A Van Gogh!

A Van Gogh!
From the artists at ArtWorks945

Friday, July 8, 2011


Very shortly after deciding to auction off Falling Down Man and donate money from the sale to a homeless shelter, I had the most remarkable stroke of luck.

As I was walking to a local art gallery that is framing a painting for me I ran across my friend Chris Biby, who was talking to a friend of his, Brian, whom I had not yet met.

I had a lovely conversation with Brian. I learned among other things that he had been a student where I now teach and that he is a writer. Eventually, conversation turned toward his wife, Tyler, who, it turns out is the director of an art gallery for the homeless in Charlotte.

I really, truly at that moment couldn’t believe my luck. What better organization could I hope to donate money to from the sale of Charlie’s painting than one that is an art gallery for the homeless?

So I asked Brian for his wife’s e-mail address, contacted her and have arranged to meet with her on Tuesday of next week. I quite simply cannot wait. It looks like an incredible organization. It is called Arts945, which is part of a larger organization devoted to homelessness called the Urban Ministry Center.

Here is a link:


I must admit that events like this always have a peculiar effect on me. I can’t help but start thinking about the nature of coincidence. Was it a mere coincidence that I ran into the husband of the director of a gallery for the homeless just moments after making a decision that required me to find just such a person? Or was it…I can barely bring myself to say this…part of a plan? Or, just to play the part of a philosopher, is it possible that the dichotomy I have just drawn is a false one and that there are perhaps other options -- is it possible that the meeting was neither mere coincidence nor part of a plan?

I usually try to avoid asking those sorts of questions, since I have found that pursuing them too seriously can make you do crazy things like go to graduate school in philosophy. But despite my best efforts, I can’t quite seem to shake them in this case.

I mean, what the fuck?

Really, Universe, what the fuck?

I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m incredibly grateful. But if you are going to keep this up, I might have to start doing some real thinking again about the nature of coincidence.

And I got tenure a few years ago, which is supposed to mean that I don’t have to think all that hard anymore.

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