The Synchronous Trail
Here’s a little history about the book.
I finished a draft fifteen years ago, then edited and updated the text several times. The book explores powerful coincidences, and how they can have a major impact on our lives. It’s about a search throughout the world for why and how ‘synchronous events’ – as psychoanalyst Carl Jung called them – occur.
This was a tough book to write. Why? Delays and uncertainty. At the beginning I had no idea why some events can knock life off its trajectory or open our minds to view reality in a different way. This meant that writing the book was like making a movie before the screenplay is finished, or constructing a building before the blueprints are ready. There was also the added complication of not knowing if I would ever conclude why these ‘synchronous’ situations impact us. In other words – why start a book if there might be no ending?
I originally wanted the structure to resemble that of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig – to provide an engaging, entertaining, simple story. Originally, this ‘story’ was going to revolve around my experience of building rural water pipelines in Malawi. But after beginning to write in Africa, I realized that synchronous events were still a mystery. In other words, I could start the story, but not finish. So I scrapped the idea and instead wrote Water and Witchcraft -Three Years in Malawi – a memoir about colorful years spent in that country.
Eventually the puzzle unraveled. I learned powerful reasons why synchronous events can impact our lives. When I was finally ready to assemble this book, an excruciating task lay ahead: gathering and dissecting past writings and journal entries and weaving these into something that resembled a coherent whole (not as coherent as I would like). This involved paring down often intricate and complex events into simple scenes to provide a clear and simple narrative. The years rolled by as this came together. Finally, I assembled the story as a travelogue – where colors, scents, sounds, and imagery from multiple geographies help ground the context of each chapter.
The resulting book is a journey of discovery about how life is far more pliable than most of us realize. Incidentally – my other book titled Synchronicity as Signpost is just the distillate of lessons learned while writing The Synchronous Trail. The difference between these two books – Trail and Signpost – is that between writing the two, I realized that sometimes you just have to relax, and listen to what life is trying to tell you.
I hope you enjoy.