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4 Dec 2009

Deer in the Headlights

Posted by Teapots Happen. 6 Comments

I’m writing from a motel in Stinson Beach, where I’m enjoying the Northern California coast with my girlfriend Becky.

Driving back from the Point Reyes National Seashore this evening, we were both sick of being in the car, and this had us bickering, taking the beautiful setting for granted.

Sitting in the passenger seat, I looked out the windshield and I suddenly felt like there might be deer in the road … which made sense, since it was early dusk, and the woods we were driving through looked likely to harbor deer.

“Look out for animals in the road,” I said quickly. “Deer are out a lot at this time of day.”

Becky let the car’s speed fall, and conversation fell into a lull.

Musing, I suddenly remembered something that had happened fifteen years or so earlier.

“Have I ever told you about the weird coincidence that happened with deer in the road when I was young?”

Becky had no idea what I was talking about, so I explained:

“Well, I remembered it a couple months ago, and wanted to add it to my synchronicity blog, but I forgot about it again until just now.

I was maybe eighteen or so, driving home along the edge of Murphy Hanrehan Park at dawn, struggling to stay awake, when I was hit with a strong sense that there were deer in the road ahead.

Not just that there might be deer – that there WERE deer. It made no rational sense.

But I was so certain of it, anyway, that I cut my speed down … and then struggled with my impulse to honk the horn, in an effort to scare away any deer ahead. Of course, as a hardcore rationalist I felt like it would be superstitious and irrational to honk – some kind of weakness, in opposition to my beliefs.

And it was then, driving well below the speed limit, hand on the horn, that I rounded a curve – and hit the brakes. Three deer were crossing the road in my headlights.”

Becky, smiling, let a little more speed fall off as we rounded another curve on Limatour Road.

I went on;

“Not really much of a ‘synchronicity,’ of course – since I knew there were deer in those woods, and it was dawn, when they’re moving a lot. So of course I wound up writing it off as a meaningless coincidence, and not even a very strange coincidence at that.

But still, it felt weird – that I didn’t just slow down, but even felt compelled to honk the horn … ,

And that’s when Becky and I rounded another curve, suddenly slowed down even more, and both burst into laughter … because a deer was strolling across the road ahead in our headlights’ glow.

(And the layered ‘deer in the headlights’ co-incidence was just what we needed … it brought our attention back to the positive and beautiful, and put a pleasant stop to our pointless stressing.)


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4 Nov 2009

We are All Connected / The Seeker

Posted by Teapots Happen. 3 Comments

Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, & Bill Nye, remixed:


… and The Who’s classic, “The Seeker”



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25 Oct 2009

Synchronicity Round-Up I

Posted by Teapots Happen. 4 Comments

First a note: I added a new page to the blog – a timeline of the various synchronicities and coincidences, which I think helps put them in more of a context – check it out here.

Trying something new – every week or four, I’ll post a Roundup of blogs, articles, discussions, and videos about synchronicity, coincidences, mystical experiences, etc … anything I come across that seems interesting or relevant enough to share, I’ll add it to the next round-up. I’ll try to capture a variety of perspectives …

  • ‘Synchro-skepticism’ – forum discussion
    Last week I decided to go see what the hardcore ‘skeptic’ community had to say about synchronicity – and when I visited the James Randi Foundation forum, expecting to use the Search function to dig up some posts on the subject, I was amused to see that the top thread at the moment was titled “How do you guys explain really bizarre cases of synchronicity?”  So I took it as a ‘sign’ that I should post my teapot story there … predictably, hijinks ensue.
  • Coincidence or synchronicity? (Linkedin Answers)
    “Questions: Do you believe unusual connections are coincidence or synchronicity? What types of experiences like this have you had? Did they change your philosophy on life or your frameworks for understanding existence”
  • Synchronicity: Is the Universe trying to get your attention?
    “Synchronicities and so-called coincidences are clear signs that the Divine Source is knocking at your door. “
  • Nicolas Knutsen on Synchronicity
    To me it’s obvious that the workings of synchronicity (or magic) are such that reality wouldn’t be as it is without it. Reality is defined by synchronicity (among other factors). Synchronicity is at least essential to the underlying ‘patterns’ or ‘laws’ that define reality. “
  • Synchronicity: a Wink from the Cosmos
    “There’s something about turning one’s choices over to intuition  that seems to avail oneself to synchronicity.”


