The woman leans over the table toward me, holding my right hand, palm up, and peering intently at it. “Do you see this line here?” she asks. “This is your brain line. Do you see the way it branches at the end? This is typical of writers. Do you write?”
I’m having my palm read, in a shopping mall of all places. Behind us, people rush past, hurrying to complete quick lunch-time errands. I’m vaguely aware of mall music playing in the background. But the mall environment falls away as the palm reader begins. I tell her that yes, I write. “It looks like it’s really just beginning for you.” She’s right again.
I’ve never done something like this before, and I have to admit to some skepticism. But I’ve always been intrigued; and in the last few weeks, in that way that serendipity works, I’ve had a number of people suggest I have my astrological chart done, or that I investigate Tarot. And then Kira, Queen of All the Internet Dating, told me about her recent session with a palm reader whose assessment was spooky in its accuracy. And so, in my quest for direction (and, honestly, in my quest for a good blog post), I dropped in to have my palm read.
My children? I’ve been thinking recently about the ways in which I’ve protected them since the divorce, often at the expense of my love relationships. But as she talks, I realize that she isn’t talking about my kids, she’s talking about me, and the way I’ve been protecting my heart. “You have a child-like heart,” she tells me. “It’s a good thing. You see the good in the world, the wonder. There is no bitterness or pessimism. But your heart is about five years old. You have to protect it.”
Yes, I think. I’ve been very careful about protecting my heart in the last months. But I don’t share this. I’m skeptical, remember. I don’t want to give too much away.
In our half hour session, she tells me all kinds of things about myself and my life situation, many of which ring true: I’m deeply interested in other cultures, in art and architecture; there has been and will continue to be lots of travel in my life; I’ll be taking an educational trip at the end of October; I’ve inherited much in my nature and my talents from my father; I probably considered becoming a nun at some point in my life. (Okay, maybe not everything she said was entirely accurate).
At one point, she runs her finger along my right index finger. “Do you see how the top part of this finger curves in? That shows you were deeply disappointed in a first mating, usually a marriage.”
Yes. Disappointed would about sum up that experience.
She points to the pad on my hand just underneath my little finger and ring finger. “This fleshy part is to do with talent. It looks like you followed your father’s career path. You’ve taken a different direction, though. It looks like you work behind the scenes now.”
Wow. Like my dad, I became a high school teacher, but where he went into administration, I’ve found my way into online education, and spend much of my time now behind the scenes, developing courses.
(I’ve always suspected that I missed my true calling. I could do trophy wife like nobody’s business).
“And this little cleft shows that you’re very musical. You probably have perfect pitch.”
My mother, who suffered through my brief childhood flirtation with the recorder, might disagree.
Near the end of the session, she turns to matters of the heart. She looks carefully at the side of my hand, below my little finger. Then she pulls out a magnifying glass to take a closer look, as though she’s seen something unexpected. “There are quite a few men here,” she says. I do a quick calculation about how many men I’ve dated in the past six months. I’m up at about twenty. Yes, that is a lot of men.
She points to a more pronounced line. “This line here shows that there’s a man who’s trying to get your attention. He’s trying to win you over, but you’re keeping him at arm’s length. He knows you aren’t engaging with him emotionally.” She lifts her head and looks at me. “Why is that?”
“Um, probably to protect that child-like heart?”
She smiles at me. “You haven’t been in the mood to be anything but friends with him. But I see that you’re going to let him get closer. There’s enough potential and enough attraction.”
She pauses. “He’s going to have to honour your intelligence, though. He might not recognize that he’s dealing with a true equal in you.”
Another pause. “Yes, you’re going to have to let him into your heart a little, so he can show you more of himself. And you’re going to have to let him see the real you, too. Let him see more of your playful, sensuous side.”
As I’m gathering my things, she leans across the table. “The really important question you need to ask yourself about any man is whether he is somebody who will protect you, no matter what.”
I’m not sure if this advice is part of what she’s seen in my hands or whether it’s just sensible advice from one woman to another. One way or the other, I leave with all kinds of things to think about. And my child-like heart, open to the mysteries of the world, is a little less skeptical.