Today’s tea is Japanese green tea. I’m drinking it from one of the little blue and white polka dot cups I received as a gift on my first visit to Japan with my sister and her then fiancé, who is Japanese. The warm grassy scent of the tea reminds me of that first visit to Yoshi’s family’s home on a small fishing island on the Inland Sea.
Preparing for this afternoon’s tea break, I put my lemon cookies and Dove chocolate on the blue and white dishes painted with images of Mount Fuji, which my sister, who by then had moved to Japan, gave me as a gift some years back.
Thinking of my sister I decide to decorate the table with the Lakshmi postcard she sent me, from Japan, this winter for my birthday. Coincidentally, This morning in my yoga class the teacher introduced the theme of giving and receiving abundance, pointing to a tapestry of Lakshmi as a visual aid.
In this case, I created a sense of synchronicity*. I consciously set up the echoing symbolism of Japanese tea, memories, and the Hindu goddess that my yoga teacher mentioned, and my sister had sent me an image of.
But lately, the synchronicities have been finding me. My dreams for example, have been dropping funny coincidences into my lap, at least once a day for the past week or so.
For example, last night I dreamed of a former colleague, whose name, I just realized, is the same as my sister’s. I ran into her this morning at the pricy health food grocery store, where I rarely shop. I’d just gone in to buy a bottle of vitamins, but accidentally turned down the diaper aisle instead. Since my “baby” is fully grown, I had no real business in that aisle. Except that that’s where I ran right into J., who was shopping with her adorable toddler.
“I was just thinking of you!” J., exclaimed when our grocery carts nearly collided.
“Of course you were,” I said, because these days that’s just how things have been going. Mind you, I can’t recall ever having dreamed of J. before, we haven’t been in touch in well over a year, and have maybe run into each other one other time in the 3 or 4 years since she stopped working in the same school where I still teach.
I won’t even mention the next coincidence today, when I jotted down the name of an acquaintance, one who has never before called me, but who … within three minutes of my writing her name on a Post-it because I wanted to invite her and a mutual friend to tea … called me. We haven’t communicated with one another since Thanksgiving, and I don’t believe she’s ever phoned me before. Hmmm.
Still, I’m skeptical of such things as synchronicty, precognition and other extraordinary phenomena. But because I experience these things, perhaps too often to consider co-incidental, I have to take pause and consider.
I take comfort in the fact that Carl Jung, who was trained as a scientist, believed whole-heartedly in sychronicity.
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung writes, “The unconscious helps by communicating things to us, or making figurative allusions. It has other ways, too, of informing us of things which by all logic we could not possibly know. Consider synchronistic phenomena, premonitions, and dreams that come true.” (p. 302)
How I would love to sit down to tea with Dr. Jung and talk all of this over.
“The collective unconscious is common to all; it is the foundation of what the ancients called the ‘sympathy of all things.’ ” –Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 138.
*synchronicity |ˌsi ng krəˈnisitē| noun 1 the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection : such synchronicity is quite staggering. ORIGIN 1950s: coined by C. G. Jung.