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22 Oct 2009

If there are Raspberry Bushes …

Posted by Teapots Happen. 2 Comments

August 10, 2008

On Friday August 8th Becky mentioned she had not been to Lake Superior in over a year.

Since she and I have a history that the Lake plays a central role in, from the first time we hung out onward, this was a call to action. I suggested we get up there soon, she said ‘how about this weekend? She had to work Saturday, so I last-minute emailed my boss and managed to get Monday off of work.

We left early Sunday morning without any semblance of any plan at all whatsoever other than that we would go to the Lake in the Riviera, and we’d be bringing Cleo with. Other details were irrelevant. We shared the vague idea that we’d get a cheap motel room somewhere, but didn’t even know which side of the lake we’d be traveling.

Lake Superior coming into view

Lake Superior coming into view

The trip up was beautiful. We started with a run through the coffee shop drive-through and then hit the highway. The Riv ran great, the iPod’s shuffle delivered perfect tunes over and over – twice playing a song I had just declared that I wanted to hear within a few tunes, out of 4,000, (a Marley medley I mentioned to Becky, and the James Brown-screamy Keleya), and seeming to play a lot of extremely appropriate songs.

OK, so what I’m trying to say is things felt comfortable and right and kept building til they were pretty much magical. I can’t explain it now cause I cant truly feel it now, but I know it was real, and it mattered. We were “in the Flow,” as some say.

After lunch in Grand Marais, we started southwest back along the shore, hunting for a cheap motel with some character. After striking out at several no-vacancies, we let ourselves be swayed into a $200-a-night cabin – but then we were shot down by a 2-night minimum rule.

But now the motel hunt had switched to cabins – they might cost twice as much, but having a firepit would make it worthwhile. Well, as it turned out there was only one cabin available along the whole shore, and after very nearly missing it, we got it – and it was goddamn amazing (not to mention cheaper than the inland Lutsen cabin would have been).

vista from the cabin's back door

vista from the cabin's back door

Cozy, a beautiful view of the lake, a huge porch, fire pit right on the lake’s rocky shore … it couldn’t have been better in any way I could think of.

We immediately made a mad dash into the nearest town to get some food to grill (racing against the setting sun and the early closing times out in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday night). We got back to the cabin just as dusk settled in and the sky turned deep, deep blue.

view from the cabin's shoreline

taken just before starting the fire

The fire burst into a roar within seconds, and Cleo got to work trying to catch waves – her favorite hobby.

Then, as I made a return trip through the patch of woods between the cabin and the rocky shore, I was suddenly hit with a powerful wave of something like déjà vu.

I had stayed at a cabin on the Superior shore one time in my life, with my family twenty years before. Two memories still stuck with me from that trip – that I’d lost a frisbee to the waves – and that there had been raspberry bushes on the side of the cabin. My sister and I had eaten handfuls of them.

Apparently something about walking through the woods back up to the cabin triggered something, because without even knowing I was going to say it, I heard myself exclaiming to Becky;

“If there are raspberry bushes on that side of the house, I am going to freak the fuck out!”

the cabin from the shore

the cabin from the shore (taken the next day)

I had no idea why I said that, or why I had suddenly had a flash of some kind of certainty that this cabin would also have raspberry bushes growing on the left side of it, just as the cabin in my childhood had. I marched through the woods, Becky bewildered behind me, up around the corner of the cabin – and aimed the flashlight on the two bushes I found growing there.

The ripe red raspberries in the flashlight’s beam dropped both my jaw and my rationalist defenses.

The rest of the night felt like a surreal dream.


For the next few hours I tried to determine if the cabin we were in was, in fact, the very same cabin I’d stayed in two decades previous – but finally I determined that it couldn’t be – the rocky shore in my memory just didn’t match the shore we were on. (This was later confirmed by my dad – we were many miles north of it.)

While it would have been really weird if we’d wound up in the same cabin as the one from my childhood, it was even weirder to be in a totally different cabin, become bizarrely convinced that there would be raspberry bushes on the side – and be right.

