22 Apr 2009

Teapot Tale – alternate ending

Posted by Teapots Happen

alternate ending to the teapot coincidence write-up, from June 27, 2006 – found on old computer harddrive. I had a hard time with this part, stalling on it for months, throwing away attempt after attempt to sum things up.


As a boy, there were many times that I woke up disappointed, finding that I had failed in my attempt to bring something tangible back from some wonderful dream world.

This … teapot experience … it was almost like I’d woken up with a dream artifact clutched in my hands, just as undeniably real as anything else.

Today, the two teapots are found together in my living room – their spouts arcing together, meeting over a green stone from Point Reyes. Day after day, they do not fade away when I wake up.

I have no Theory of Life, Synchronicities, & Everything to preach.

I don’t pretend to have any idea at all HOW these teapots happened.

I don’t invoke ghosts, psychic powers, time travel, angels, or gods in some effort to explain. I don’t claim this was a supernatural event at all.

But I don’t invoke “statistical coincidence,” either. My traditional bias for simple, rational, scientific explanations is of no use here. I don’t think it’s even an option for me – hell, it would be irrational to write it off as ‘random chance,’ as far as I can see.

You don’t need to be a new-ager to see that the reality we’re a part of is staggeringly complex. And I think it’s clear that what we know about reality is dwarfed by all that we do NOT know … not to mention all that we don’t even know that we don’t know!

So really, it should be no surprise to any of us that things that can be categorized only as “Unknowable” should happen all the time.

Yet many people are resistant to this – everything has to be explained, or at the very least explainable, in one way or another.

I say, fuck it.

I embrace the unknowable and I give it a little pelvis just to let it know I’m interested. I am goddamned happy that things I can’t explain are going on all the time, all around me. I’m glad to be aware that even I myself am such an unknown and unknowable thing – that nothing’s really explained, that we really don’t know anything.

But yeah, sure, sometimes it still messes me up – it can be goddamn scary not being able to verify which way is up, what is true, what is good, how to live, what to think. There is no compass that can help. All the systems are self-referential. It’s enough to make a seeker panic.

But then I remember to stop.


And remember.

It’s OK.

I knew it that day on Point Reyes, driving back to the city afterward, glowing and invincible, Devo’s “That’s Good” repeating on the car stereo. But I’ve somehow forgotten it since then, right up until right now writing this. It’s why this update has been so hard to finish over the past several months, as I stalled out on this page – it was like trying to explain one of those elusive dreams that crumble as you merely begin to try to examine them.

For a while the teapots even became just more clutter to me – I could not wrest any meaning or truth or lesson from them, even when I tried.

But I know it right now – that it’s a ‘monumental good thing.’ That there is nothing to worry about – not even the fact that I will inevitably forget this all again and get pulled back into worrying about what is good, what to do, what is true, what can be proved to be trustworthy, what holds some meaning.

I’m OK with forgetting – life would probably be pretty boring if you were enlightened all the time, eh?

But I don’t want to totally forget, either, and go off wandering back into the desert for years. I want to keep this knowing in reach, and return to it as I do the sea, for regular recharging.

And that’s why I’m so glad that I have these teapots now, in my living room where I see them every day.

To remind me.



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12 Responses to “Teapot Tale – alternate ending”

  1. To me, this story hints at what quantum physicists theorize, that everything is connected at some level, even if we don’t have any idea what the hell that level is or how it works. Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe, written in 1991 and still in print, is one of the best books on this idea of connections. Another good one is F. David Peat’s book, Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind. & he’s one of those physicists. Yet, his book is surprisingly easy to read.


    Trish MacGregor

  2. You posted this on my birthday. I saw Trish’s response and thought it might be from the following day, then looked up… yesssss!

    This year on my birthday I read about people with my birthday. The website said we like coincidence. This was quite the coincidence, as I’ve been collecting synchronicities for just about decades now. I have a pair of clocks that serve the same purpose as your teapots. And I’d read before that people born on the 22nd like coincidence, but not specifically April! Were you born on a 22nd??

    Good to find you. I reason similarly and have always thought there must be a bunch of us around trying to keep our feet on the ground.

    We ask perennially,
    “Who AM US, anyway?!”
    So have a cup of tea,
    as Chao-chou used to say.

    Them’s Chinese restaurant teapots,
    as any fool can see!
    It’s synchronicitea,
    or Zenchronicity.

    (“Shock comes–oh, oh!
    Laughing words–ha, ha!”
    –I Ching hexagram 51)

    You might enjoy Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, if you haven’t yet. Goes well with the Bay.


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  3. ha – my birthday is not on the 22nd – but I DO have that book on my nightstand right now. 🙂

    Would love you hear about your clocks!


    Teapots Happen

  4. There you go–or no matter where we go, here we are! More soon! Keep happening! No fear!


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  5. The clocks story is very complex by now, and I’ve been distracted by other things such as looking for a new place to live so not focused enough to get a clear sense of how to tell it succinctly or how much to say here and how much to save for perhaps a page of my own. I’m also in the process of reading through your timeline, which itself seems to have grown in complexity since I discovered it. So for now I would instead like to share a moment from this past weekend when I was out checking a couple of housing listings in a neighborhood I lived in almost eleven years ago. I had just thought how nice it was to be taking a walk in a new old neighborhood, a neighborhood renewed, when I came to the shop that always has a poem in the front window, and this time the poem was this:

    How long it’s been, ten years perhaps,
    Since I’ve passed by this street!
    And yet I lived here for a time–
    About two years, or three.

