Reading the Yogurt Cups

We went to the Teatro Odeon the other night to catch the new movie called A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley, Vigo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender. We were excited to see their depiction of the two pioneers of psychotherapy, Freud and Jung because we’ve always been fascinated with their incredible contributions to the field of psychology. In fact, many of the concepts, therapies and ideas we take for granted today were products of their fertile early 20th century minds.

Freud and Jung
Freud and Jung

While Freud was determined to make everything about repressed sexual drives, Jung was busy exploring the newly discovered worlds of Synchronicity, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. They partnered together for years, but eventually had fundamental differences that drove them apart. In any case, they were both ardent about the analysis of Dreams, as a rich source of information about what’s going on inside the psyche that we can’t see. And so this story begins.

Engaged in conversation after the movie, we decided to do some psychoanalysis of our own. Why not? We like a little adventure and have enough experience to at least play around with the concepts. After all, nobody’s going to get hurt and you never know . . . we might just come up with some profound new technique to give a contemporary boost to their pioneering efforts. And that’s exactly what we did!

The idea flashed into our minds

After lunch that next day, we were sitting outside at the table talking about the possibilities of doing our own research when it occurred to us: If you can analyze Dreams, Synchronicities, Tea Leaves and Ink Blots, then why can’t we take a look at the messages hidden in some of the more ordinary unconscious aspects of the every day? Glancing down at the remains of our lunch, our eyes synchronously landed on the glass yogurt cups we each had just emptied. That’s it! The idea had already dawned on us and there was no turning back.

Cheryl’s beautiful life

We’ve had a running joke about our daily yogurt consumption for some time now. It seems you can’t get those last few scoops out of the bottom, without dinging and scraping your spoon on the glass . . . way too many times. Our lunches always end with a chorus of  delicate-sounding wind chimes, or obnoxious fingernails on a chalkboard scratching sounds that make you finally want to yell—WILL YOU STOP THAT! like Jackie Gleason used to do on the Honeymooners when Ed Norton kept straightening the newspaper.

Mad dog biting at her heels

So, we each picked up our recently scraped yogurt cups and held them up to the light. Cheryl had pressed her fate into some noce ,walnut flavored yogurt, and I embossed my own secret script in Alpen Joghurt Limone, lemon from the Italian Alps. Sure enough, there on the bottom were secret messages that were unconsciously drawn by our psyches without us even knowing it. We passed them back and forth spinning them around to find the best vantage point into our vast, suppressed unknowns. We tossed around ideas and impressions of the images, trying to add some objectivity and professionalism into our new technique. We enjoyed the process so much, we decided to try it again the next afternoon with some fresh Papa Reale, royal bees jelly, and Frutta di Bosco, mixed berries from the woods.

Temptations of Pinocchio

Here’s what we discovered: Cheryl has an unconscious desire for a beautiful life much like that of a delicate rosebud emerging in the early springtime sun, while simultaneously harboring deep-seated fears of an attack by a ferocious dog that’s trying to shred her to bits in a single bite. Emerson, on the other hand, is longing for a smooth sailing excursion in the Greek isles while fearing the ever-present childish spirit of Pinocchio that constantly tempts him into submission. PERFECT! Everything looks like we’re developing into well-adjusted sages with an abundance of wisdom and opportunity.

Smooth sailing

For the next phase of our joint research, we’re thinking about recording the sounds of our daily cup clanging/scraping sessions with a strategically placed lunch-time microphone. Maybe, if we slow the sounds down to half speed we will uncover some hidden messages being sent via Morse Code from the subconscious of one of our id, ego, or super-ego selves. (Thank you Dr. Freud.) There’s no question that both Freud and Jung would be proud of our daring innovations—what’s the harm? Or could it be a Dangerous Method indeed!

Note: You may enjoy the following music we wrote about this topic. One song is called “Loophole,” and the other is “Something Out of Nothing.”


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