(And no, there was no way I could have seen the bushes without going around the side of the cabin – which I did not do until after I’d announced that I would “freak the fuck out” if such bushes were there.)

Why was I struck so hard by the conviction that there would be raspberries growing on the side of the cabin? Why was I right? What could it possibly mean?

I had a million questions with no answers, just an irrational notion that perhaps it was more of ‘the Universe’ (for lack of a better term) telling me that things were good, that intuition could be trusted, that magic was real. I started to feel like I was tripping on a psychedelic,  physically and mentally.

When I realized Cleo was limping and found that all her feet had been pretty badly abraded by the rocks and her relentless efforts to capture a wave, I had no choice but to find in this a metaphor – comparing her wave-hunting to my ‘Truth quest’ – futile, compulsive, joy-bringing.


Cleo trying to catch the waves


(And my feet were shredded as well – from sharp rocks, broken glass, rough sandals, and barefoot skateboarding – so it seemed apt that both of us were limping now.)

Becky and I roasted marshmallows and brats on clothes hangers, watching the fire, the water, and – once the fire had turned to embers – the stars.

Eventually Cleo had to be leashed by the fire, to make her rest her wounded feet.  Every time that the waves crashed a little louder, she would raise up and whimper quietly … even though her paws were shredded and she never managed to capture the waves that seemed so tangible as they rolled in, she just couldn’t help but want to chase them anyway.

And although my mind felt as battered as Cleo’s feet, I couldn’t help but keep trying to make sense of a reality that I would never quite grasp.


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5 Oct 2009

Carlson – Davis Surnames Synchronicity II

Posted by Teapots Happen. 4 Comments

April 28th 2008

Note – you should read this post first, and maybe this one too.

This morning:

I went out to brunch with my Dad and his lady.

On the way back to my house, he suggested we turn off of Lake Street and “just take Hennepin all the way down” as a shortcut. So I turned – both of us forgetting that Hennepin dead-ends, quite literally, at the Lakewood Cemetery before 38th.

So we wound up having to turn at the cemetery gates, prompting a discussion of the impressive size, history, and quality of the graveyard.


A couple hours later:

My friend Jessi, my dog Cleo, and I joined Emilie in her quest to break in her new car and kill a couple of hours pleasantly.

On our random ramble around the cities, with no guidance from me, we wound up at the same intersection facing the cemetery I’d been at earlier – but this time we kept going straight, to go for a cruise through the sprawling necropolis.

I didn’t make anything of the coincidence, but it did get me thinking about the subject – how paying attention to even meaningless, mere coincidences and responding with with a smile, a laugh, even gratitude, seems to encourage more of the same, somehow …

Breaking into my synchronicity-musing, Em pointed out a connection from last week – when I’d been the one driving us around on a random roadtrip (with her, Workman & Ron), and I’d unexpectedly taken us far from home, to the boonies way down outside of Hastings – bringing us down the same obscure dead end dirt road that Emilie had found on her lunch break earlier that very day.

She’d told me about it that afternoon via IM while we were both at work – but only what she’d found there, not where it was.

Two open-ended random roadtrips, two dead ends seemingly plucked from the mind of the other.


Just as that conversation came to an end, Emilie pointed out her window – “look, there you are!”

It was a large “Carlson” tombstone, facing the intersection of graveyard roads. There was also some smaller writing that we couldn’t read in time as it went past – so Jessi and I convinced Em to reverse so we could read it.

Obviously, I am well aware that ‘Carlson’ is a common surname here, and – previous Carlson coincidences notwithstanding, I didn’t think of it as any kind of “synchronicity” – but I still wanted to snap a pic of it, since the fine print jibed rather well with the internal monologue that had been going through my head.

While I was digging through Em’s backpack looking for her camera, I heard her laugh, and looked up to see her pointing out the window again – this time in the opposite direction, at the tombstone facing the Carlson headstone from across the intersection:

(Note: Em had also been the driver during the first Davis / Carlson synchronicity, again with me in the passenger seat, and Jessi in back.)


