By Sheila Kuehl
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “coincidence” as: 1. The act or condition of coinciding. 2. The occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.
Notice that the primary definition does not include the word “accident.”
Einstein attributed such apparent synchronicity to a higher power, saying, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” In Othello, Shakespeare thought these connections a simple construction of the mind, saying, “Trifles light as air are to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ.”
Science fiction writers, who often create whole new worlds in order to honestly assess the deficiencies and dangers of the “real” one, devote a lot of ink to speculating on events that coincide and whether such connections may have been intended. In fantasist Emma Bull’s opinion, “Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys.”