Reading tea leaves

February 20, 2012

I don’t actually know how to read tea leaves, although I once came across an instruction booklet in an antique store about how to do it.  But I can read bits and pieces of things deep within me when I come across them depicted outside of myself, for example, in news stories or poems or songs — they come across as “highlighted” in some way.  I usually then gain an understanding of how they fit with other pieces I’ve learned before, and with patterns of experiences and relationships in my life.

At other times the pieces seem to come out as things I write about if I let myself write.  Sometimes those don’t seem to be part of “my” story at all —  someone will later disclose that the event happened to their grandmother.

I don’t take it that I am assembling an accurate factual history of things that I can prove took place.  I have the sense instead that I am revisiting emotional states with the help of detailed plausible scenarios that would support such an emotion.  If I can feel the emotion and have enough distance from it not to be engulfed in it and instead examine the emotion, as it were, as an outside witness to it, I find I gain a story with some kind of explanatory power and I also gain release from the need to repeat visiting that emotional state.  Sometimes I do actually go through the process in increments — I can do part of the feeling and distancing and witnessing, but not all of it, and I do repeat the visiting of that emotional state — but the next time is not nearly as intense, and eventually there is release.

I don’t know how I learned to do this or what help I may be drawing on when I do do it (I don’t have a sense of acting alone, of being a self-sufficient rugged spiritual individualist, I have the sense of being part of a network), I don’t know where or how I learned a lot of what I know.

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