Related posts:

Carlson / Davis Synchronicity I

Carlson Coincidence interlude

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2 Oct 2009

won’t you be my The End is Neighbor – energy in roundabout ways

Posted by Teapots Happen. No Comments

April 21, 2008

Writeup below originally posted on Myspace 4/21/08:

So I’m sitting here trying to work on my post-apocalyptic wasteland warrior movie website, and Jessi’s home, reading a book I had lying around called


The above (before the Stop) was all I got written before Jessi looked up and racheted up the coincidence factor on me …

OK, where was I …

I’m sitting here trying to work on my post-apocalyptic wasteland warrior movie website, and my roommate Jessi’s home hanging out nearby, paging through a book I had lying around called “Fire of Life (The Smithsonian Book of the Sun)”.


So naturally I get sidetracked into a conversation that starts on primitive sun-worshippers and progresses to the formation of galaxies and the impossibility of knowing what existed before time began in a Big Bang … anyway, conversation quickly goes from the Sun and science to how the Universe is incredibly fucking weird to the point of being mystical.

I end the conversation and leave the room for a minute, I can’t remember why, and when I return, my iTunes (on random shuffle of 21 days worth of music) is playing the song “Energy in Roundabout Ways” –

Which is of course all about the Sun, and how we are stuck on a rock that would be barren without the radioactive, chaos-inducing rays at the root of it all:

Leaves of plants use energy from sunlight to make food.
This process is called photosynthesis.
Animals and people feed on the plants and obtain the energy they need.
Sunlight also keeps the surface of the Earth warm, and makes it possible for us to exist.
In fact, almost all of the energy we use on Earth comes from the suns rays.
And, almost all of the energy we get from the sun comes in roundabout ways.

In roundabout ways,
The sun gives energy,
In roundabout ways,
The suns energy has been stored in the past,
In the plants and in animal bodies.
Time marches on they are coal, oil and gas.
Energy in roundabout ways.

Ancient plants and animals died, and were buried under Earth and sea.
Their fossil remains were changed into coal, oil, and gas.
Today we use these fuels as energy sources for our modern civilization.

In roundabout ways,
The sun gives energy,
In roundabout ways,
The energy in moving water and wind
Has been brought into play by the sunlight.
Energy from wind and water becomes
Energy in roundabout ways. 

Sunlight heats the oceans, and makes the water evaporate.
Later, this water falls as rain to form rivers and create water power.
Winds are also created by the heating of the earth.
The energy of wind can push sailboats, turn windmills, and operate electric generators on farms. 

In roundabout ways,
The sun gives energy,
In roundabout ways

We laugh.

A ‘mere coincidence,’ no doubt – but nontheless, the Universe seems a little more connected, a little more capable of winking.

Thinking about the slippery distinction between ‘mere’ and ‘meanginful’ coincidences, I decide to post a blog about the subject on Myspace – it kind of makes a nice continuation on the riff from the “Davis/Carlson” synchronicity, and I haven’t written anything on here in awhile.

But when I get onto Myspace I am sidetracked by Charley’s latest Bulletin (he’s a prolific bulletin poster) – it’s called ” is my rudy, a strikebreaker?” and I think of ‘Rudie Can’t Fail‘ and ‘A Message to You Rudy‘ and I wonder, “what the fuck is that about?” so I open it and even though it’s long and I’m supposed to be on a mission I still scan through all of it because Charley is a compelling writer.

At the very end of his bulletin, I really tune in when he started saying something that resonates with me:

I hope to convince people to form their own tribes knowingly and self consciously. to think in their mind what people they know care about their subsistence and existence and formally make their own tribes and traditions for their own families mutual assistance. to know that not all friends and family members can be part of the tribe and that is what it is.

the time will come when the economy will tank and that is when informal organization will be a good idea for individuals that want to subsist and survive in hard times.

a man or woman alone does poorly on the road or in the wilds.

And that’s a theme that’s been coming around my social scene lately, from my movie website to joking about who will have or lack what skills when we’re roaming the wasteland in my V8 Buick battling for gas to friends who really have stockpiles and contingency plans for when the system falls down.

(… and now a post apocalyptic song called “Old World for Sale” that I’ve never heard before comes on the shuffle as I write that sentence – all about Fire, Life, and the fall of civilization …)

So I start to write Charley back, to tongue-in-cheek suggest that the Wasteland Warriors website may prove to be a valuable resource to study in preparation for post apocalyptic survival. I do not see any notable coincidence in his sending his bulletin out while I was working on a post apocalyptic website – but I would see it as a link in the coincidence chain, momentarily …

Because rather than responding to Charley, I decide I need to stay SOMEWHAT focused, and instead post the blog about coincidences, and I so I start writing in a brief style, expecting to summarize the whole minor amusement within a paragraph.

