Jul 222012

Just look up “synchronistic” on google, and you will find a myriad of interpretations. But from inside a meditative practice, or from the point of view of dreamwork Jungian-style, we learn to pay attention when things line up. I maintain that the universe is perfect in every moment, and we are fortunate when we get to glimpse the perfection. I had one of those moments tonight.

So…. I stop at the Shell station on the Miracle Mile in San Rafael to gas up, and there is a lovingly-restored Ford F100 pickup nearby, perhaps a 1969 or 1970 model, and the guy is talking on his cell phone, trying things under the hood. Clearly, A Problem Is At Hand.

I wander over after filling my (hot-rodded, unassuming) BMW sedan with gas, and he tells me the story. He’s changed some parts, replaced the starter, and now…the starter is stuck ON, spinning helplessly. He has the battery cable disconnected (sensible!) and is trying to figure out how to get home to Inverness, out on Point Reyes. He thinks his ignition switch has gone bad, which is not a bad hypothesis for a 40+ year-old truck!

We check out the switch, which looks fine. I can pull the connections from the back, they look clean. And I take a good look under the hood, and realize his truck is old enough to have a SEPARATE solenoid switch from the starter. It’s mounted right up on the side of the engine compartment, and he says he just replaced it. Hmm.

The fact is, a stuck starter is caused when the solenoid is switched on, and it could be the ignition switch, or the solenoid itself. Solenoids can stick because they conduct a lot of electrical current, and the contacts can weld together for short periods of time. I only know this because I’m old enough…it used to happen on British sports cars from the 1960’s (don’t ask me how I know 🙂 Modern cars rarely do this, as the metallurgy of the parts has improved.

So…. I ask him if he has a hammer, which he does. You know the joke, right? To a child with a hammer, everything looks like a nail? I walk around to the engine, take one carefully-measured-but-serious whack on the solenoid, and ask him to try it again. He reconnects the battery. Lo and behold, the starter no longer spins out of control, and, with a turn of the ignition key, the truck fires up.

This is one of those magical “guy” moments. I feel so good about myself inside, it’s intoxicating. But it’s really not all about me, is it? I am fortunate to participate in one of those moments of perfection, where I decided to stop for gas, and had the bravery to ask a fellow traveller if I could help. I could. The universe is perfect. He is on his way home to the wilds of west Marin, and I feel…I feel…connected to the perfection. And happy. And smug that I happened to know exactly what to do. I’m giving myself a few minutes to enjoy the sensation, and pretend that it was all about me.

Which of course, it was not. Just perfection in operation.

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