experienced and felt, he became depressed.

Finally, Picard, with his capacity for openness to new things, began to listen with his intuition. He saw the value and depth of Dathon’s poetic communication. There began to be recognition: Dathon, for his part, saw that there was a way to put his inner world into action. It was through this process of recognition and connection that each became able to decipher the other’s language, and their communication breakdown was bridged. This linking of seemingly different entities is the special, liberating role of metaphor. The making of metaphor opens a window where the inner and outer aspects of our lives can join.

Letting all this percolate for awhile today, it finally started coming into focus. My poetic talents were going to waste because of my earth-hater enabling political engagement of our president and the party he represents. larry makes this very clear:

You and the Northwest Knights should get a room, lizard: hang an effigy of the President, strangle a couple of cats, look at some porn, then pray for forgiveness for squandering your gifts from your creator as the flooding rivers of the Missouri and Mississippi send poison to the Gulf of Mexico…again.

First, this is a flattering statement, because I’m clearly credited for being in possession of supposed “gifts” which I’m allegedly squandering. I guess because I’m not writing verse like this:

Obama does the best he can
against earth-hating republiCANS
who clearly can’t do a thing
but lust for Frodo’s special ring

Second, the “Northwest Knights”. That’s a fair shot. I mean, I did let WIZARD! have his shot, but no one took the bait.

I’ll even offer more proof of my blatant mixing of politics and poetry. No, not always pretty (that was my first post here). Especially as we approach the cruelest month.

Anyway, if I’m to be a good Dathon, I should offer a poem, right? Well here it goes:


Rabbit waits beside the hole
his pocket watch, the time is late
his vest coat buttoned up looks great
(inside yourself is where it goes)

so follow before your time expires
face the fears your mind projects
and gnosis like little stones collect
to spite the Archons who conspire

to keep this world of broken forms
defiled, and with our holy flaw
of being bound by earthly law
means our minds from stars are torn

means to conflict we are born
and must reconcile our thot with flesh
as time keeps inching us toward death
we search for peace inside the storm

—William Skink

  1. Temba, his arms wide. Kiazi’s children, their faces wet. Darmok and Jalad on the ocean. Mirab, with sails unfurled.

  2. larry kurtz


  1. 1 An April Feast Of Poetry « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Synchronicity […]

  2. 2 Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Anticipating April | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Synchronicity […]

  3. 3 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Synchronicity […]

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