But I’ve only gotten into the first sentence when Jessi – across the room and unaware of what I’ve been reading and doing online – looks up from the Sun book – now open to a picture of some capable looking folk baking bread in a primitive hut, and says,

“You know, America’s gonna be fucked if anything happens that causes this whole civilization to crash.”

So I laugh again, and set to writing a longer post than I’d planned …

Ha- and as I sit here in Sept 2009 preparing this blog post , my ipod, shuffling through 5322 songs, spits out the song “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”


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1 Oct 2009

Carlson Coincidence interlude

Posted by Teapots Happen. 3 Comments

April 13th 2008

Oops, almost forgot to mention this one – primarily notable due to the related surname coincidences that surrounded it:

I went down to Redwing with Jessi, Emilie & her daughter, Mel & her son. We all had a great day climbing around on the bluff; collecting cool crystalline rocks, getting into holes, climbing trees, and enjoying the beautiful day.




We were at the back of the bluff, exploring an old lime kiln’s ruins, when it occurred to me that I’d spent a whole day “in the Flow,” following randomness and intuition, appreciating the Now – and I’d yet to experience a single coincidence

I was kind of surprised and a little disappointed by this.

Of course, then I looked upward (thinking to look at the sky), when I noticed something above the kiln, higher up the bluff:


Nothing that interesting in itself -but coming as it did two weeks after the “Carlson synchronicity” I’d experienced when mentally scorning my friend for finding a meaningful coincidence in an occurance of her last name, I had to laugh.


Related posts:

Carlson / Davis Synchronicity I

Davis / Carlson Synchronicity II

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30 Sep 2009

Davis – Carlson Surnames Synchronicity I

Posted by Teapots Happen. 11 Comments

March 31, 2008

I wrote this one up a few days after it happened:

My friend Jessi is getting into a lot of mystical stuff these days – experimenting with stuff like tarot, astrology, moon rituals, and, of course, synchronicity.

Jessi’s last name is Davis.

And when we went to the Roseville Goodwill on Friday and she found an $8 vintage wooden tennis racket with the name “Davis” emblazoned all over the handle and cover, she just HAD to have it, broke as she was – because it struck her as a meaningful coincidence.


On the ride from the Roseville Goodwill to the Coon Rapids Goodwill, Emilie was driving, I was riding shotgun, and Jessi was in back  – excited about her find, thinking aloud of all the creative things she could do with the Davis racket and case.

Old habits die hard, and I’d spent many years building my mind into a rationalist, skeptical, deconstructing machine.

While I’ve recently found it possible to sometimes believe in ‘mystical shit,’ it’s usually hard enough to even believe in my OWN ideas – and it’s still nearly impossible for me to accept the validity of others’ magical thinking.

But even so, one of the things about myself I’m trying to improve upon is what I think of as “pissing on other people’s parades” – even if it’s not one I want to march in, there’s almost never any need to disparage the things that make other people happy.

So as Jessi talked, I watched the world go by the car window to my right – silent, but thinking that she was overreacting, trying too hard to find some kind of meaning in a coincidence that seemed pretty damn insignificant to me.

Maybe it would impress me if she was a tennis player, I thought, or if that racket had fallen off the rack and hit her in the head as she went by, or she found it somewhere more unlikely …

“Hell,” I thought, “what if I found it exciting and meaningful every time MY last name (common as it is) showed up on something!?”

And just after I finished that concluding thought – with uncanny, punchline-perfect timing – my last name, in huge black on white letters, glided into my framed view out the car window:


Carlson Toyota, Coon Rapids

“Oh, fuck THAT,” I exclaimed – and burst out in laughter.


