Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do you believe in synchronicity?

Whether or not you believe that certain things “are meant to be”, human beings are pattern seekers and there’s a strange sort of comfort in discovering links among apparently random occurrences. Who was it who said, “there are no coincidences?”

So make of this “coincidence” what you will:

One essential piece of equipment for the voyage to Labrador is a good camera. I decided to buy it now so that I can practise and get familiar using it before I get too busy while preparing “Kuan Yin” next spring or, heaven forbid, only open the instruction book once we’re underway.

The camera I chose is the Canon Rebel XTi. Highly recommended and the best I can afford. It’s wonderful. I managed to take a couple of shots of the Great Wall of China from 37,000 feet while flying from Vancouver to Beijing – see my November newsletter on my website at

My boat is named “Kuan Yin” after the Chinese goddess of compassion. She’s revered by Buddhists throughout Asia, especially by fishermen and seafarers for having mercy on them and bringing them safely home. What better protector could one wish for? The goddess, or more properly a bodhisattva, has slightly different names in different countries, for example Kwanseum Posal in Korea, Guan Im in Thailand, Quan Am in Vietnam. In Japan, she is called Kannon.

Imagine my amazement and a wondrous sense of connection when I read that Mr. Goro Yoshida, co-founder of the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, named the camera he invented (the first 35mm focal-plane shutter camera in Japan) the Kwanon – later anglicised to Canon – in honour of the goddess Kuan Yin.

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