Signs and Wonders

Spring bud


Recently, an eagle sailed over my head. Not too long ago, a hawk swooped in front of my eyes. A few weeks ago, I found the roses that were left for me in the snowbank, red and pink silk on green plastic stems. Just tonight, a fortune flew to the floor in front of me. It read, “Doors open magically now, giving you the go ahead. Surprise results!”

But I must remind myself to stop looking for signs in the wonders of the world, signs about what the future holds. I mean, the man I’m now divorcing, I pursued because of a sign.

Back in 1984,when I was still living in Caracas, a woman came to our house to read my mother’s palm, hoping to tell her, I think, that her health would be restored and she’d live happily for many years. I stuck my palm in front of her and insisted she tell me my future. She said the man I would end up with would have curly hair and be a tennis player.

Six years later, still not meeting any tennis players, still not having the slightest interest in  the game, I thought, It’s possible that while that woman was examining the lines on my palm, that that shadowy indentation on the heart line wasn’t a tennis racquet. Maybe it was a guitar.  I was, after all, living in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 musicians.

This is why, as I try to map out the next road, I’m trying to avoid assigning deep, significant meaning to the wonders that happen all around me. Besides, trying to predict the future is living in the past.

Isn’t that what our brains do– take everything we’ve ever known and cleverly toss it back in front of us, with a magician’s hand, so it seems new.

What I’ve been aiming for is keeping memory and thought at bay. God mind, I say to myself, to chase away imagined conversations I have with some people, encounters where I’m usually defending myself. God mind, I tell myself, when I remember the things I know that I’m not supposed to know. God mind, I breathe, when I’m so angry I could break down walls.

Sometimes this works and sometimes I just need a sign.

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