Related posts:

Carlson Coincidence interlude

Davis / Carlson Synchronicity II

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29 Sep 2009

Cedar-Apple Rust Galls coincidence

Posted by Teapots Happen. 3 Comments

March 2008

In November of 2007, I was out with some friends randoming around the wintery farmlands of Northwestern Minnesota, looking for abandoned farmhouses, barns, and industrial structures. I had to pee pretty badly, and being in the middle of nowhere we pulled over so I could use some nearby bushes. While I was there doing what needed to be done, I noticed some weird lumps on the shrub I was using for cover. They weren’t like anything I had seen before, so I picked a few of them off of the branches and brought them back to the van.

mysterious growths

mysterious growths

My friends thought they were just the tree’s reproductive organs, maybe in an early developmental stage, but I’d spent a fall obsessed with gall-forming wasps, and I suspected these weird, porous bumps might be galls of some sort.

I broke some open, expecting to show them all some kind of little tiny insect larvae – but nope, nothing. Just woody growth.

Since I didn’t know what the tree I’d found them on was, I didn’t have a good way to look into the answer – so the galls kicked around my living room for the next several months, frequently getting picked up by friends, who would of course ask me what the hell they were. I always answered with “I don’t know, yet.”

Because I meant to figure it out – I just didn’t know how.

But months passed and the answer continued to elude me.

Then in March, I stopped by a blog I had first encountered under synchronistic circumstances (“Poison Ivy & the Mandelbrot Set“) and saw this post:

Gardener’s Factoid of the Day

…And NOW….orange tendril monsters are attacking my pine trees!!!! GAH! It’s the end of everything!!!” First of all, at my “country estate” back home in podunk country, we have a lot of cedar trees, and a great big one just outside my bedroom window. Anyway, around a year or so ago—I think it was finals week–I was feeling kind of stressed. I hadn’t been outside in a while and hadn’t been observing the trees much. It had just rained, and it looked creepy enough out there already, but I wanted to let in a little natural light. Anyway. I opened the blinds….and….THIS was what I saw:



“MOM! It’s THE END OF THE WORLD! We’re being invaded by orange MONSTERS!”Well. Okay. So I was feeling dramatic.But there’s nothing quite like looking out at your cedar woods and seeing thousands of these things dangling from every pine branch. It looked like a scene from ALIEN…or Invasian of the Mighty Orange Tendril Monsters…or Revelation…or something.My scientific skepticism arose and I googled the monsters.

Turned out it’s Cedar Apple Rust.http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/cedar-applerust/cedar-applerust.htm

Thankfully it’s gone now and believe it or not the stuff is absolutely harmless. It didn’t suck the life force out of the cedar woods or anything. It really didn’t do ANYTHING.Our yard sure looked pretty weird for around a month or so though….There are some experiences you just don’t have in the city.

OK, interesting enough. I’d never seen such orange tendril monsters before, but it was neat.

Then I clicked on the link she’d provided – and immediately my eyes fixed on the image at left, middle … and the Case of the Mystery Galls was closed.

CedarAppleLifecycle large

lifecycle of Cedar-Apple Rust, a multi-host fungal parasite



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26 Sep 2009

Turkey Empathy

Posted by Teapots Happen. 5 Comments

February 2008

Below is a copy of an email I sent to Adrea, a Vegan friend of mine, as part of our discussion about how she wound up Vegan, and how I had recently found myself changing my long-standing, unapologetic meat-loving ways, toward a much more vegetarian diet.

Date: Feb 16, 2008 10:37 AM

When my sister was in town last weekend, I was helping her and my mom make a traditional turkey soup. This involved a huge whole turkey.

As you know, I”ve been doing the “wtf is up with meat” thing lately, and the sight of the naked turkey lying there immediately brought it all up in my head. The physiological analogues between our bodies were unavoidable. When my sister started cutting off the skin/fat, it was reminiscent of a human autopsy.

Then when it was time to get the turkey down into chunks for simmering in the broth, my sister was unable to get the wings off.


the correct way to separate a turkey shoulder


Now I know that this is a job for a knife, but I didn’t know that then. So I grabbed hold of the slippery carcass and started twisting and wrenching the wings out of the shoulder sockets. Tendons snapped and ligaments popped and gristle gristled – and quickly found out that a wing wasn’t an easy thing to remove.

I couldn’t help but feel the similarities between the joint I was tearing apart and the human shoulder joint – and the combination of sounds and sensations as I tore it apart made me imagine similar damage to my own shoulder joint. (I mentioned this to my sister, unaware that I was foreshadowing.)


