To call something a coincidence is no more to explain it than to use the term Carl Jung made widespread, synchronicity. To name something is not to explain it. Call it simultaneity. Who cares? It's comparable to saying that the reason something falls to earth is "gravity". Good. Now explain gravity. I have seen so much "coincidence" that at times it has become eerie. Coincidence is by no means an obsession, but it certainly intrigues me.

At the same time, I have an enduring fascination with the unfolding and sequencing of events. Sometimes they occur with a singular stately pace that leaves an illusion of predestination. This person introduced you to that person, who recommended this connection, who suggested that you meet someone else, which led to... sometimes triumph, sometimes disaster.

Who among us with any sense of curiosity hasn't wondered whether we do or do not have free will? The belief that we do not underlies the thinking of Islam. The belief that we do underlies democracy and the idea of moral responsability. The contradiction lies not in the answers but in the question itself. Unless there are some remarkable medical breakthroughs, and soon, few among us will be here a hundred years from now. And a hundred years from now, someone is going to be able to to look up the date of your death or mine. Since the date of your death is fixed as of a hundred years from now, it is inexcapably fixed as of now. The Muslims have it wrong. So do we. For there is no answer to that question - the question is implicity erroneous, a trick of our limited intelligence.

Gertrude Stein is purported to have said on her deathbed, "What is the answer?" and closed her eyes. She opened them again and said, "No, what is the question?" A rose is a rose is a rose is not as shallow as it sounds.

Gene Lees, já no prefácio desse livro, comentando seu espanto por ter cruzado com tanta gente legal na vida.

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