Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
A few weeks ago I visited an acupuncturist, a woman who my wife sees fairly regularly. One of the first things that happened after I lay down was that she looked at my hand and informed me that I was going to be alive for a very long time.
I’ve been told this quite a few times before: My life line is very long and deep. I’ve never been quite sure how this particular prophecy engine works…does it predict how long I will live barring fatal accidents, or does it indicate that I have a better chance of avoiding those accidents? Does it declare the expiration date of my body or the expiration date of my luck?
I have a tenuous relationship with predestination of any kind. I’m fascinated by the methodologies and the way one interprets their personal foretellings to determine accuracy or inaccuracy. The Queen of Cups was laid across the Knight of Wands and maybe it explains what happened to me the next day at the airport. My stars align and I pick up a winning lottery ticket. Or, as it turns out, I am simply born with a complicated cipher on the palms of my hands, like VCR instructions written in dead languages, declaring my longevity, my temperament, my capacity to give and receive love.
I could be very content, I believe, living for an extraordinary number of years.
Tonight I walked through the winter’s first snowfall, a valediction of a darkly humorous nature, like a ticker-tape parade thrown in honor of the city’s most notorious confidence man. I walked and I imagined that the line curving elegantly down the center of my hand was like the blade of a breathtaking Japanese sword, the length of my life folded, like the metal, hundreds of times on top of itself. I imagined my hand telling me of the millennia I still had in front of me.
But I thought about photographs of a crying mother in Mumbai, and a wailing two year-old Israeli boy, whose loved ones have been cruelly stolen from them by yet another cadre of bloodthirsty maniacs, the sort of monsters who would be frightfully boring if only they didn’t cause so much actual damage.
I thought about my friend Mary, recovering in fits and starts from an extremely invasive operation, distraught from the pain and the separation from her life, from her home, from the joy still due her after her wedding.
I thought about Jack, little Jack, brought into the world with a unlucky draw, his liver damaged by a rare disease, soon to receive a transplant from his father that will finally, hopefully, alleviate his long months of jaundice and suffering. I think about his weight in my arms for those few minutes two Sundays ago. I think about Noelle, and Sean, and Lily; a family that has had to deal with so much different anguish in just a few short years that their strength and resilience can be considered nothing less than superhuman.
I pinch my index finger and thumb together at the base of the opposite wrist, gently take hold of the strand of my imagined immortality, draw it carefully out of the crease into the third dimension. I have a hundred thousand years pulsing on the tips of my fingers and I will it away to Mary, to Jack, to victims and mourners, to family and friends and complete strangers. This is my unused life, still in the original packaging, these are minutes and years I would otherwise waste on regrettable film viewings or other inconsequential nonsense; take it, please, in place of your agonies.
And the wick slowly burns away, inches at a time, until I am left with nothing more than an average expectancy, recoiling back into the tapestry.
I imagine all of this because I do not know, I am at a loss, as to what I can truly give to those being tossed about by the storm. So I concoct things that nobody can offer, and then distribute them accordingly.