On Skepticism and the Child’s Heart

Reading PalmsThe 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.

Hand“A huge theme for you right now,” the woman tells me as we begin, “is around protection. You’re protecting somebody right now who is really vulnerable. You’re really worried about them.”

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.

“This section shows that you have a strong sense of style and flair,” she tells me. “This tends to be pronounced in trophy wives.”

(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.”

Okay then.

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.


About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
This entry was posted in Living Deliciously, The Alphabet of Dating, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to On Skepticism and the Child’s Heart

  1. Jerry Keusch says:

    hmmmm, first to comment, I must have caught your posting early, like a fresh loaf of bread straight out of the oven, so I better be careful what I say. There’s no reason why a fortune teller can’t give us as much good advise as a counsellor, therapist, or hairdresser. Seems to me that her insight into protecting your heart is as good as you’ll get anywhere. I read yesterday that Buddhism has two concepts of love. Love of a partner, as we know it, is a love that is inevitably associated with pain, either through envy, hurt feelings, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the Buddhist concept of love starts with developing love for yourself first, then seeking to develop love for those closest to you, then to your friends and colleagues, and finally to everyone, including your enemies. Perhaps, you could open your heart this way first, then when it is strong enough it might recognise a partner it would like to get close to. I guess its the difference between human love and spiritual love. Who knows?

    • I love your fresh loaf of bread analogy and appreciate your diplomacy too. (One of my girlfriends said, “You paid 50 bucks for someone to tell you that? I could have told you that!”) I’ve found much wisdom in the writings of Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron. Are you familiar with her work? It was through her writing that I first became familiar with the concept of dharma, an appreciation of impermanence and change, and a recognition that with pleasure will always come pain. One more wise teaching about love courtesy of Buddhism. (One other thing the palm reader told me was that I was on a long journey of learning, that I would be finding my answers in exploring different philosophies, and that along the way, I would find teachers all over the globe. I thought of my Irish blogging friend, Jerry…)

      • Paul Kinder says:

        Thanks Sally, well Jerry just took on the pseudonym Paul, to allow him to be a bit more authentic in his posts. Yes, I’ve heard of Pema, but I’ve never read any of her books, my own personal gurus are Thich Nhat Hahn and Mathieu Ricard. As regards being a teacher, nah…I’m just a fellow traveller trying to learn from a lot of mistakes and some maddening habits.

      • Ahhh, the shifting identities of the internet… I’ve some familiarity with Thich Nhat Hahn, but have never heard of Mathieu Ricard. It’s been my experience that teachers come in all different guises, sometimes as fellow travellers.

  2. Seb says:

    eeeeeh. My skepticism around such things remains unabated. I’m a skeptical guy.

  3. I believe that whether it is psychology, astrology, palmistry or any other thing that takes your fancy, all these things are useful ‘mirrors’. They give us a different ways to reflect on our lives…Maybe that is more important than how scientifically proven they are? Don’t know, but that’s how I see it 🙂

  4. What great writing and perceptive observations. I really enjoyed it!

  5. Please answer this.

    I noticed the split (fork) at the end of your lifeline.

    Did you ever migrate or move to a different country to live at any time in your life?

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