We had some friends from Thailand drop in this morning. Wippy and Malida worked at the same hospital in Ubon Ratchathani for 11 years. Wippy's husband, David, is from New York, but they both now live in Bangkok. David is a photographer--a really good one. They are in California for a few days visiting and we took them out to lunch at the Korea bbq.
Malida and her friend spent the entire time talking and catching up. They hadn't seen each other for about 6 years. The interesting thing about it is that when they were in Thailand, they were more acquaintances then friends. Wippy worked in payroll, and Malida worked in dialysis and the ICU. They mostly knew each other from hospital events and from saying hi in the halls. I thought it was interesting how drawn to each other they were today. Perhaps it is the circumstances.
In thailand they were just two people who knew each other, surrounded by other people who knew them. Nothing special. But when they meet here, they are two people who share a connection, but absent all the other people who also share that connection. I have seen this before. One time I was at a cardiology conference out of town and happened to see one person I knew--one of the hospital cardiologists. I said hi to him and we ended up sitting together and going to lunch. I was the only person he knew there. If we had been in our hospital, it never would have happened. I'm sure there are probably all sorts of papers written about this, whatever it is. I don't feel like reading them. I just think it is an interesting phenomenon.
While Malida and Wippy talked about whatever they were talking about, David and I talked about travel and photography. He's been all over, and sometimes leads photo tours in Southeast Asia, something I would like to do one day. It was fun to spend the time talking with someone who I had a lot to talk about with.
He told me that last night they stayed with a friend in Davis, which is the university town outside of Sacramento. The friend in Davis is also a photographer, and happens to be someone I know of. I attended a couple of photo seminars with him a while back. I don't think we have ever met, but I did know his name.
This evening I looked at David's facebook page and was surprised to see we have two friends in common (besides the thai connections). One of those friends is a guy named Bruce Barone. He used to write here as mylastsigh, and I think he had another journal even before that one. Bruce is also a photographer.
What is interesting about this is not that we know people in common (although that in itself is interesting). It's this--Bruce was one of my first LJ friends and the person who inspired me to first pick up a camera. He posted some remarkable photographs here, and I remember looking at one in particular of a snowy day in the Berkshires that made me think about wanting to be able to photograph things and post them in my LJ. I bought my first digital camera about a week later.
I don't think of these things as coincidences anymore. I see them as little gifts of connection, and I anticipate them. I remember sitting in a hotel room about 8 years ago and having a very unexpected phrase pop up in my head--Something wonderful is going to happen. Ever since then I've kept my eyes open. I haven't been disappointed.