    The street’s the same, there’s almost
    nothing new,
    But if it could see me and comment,
    It would say, “He’s the same, but how I’ve
    Thus our souls remember and forget.

    We pass by streets and by people,
    We pass our own selves, and we end;
    Then, on the blackboard, the Intelligent Hand
    Erases the symbol, and we start again.

    –Fernando Pessoa
    12 March 1928

    I am a poet and tend to see synchronicity as all one great poem. The shop is an actual poetry shop, Open Books, in Seattle, and the poem is displayed in a big typewriter as if it’s just been written. When I was thinking of responding earlier this evening, I thought I wouldn’t specify my location here right away, then I thought what if it comes up as a synchronicity anyway, and then I read your rubber ducky story. We do sometimes use umbrellas here and we sometimes lose them, so some folks must be finding them! We are also in an area of high incidence of MS, so I read your Multiple Synchronicities entry with concern and have been wanting to ask if you’ve had your vitamin D level checked. I was feeling very weird after many years here and turned out to have about half the lowest normal level. Taking supplements under a doctor’s direction was essential. I don’t have MS, but I once wrote a piece called Multiple Epiphany. Take good care and I’ll be back with the clocks soon 🙂


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  6. Years ago after a severe breakup I returned to my little freelance business and ordered something from an office supply company advertising a free clock with every order. The clock they sent me stopped after a short time, so I asked them if they’d send another and they did. I set the first clock to the time in a love poem and put the poem on the wall under the clock so it would be art and not go to waste. The second clock stopped at the time on the first one, the time in the poem. Now they were cosmic art. I decided to give one of the pair to my true love whenever we eventually met. I still have both clocks.

    Some years later while doing a bit of internet research I came across a picture of an art piece of two clocks running in synchrony. They had happened to be photographed at the same time as on my clocks. Since then I’ve seen clocks showing approximately the same time in ten films, each appearing at what seemed a significant turning point in the story. One appeared on CNN on the T-shirt of a woman looking for a lost relative during Katrina. This theme dovetails with another cluster of synchronicities that began around a photo of me in an unusual pose and its mirror image that showed up on a postcard made in France twelve years after my picture was taken. There was another synchronicity with the website where I saw the second pair of clocks and one involving a second poem about clocks. If I set up a page, I can say more, include images, post a link here. Magic. And syn-chronicity, literally.

    Very cool that the breakfast place you found by synchronicity was called Tempo–time.


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  7. what time are they set to?



  8. I’d rather not say, or I’ll never know if any movies they show up in in the future were made jokingly by someone who saw it here… unless you’ve got a guess. This has been the problem of going public with this stuff all along! Could be a filmmaking convention anyway, I suppose.

    Last night right after I posted that, I went by the new agey bookstore down the block and there was a used copy of Trish MacGregor’s astrology book right outside on the sale table, I looked inside and it seemed helpful and affirming–I know my chart–so I bought it and lightened up reading it. Thanks, Trish! Thanks, Youniverse (long my expression too–or You-inverse, or You-in-verse… how did that Fernando Pessoa poem hit you?)!


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  9. I mustn’t forget to credit the Firesign Theatre for their immortal line “Who am us, anyway?” and direct you via “chao-chou ‘have a cup of tea'” in your Google window to various versions of a story about Chao-Chou (Joshu in Japan).


    tictoc clocks everywhere

  10. I have a “special time” as well – 11:24, or 11:23 sometimes. I am not sure what the heck it means, but I have broken clocks and watches that I set to that time – when I look at them, I am reminded that the time is Now.


    Teapots Happen

  11. Love your website(s)!!! I discovered it a week or two ago, and I keep coming back to it and reading more and getting the shivers from your stories. The clock synchronicity caught my attention when I read the comments on this post–not for any particular reason except maybe the user name “tictoc” reminds me of a password I had been using for something.

    Anyway, I started telling people about the teapot synchronicity and my co-worker said that he’s been seeing the time 11:11 all over the place for the last couple of years–even stopped clocks.

    So it happened that another co-worker happened to be with me when the first co-worker emailed me to say “Hey, just saw 11:11 again”, and she said, I have been seeing 11:11 all my life. At first I didn’t believe her but then she insisted that her closest friends all know about it and that one of her friends told her there is a big group of people that see 11:11 and there are all kinds of theories about it.

    I googled it and found some YouTube videos ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvl3kcG_Qjg ) … haven’t looked much beyond that yet.

    Makes me wonder if maybe there are other groups that call themselves the 9:09 groups (which is the number I identify with)….



  12. Yes, the 11:11 thing is something that comes up a lot it seems. I tend to wonder how much of people noticing it has to do with it being so unusual a time, all ones … on the other hand, I’ve repeatedly found myself noticing the time 11:24, so … who knows. I don’t put much into it, but I do smile when it pops up.

    Really glad you enjoy and appreciate the blog, and it’s cool that you tell people about the teapot tale … I see you are also a synchronicity blogger, awesome! Looking forward to reading your thoughts and experiences.


    Teapots Happen