“K” is for Kismet

Are we fated to meet someone, be somewhere, and encounter something at just the right moment in time?

I don’t know.

In many ways, I prefer the notion and unexpected delight that life is random, a divine collision, an exquisite coincidence that happens to us by a non-patterned chance.

And yet, I’ve had so many strange things happen in my life, I wonder.

Last night, I had a dream of the “womb song” I sang to my baby (now sixteen) when he was in utero. In womb song theory, the mother-to-be sings a particular tune to her unborn child once the faculty of hearing has been fully developed and, in so doing, creates a delightful connection between his world of enclosure and the world at large, a sort of soothing and pleasant bridge between the two. And yes, I live in California, and yes, I wore sandals, love beads and had a Buddhist doula. Not.

Was it fate or the quality of my singing voice that, when he was born, he hated the womb song and would cry immediately whenever I began to sing it? In fact, though that song is still stuck in my head, I hate it, too, in part because of the disappointment tied to it. Does the idea of kismet set up expectations and thereby lead us to disappointment? I would say, yes, sometimes it does. Maybe sometimes, all we can say is “We’ll always have Paris”.


Kismet suggests a pattern, and the human mind loves patterns and has a tendency to see them even where they don’t exist. That’s why when you look into a dark room; your mind can perceive a man who isn’t there from an arrangement of odd shadows. Our brain spots this as data and slaps a label on it to give it meaning.

I’m not sure if life is more or less divine by virtue of a pattern. Finding a manifestation of the divine in the nonplan, the random, the moment something odd and remarkable happens, that which defies logical explanation, is easy to do. When my cat brought home the heart of a squirrel and left it on my husband’s pillow on his birthday, did this signal that the cat knew it was a special occasion? Did he sense something was going on or was this really just a fabulous coincidence that held us in awe and laughter?

I don’t know. I am much more the type of person who thinks kismet is real only by self-declaration and so yes, the cat knew it was a birthday and brought the right gift.

Screenshot 2014-04-12 11.15.59

8 Replies to ““K” is for Kismet”

  1. As always a quirky look at a topic. Yes, I have a faint belief that some things happen by kismet or one of the other words used to define the I-can’t-come-up-with-any-other-reasonable-explanation events. I do love that there remains mysteries in life.

  2. You have one smart cat! And the picture that accompanies your post is priceless. I agree with what Linda said. Many are the mysteries of life. And God certainly has a sense of humor.

  3. Like an actual squirrel heart? From a dead squirrel? Ewww…..

    I like the idea behind the womb song (never heard of this), but I wonder why he didn’t like it when he was born? I wonder if most babies actually like it or if it makes no difference at all or if most hate it… you have me curious now. 🙂

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