Mystical Forests and Shetls of the Mind

This summer, the city has been almost hospitable except for a few weeks when, ahem, I have just happened to be out of town: California during that June heat wave and upstate this last week. I’m due to return tomorrow, just as the temperature will finally plunge below 90.

I mention all this not to brag–well, not just to brag—but because I’ve been trying to sort out why I don’t use my intuitive abilities in my personal life for uses other than maelstrom anticipation. (I also ducked out of town right before September 11, 2001 and that 2003 blackout.)

Once I was in a lawsuit against an entity whose counsel was far more powerful than my own. (Okay, I was suing an arm of Harvard University, which sounds insane but as I was 100 percent in the right I walked away with enough of a settlement to change careers.) At one point, their lead attorney asked rather nastily, “If you are in fact a psychic as you claim to be on your website….

(good for you, I thought; your lackeys know how to google)

why couldn’t you see this accident coming?” As he said this, he looked doubly smug; you could tell he was not only thrilled to put this case to rest but also to prove what malarkey this psychic business was.

Unfortunately for him, I have a computer science professor for a dad so am used to defending alleged malarkey. I said, “That’s like asking a therapist why they don’t treat themselves.” The stenographer–whom I’d already come to like for her gangster eyerolls–suppressed a smile as she tap-tapped away.

Only years later did I realize that accident had been my version of crashing through a glass ceiling. Because I’m such a fear-malingerer, I’d fallen through it instead.

Well, I guess that’s about the state of things. “Metaphysician, heal thyself” may be my reigning motto but it’s super hard to perceive what this entails right now. As always, money will force my hand; I’ve cruised through the last four months on savings and severance packages but have to improvise new income by mid-fall or will be in serious hot water. Yet I associate any steps forward with suffering; it’s in my blood, sure as the shetl. Though I disabuse clients of such attitudes, my fear of change snags me in the most tautological of ways. (Letting go of fear of change would, after all, be the hugest change of them all.) So how can I let this go? How do I move forward from this dark, dank place?

The answer is I don’t know. As a Capricorn, as a person who moves through life with few safety nets, and, yes, as an intuitive, nothing is more difficult than not knowing. Except, maybe, for admitting when I don’t.

I know how to find poetry in sidewalk cracks and hear all the songs of a sunrise and make delicious life-lemonade—so delicious, in fact, that half-empty types assume I’ve led a happy-go-lucky life. (This annoys me as few things do.) I even have learned to love myself at my least lovable, which is one of the hardest lessons we can learn. But the problem with being a person who’s always charted her own way is that there’s not an automatic path to follow. There’s the path of my heart and that path alone, and right now my heart is the scariest wilderness I know–full of childhood monsters and poisonous mushrooms and that ultimate fear of never finding my way at all. There’s mystical forests, too, though, and that’s what I keep telling myself. If you want magic you’re going to have to brave these woods.

I’m going to have to write about them, too.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy