Friday, July 21, 2006

What's Been Going On...

On Monday, we kept hearing large "thumps" around the house. Scully explained that they were the products of construction work next door. I didn't agree. I spend everyday in this house -- right beside the construction -- and, what I heard was the sound of a heavy box being dropped on the front porch.

I was in the bath when I first heard it and thought, "F---! I missed the Purolator guy!" (OK, I swear when I speak to myself.) As I'd stepped into the bath that morning, I'd forgotten about the possibility of delivery. I was awaiting the arrival of the rest of my daughter's birthday gifts and was worried that I'd have to go pick up a large box at a postal outlet with a toddler and a stroller.

Anyway, I jumped out, got dressed and ran downstairs: there was nothing.

The thump occurred at least a few times again throughout the day and I ignored it.

What was very frightening to me -- and it is very unusual for me to be afraid -- happened as I was trying to rest in my bedroom while the baby slept. The air conditioners in our rooms were on but I heard the sound of my living room door open and shut (a door that leads to the enclosed porch).

"Hello?" I called out, leaning over the upstairs railing. Why? I don't know. It's not as if I think a burglar would shout back or anything but what else do you do?

A second later, I slipped down the stairs, ready to close a door or to call 9-1-1, only to discover that all three front doors were securely latched. In fact, the doors leading to the porch have an old-fashioned style of lock that requires much more digital manipulation than those of today. It would be impossible to open these doors from the outside.

Confused, for some reason I chose to ignore my impressions of my maternal grandmother and of another, different ghost. I mean, I saw them but just didn't think about them. It was the day of this grandmother's birthday (which I'd also forgot).

That night, with sufficient responsibilities to erase all-but-essential data from my mind, I went to bed after locking up and arming the house.

On Tuesday morning, I awoke and went downstairs. I couldn't help but scream. The porch door in the dining room was wide open!! How long had it been open? Anything could have happened to my baby, to us, throughout the night.

Scully came down to investigate, assured me that it must have been unlocked but I was unconvinced. I know that I'd locked that door. I know that I didn't open the dining room door at all throughout the previous days.

I believe that my grandmother is here but it's not her behaviour because the activity is uncharacteristic of other visits to others in my family. Someone else is here, somebody more . . . annoying.

Just the other day, last Thursday, I was doing laundry and waiting patiently for my load to finish. After an hour it occurred to me that I hadn't actually heard my washing machine in the longest time.

When I went down to the laundry room, I was astonished to find that the lid to the machine was up -- which means that the machine won't run -- and, thinking that I'd been careless and forgot to actually start the laundry, I went over to put the lid down.

At the panel, I saw that the load was actually almost finished -- meaning, that the load had been interrupted -- and the knob had been pressed down (which means the machine was turned off).

I hadn't been down there at all. My daughter doesn't go down to the basement without myself or my husband and there's no way that she could have reached the machine's lid anyway even if she'd stood on a chair.

So, in the end, I'd forgotten again who I am and what I actually do for a living: If there's one thing I've learnt in the past twenty or so years, when you're doing renovations, activity increases.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Cat

At ballet class last week, all the dancers were asked if they had pets.

"Yes, I have a pet. I have a cat. It's orange."
"What's his name?"

Gigi has often spoken of Darfy (whose name is her pronunciation of 'Garfield') and, very recently, I came to the conclusion that it is her imaginary friend.

Scully has told me a few stories over the past couple of weeks that Gigi has related to him. I remember vaguely hearing something about Darfy rolling around and around on her bed.

This means, of course, that I forgot who I am and what I actually do for a living until my sister asked a very poignant question:

"Could she be seeing Avery?"

Avery had been my cat since 1996. He died last year, suddenly, in August. He was, of course, orange. Now, I had to know.

"Gigi, do you have a cat?"
"What's his name?"
"What does he look like?"
"He's orange."
"Oh, where do you see him?"
"He sleeps on my bed. I tickle his tummy."

