No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. ~ John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII, 1624 (original spelling).Synchronicity is strange. It plays games with your mind, leading you down one road, and dropping you off on another path that leads you right back to the beginning.
Let's take one down the synchromystic journey that appears to be going back and forth in time, starting with a horrible incident that occurred in a microscopic town in the South of the USA.
On Thursday, September 18, 2014, it was Bell, Florida, where a "spirit" - Donald Charles Spirit, 51, - killed his adult daughter (Sarah, 28) and six grandkids, before killing himself. The children who died were identified as Kylie Kuhlmann, 9, Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11, Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8, Destiny Stewart, 5, Alanna Stewart, born June 28 of this year, and Brandon Stewart, 4. The fathers (James Lawson Stewart and Edward Kuhlman) of both sets of children were imprisoned at the time of the shootings.
Media reports indicate that Spirit accidentally shot and killed an 8-year-old son, Kyle, during a hunting trip to Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area near Kenansville, Fla., on Nov. 14, 2001. During a walk through the woods, Spirit pointed out some rust on the muzzle of a gun and it fired, hitting Kyle in the head, officials said. He was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. Spirit pleaded guilty in exchange for a minimum sentence just as his trial was about to begin. After that incident, the family moved from Tampa to Bell, according to published reports. Source.
The Bell killings occurred on the same day, a Taco Bell in Antioch (named after the ancient warring Greek city founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals), California, announced it would be closing its inside area from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. This was an attempt to deter high school students using their place as a fight club. After school brawling had routinely broken out in that Taco Bell. Fights had occurred in the previous days.
Also on Thursday, Kenneth Osako, 46, allegedly used a bar-bell at a gym in South San Francisco to beat Diego Galindo, 43, to death. Source.
Meanwhile, a few hours before, late on Wednesday night, September 17, 2014, a high speed chase in Bell Township, Pennsylvania, ended when multiple law enforcement departments' pursuits came to an abrupt stop after police shot driver Joshua Jesse of Monroeville, after he allegedly fired on officers. Source.
Even "celebrity news" got involved in this cycle. See "Kristen Bell's Husband Dax Shepard Got a Bell Tattoo on His Ring Finger in Honor of His Wife!" (h/t Todd Campbell).
Update 22 September 2014: White House intruder had 800 rounds of ammunition in his car.
On September 22, 20014, USA Today made this observation:
Samantha Bell, Gonzalez's ex-wife, said she and Gonzalez married in 2006 and lived together in Copperas Cove, near Fort Hood, until she split up with him in 2010 because of his worsening mental condition. After his second tour in Iraq, Gonzalez began carrying a .45 on his hip at all times and kept three or four rifles and shotguns behind the doors in their home, said Bell, who remarried and now lives in southern Indiana.Yes, that's correct. His ex-wife is named Bell.
Less than 24 hours after Gonzalez's arrest, a second man was apprehended after he drove up to a White House gate and refused to leave, the Secret Service said, prompting bomb technicians in full gear to search the vehicle as agents shut down nearby streets.
Bells, tridents, beheadings. White House invasions, child endangerment, NFL players being charged with domestic violence. What are these times we are experiencing. The bell is tolling for thee. Is it really something distance, or are these events close to home?
Why Bells now? Is the metaphor ringing as a herald of news? Or of danger?
I have talked of "Bells" in synchrocinema before. See, for example, 2008's "The Brotherhood of the Bell" and my recycled thoughts on "Yeti, Jimmy Stewart, Bell and Book."
In Jim Brandon's 1983 book, The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit, he writes, regarding the "name game":
I'm not talking here of such spooky tongue-twisters as H.P. Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth or Arthur Machen's Ishakshar, but of quite ordinary names like Bell, Beall and variants, Crowley, Francis, Grafton, Grubb, Magee/McGee, Mason, McKinney, Montpelier, Parsons, Pike, Shelby, Vernon, Watson/Watt, Williams/Williamson. I have others on file, but these are the ones which I have accumulated the most instances.In my 1983 Mysterious America, I wrote:
Cryptologic or coincidence? Jim Brandon should be credited with calling attention to the name Watts/Watkins/Watson, and its entanglement with inexplicable things. Some other names involved in mysterious events pinpointed by Brandon are Bell, Mason, Parsons, Pike, Vernon, and Warren. The influence of such names as Mason, Pike, Warren, and Lafayette, for example, issues, in some cryptopolitical and occult way, from their ties to the Masonic tradition.From the original source, the Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford University Press, 2013), the following is shared for the meaning of the name Bell:
Scottish and northern English: from Middle English belle ‘bell,’ in various applications; most probably a metonymic occupational name for a bell ringer or bell maker, or a topographic name for someone living ‘at the bell’ (as attested by 14th-century forms such as John atte Belle). This indicates either residence by an actual bell (e.g. a town’s bell in a bell tower, centrally placed to summon meetings, sound the alarm, etc.) or ‘at the sign of the bell’, i.e. a house or inn sign (although surnames derived from house and inn signs are rare in Scots and English).
Scottish and northern English: from the medieval personal name Bel. As a man’s name this is from Old French beu, bel ‘handsome,’ which was also used as a nickname. As a female name it represents a short form of Isobel, a form of Elizabeth.
Scottish: Americanized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Mhaoil ‘son of the servant of the devotee.’
Jewish (Ashkenazic): Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.
Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead in western Norway named Bell, the origin of which is unexplained.
Scandinavian: of English or German origin; in German as a habitational name for someone from Bell in Rhineland, Germany, or possibly from Belle in Westphalia. Americanized spelling of German Böhl or Böll (see Boehle, Boll).