Anyway, the turkey limbs got mostly ripped off, and then finished with a knife and the soup was made.

… and the next day, I could barely lift a cup of coffee with my right arm, due to the pain in my shoulder.

See, the previous night, after my mom had gone back to her house, my sister and I had drank at the house with several mutual friends.

And at some point I’d picked up the free weights that are kicking around the living room lately, and tried to use them to do some stretching out of my shoulders. Bad idea when drinking … I have faint memories of having the weights back up and behind my head, and bouncing them up and down against perceived inflexibilities.

Well, I don’t know exactly  what I ripped in there doing that, but my right shoulder was fucked up for the next several days – painful to hold up anything, sometimes even just the weight of the arm. And a few times a day the nerves of that arm would go haywire, causing the muscles in my inner arm to spasm and jump.

It took a few days for me to get (or invent) the message. Recall how when I’d been struggling with the question of whether or not to trust some kind of mystical intuition/faith, the universe said ‘yes,’ through the intuition-based teapot coincidence?

Well now lately I’ve been struggling with questions about eating meat – so was the sympathetic shoulder injury a response to my question (from either a conscious universe or my own unconscious, it doesn’t matter to me, those lines are blurred anyway?

I’m not sure, but I havent’ eaten any meat since – not as part of a new framework or meta belief, but just case-by-case-by-case decisions to choose ‘nonmeated’ options.

I don’t know if it was a message or if I’ve turned a corner, really. Only time will tell. Interesting, anyway.

(Well, as it turned out, I did not become a full-on Vegetarian. However, I have become a very committed “Eat-less-meat-atarian,” which basically consists of choosing vegetarian options whenever possible, except for when I intuitively crave meat – and then I seek out meat from animals that had lived decently. I’m currently cutting back on dairy in a similar manner, and cannot rule out going further down the vegetarian path in the future.)


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24 Sep 2009

Reliquary Synchronicity

Posted by Teapots Happen. 6 Comments

January 3, 2008

(at the Minneapolis Institute of Art with Ron & Emilie)


It was an hour or so before closing time and we were higher than gods when we walked past the front desk and up the stairs, into a Tibetean gallery of the MIA’s Asian Arts exhibition.

After looking over a few scroll painting deals, I found myself examining various ornate metal objects in a case. My eye was drawn to the descriptive tag for a rather nondescript ancient container – the word “reliquary” leaping out at me. It’s hard to explain the reasons, but I felt very attracted to the word. The tag explained that ancient paintings often showed such containers at the foot of shrines’ Buddha images.

Ron was behind me and over a ways – I called him over.

“Reliquary!” I laughed, feeling he would understand my attraction to the concept – after all, wasn’t my whole house a reliquary of reliquaries, somehow? My thoughts were not rationally explicit, but I felt a deep connection to the concept that I thought would be obvious to others – especially Ron, who had lived in my house and was an active practitioner of various magicks.

“What?” Ron didn’t get what the hell I was trying to convey.

“A reliquary – for relics!”


“For God Stones!” I exclaimed.

His face made it perfectly clear I was only confusing him even more – and then I realized that even I had no idea what I was talking about.  So I opted to read to him from the tag. which didn’t help much either, since it didn’t say anything about either stones or gods – just ‘precious objects’ and saints.

“Hmmm, so I guess it’s not for stones – but you know that’s what I’d put in one!”

(Note: I have a thing with rocks.)

I still found it interesting, and loved the word, which I repeated to myself several times in an effort to remember. Reliquary. Reliquary. Reliquary. I even pulled out my cellphone to text message the word to Mandelbrot, but then didn’t, knowing I would now be able to remember the word without help … although I had no idea why it mattered to me.

A couple of hours later, we had moved through various other culture’s ancient arts, and were back in the Asian section – now in the Japanese gallery.

A small object in its own case drew my eye from a distance – when I came to check it out, I saw it was an ornate metal container with a crystal orb in the middle, filled with an assortment of small polished rocks.

The tag labeled it as a Reliquary – and then went on to explain that in ancient Japan such reliquaries held rocks and stones that represented various deities.

aka “God Stones,” I reckon.


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