|My collector, Ms. Tereshkova, lights the Olympic flame|
One was a carrier of the Olympic flag, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut, who owns one of my sculptures, Song of Another Voice. Then the flag carrier for the Serbian team is a skier currently going to my tiny alma mater, Rocky Mountain College. The third brought in the Swiss team, the gold medalist Simon Ammann, whom I gave my pen to sign autographs after his 2000 win in Salt Lake. Why these inexplicable connections?
If I were a famous person or if the Olympics were happening in Missoula, that might explain it. Still, given that this party is on the other side of the world, I live in Montana, and have been out of the public eye for some years, it makes no sense to me.
I've begun to notice how often I mention to whomever I'm with that some figure who appears in media is someone I've had an association with. This strikes me as a particularly bizarre Forrest Gump kind of phenomenon, one that I notice perhaps several times a year (last time was two months ago when Nelson Mandela died– I have three connections with him.) I can see how any person in the developed world might coincide with historical events maybe two or three times in a lifetime, but two or three times a year? Most of these incidents are not central to historic moments but ancillary to them– as I am myself. Yet the fact that I appear in so many of them points to some odd law of coincidence I will never understand.
It makes me wonder how common this Forrest Gump feeling is. How many people around the world who are not Olympic athletes or presidents of nations or are famous themselves share this experience with me? It strikes me as being the same kind of inexplicable happenstance as the Six Degrees of Separation phenomenon.
It is pretty cool though! [And speaking of Forrest Gump, I was once making a landscape painting when a film crew came along and shot me in the background of a scene in a Tom Hanks film. Not "Gump" but the one about the dog.] I should start keeping track...