Friday, November 22, 2013

On premonitions

I woke up today feeling deeply uneasy and uncomfortable, for no readily apparent reason. By the time I got to work, I was manifesting all the signs of anxiety - elevated heart rate, tight clenching gut, hypersensitivity to noises, etc etc etc. I tried to shake it off, giving myself a stern lecture about the unreasonableness of my feelings and their lack of basis in fact. But all morning, as I worked my way through my list and then attended a perfectly straightforward and unproblematic meeting, I felt like there was storm coming, and I couldn't stop myself from worrying.

Then, when I got back to my desk at lunchtime, I opened my email to find two major bombs had gone off while I was away - issues that had been progressing and were now thrown into disarray, resulting in a steaming mess that is going to take weeks, if not months, to remediate. While I was obviously unhappy about this, in a weird kind of way, it was almost a relief - the sensation of "something wicked this way comes" was lifted, my thumbs stopped pricking, and I was above to swing into recovery mode quite quickly. The rest of the day was not exactly beer and skittles - even the kids, when I collected them, seemed hell-bent on making sure the day would go down in the Annals of Shit Days - but at least I didn't have that looming sense of doom that had made the morning so difficult.

I mused on Twitter earlier that I still wasn't sure whether my anxiety was a result of having subconsciously picked up signals that things were about to turn in a bad direction, or whether I had had a precognition. That's not really a true divide, though - I believe, have always believed, that most premonitions of disaster (mine included) can be both real AND explained by normal sensory experience at the same time. I think a lot goes on in the greylands beneath consciousness, and most of us perceive even very subtle signs that things are about to go wrong, even if our conscious minds are bubbling along in happy oblivion. I'd tend to put intuition in the same category, actually - genuine, and powerful, AND explicable through the vastness of the human brain and its response to stimuli, rather than something extrasensory or supernatural.

I don't know. I guess I'm not completely closed to the idea that ESP *could* exist - there are more things in heaven and earth, etc - but I've yet to see anything remotely resembling evidence of it. Interesting to think about, anyway.

This is post 22 in NaBloPoMo. 22 down, 8 to go!

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