The music, fashion and now financial services mogul and philanthropist Russell Simmons came to my yoga studio last night. To be fair, perhaps I went to his yoga studio. But I digress. After class, I stopped in the studio’s vegan café for a bit of dinner. As I tucked into a surprisingly delicious and pleasantly spicy daal soup, he walked in with a companion. He did not disappoint–sporting his characteristic Yankees cap and pair of Adidas. I appreciate those familiar elements of his look, but what really does it for me is the whimsy of an exquisitely tailored suit coupled with a dope pair of kicks.
There was a part of me that wanted to approach him and tell him about this blog. It whispered encouraging words to me, coaxing me with the thought that he would understand this small journey I’ve created for myself. “Look at his tweets,” it said. “A man who tweets about enlightenment and the divine and quotes yogis and stuff totally gets it.”
I cast a few shy and furtive glances over my massive bowl of quinoa and kale in his direction. The woman with him was exceptionally stylish and utterly normal in a chic sort of way, all at the same time. Naturally, my confidence waned. That sort of woman is kryptonite to the rest of us. Then he asked one of the servers: “where are you from, man?” His voice had that pleasant tone of the spiritually-inclined, with the unmistakable New York accent layered underneath. As a Bronx native I appreciated the accent. But his voice, like his fashion, was made all the more cool by way of funky juxtaposition.
In the end, the “unflappable New Yorker who’s unfazed by celebrity” part of me won—but not by much. I didn’t go up to Mr. Simmons—I was content to have had my chance sighting of someone whose entrepreneurial pursuits and devotion to meditation I’ve admired for some time. But, there was another reason to cherish this small moment. My belief in the existence of mere coincidence is fading. Perhaps coincidences are small miracles—brief conversations between your psyche and the swirling flow of the universe. I’m taking my small miracle to be a blessing of sorts for this project. Amen.
Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. (Albert Einstein, The World As I See It)