This goes to show that you're never too old to learn. Or to be humbled, for that matter. I've never believed in 'animal ghosts' before now. I'd always thought that, if you get the impression of an animal, it's either at a distance (and the cat is alive) or it's in the past. She may very well be seeing Avery.

"Do you still see Fred?"
"No, he left my home."
"He did? Where did he go?"
"He had to go to another place."

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Case of the Crystal Skull

OK, remember when I said that I don't stare at crystal balls? Well, that isn't to say that I haven't stared at them.

I have never owned a ball but a former friend of mine in the university days had one. He wasn't psychic to any appreciable degree but he did have a lot of money. He believed in magic of sorts (and I don't). Unfortunately, he spoke altogether too often about Aleistair Crowley for my comfort. In the days that seemed so distant from our common goal of graduation, we met in the evenings and our quiet friendship lasted about four years.

But I've digressed.

I saw it sitting on a glass shelf in his immaculate apartment. He took it down protectively, placed it on the carpet and showed it to me. I think I stared at it for half a second and thought, Poor guy! He's been taken.

Not wanting him to feel stupid, I said:

"Is it supposed to have an image of a skull in it?"

I've never seen fear or shock grip somebody so quickly. His brown eyes stared back at me and I thought, for certain, that I was seeing fear. No, shock. Both? (I couldn't tell which since, if you think about it, they look pretty similar.) He quickly covered the ball up and put it back in its box. Needless to say, I was completely confused.

"You're joking, right?" He asked.

I shrugged. "No. It looked like a green-greyish skull and it looked like it was manufactured that way." His reaction was bothering me. I truly believed in its earthly origin; he was a scientist, why didn't he?

"I've been staring at it for hours and I've never seen anything... I don't want you to look at it anymore."

Umm, I thought, OK.

So, there you have it: my first and only time staring at a crystal ball. What happened that night? I don't know. I'd obviously seen something he'd wanted to see but what was it? I don't know and he jealously guarded the crystal ball, never allowing me to look into it again.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Scary and Good

Anyway, many of you have asked me for details and I think it's time to dish. I want to tell you about the scariest reading that I've ever done. Well, let me rephrase that: I want to tell you about the reading that frightened me the most.

It happened about eight years before I started reading professionally. I'd always read for friends and acquaintances for free. The settings varied: Sometimes they were done at my home, in the university cafeteria (I think) or a cafe.

An acquaintance of mine always wanted a reading and I think I generally declined. One day, in a cafe, I gave in and pulled out my cards. (By the way, cards aren't necessary).

As I lay out the cards, I could feel a familiar anxiety rising in my chest. Voices around me became indistinct as I focussed more clearly on the task at hand.

The reading went along pretty smoothly: I told him about his past and what was going on in the present very accurately. Then, I saw it:

"You're going to be going on an unexpected trip really soon!" I felt a sense of urgency.

"Flying," I continued. "It could be just a couple of days away but it actually looks like a couple of hours away."

He looked puzzled. "Really? Why?"

I didn't know how to tell him so I just said, "It's family-related." Gawd, I had such a sense of dread.

The next day, I didn't think anything about not seeing him. I didn't see him everyday. I didn't even know him very well. I just went about my secretarial job and went home. Days followed days, of course, until I saw him again.

"You were right," he said, a look of fear spread across his face.


"You were right. About the reading. After working that day, I went home and went to bed. In the middle of the night, my family got a phone call from the ---- coast. My grandmother died... We flew out the next day."

I found this frightening for some reason. These days, it's quite commonplace but I was jolted right then. I didn't want to read anymore for anyone.

Of course, you know that I did keep reading but, when I started doing it professionally, I actually called myself the 'reluctant psychic'.


Generally, since my appointments come via word-of-mouth for the most part, people leave pretty satisfied with the reading.

The times that make it seem very worthwhile are those during which clients go out of their way to let you know that they enjoyed the reading, like when they tell you they've been talking about you on the radio or want to do so or when they ask to take all of your business cards (which reminds me: Print up more business cards). Yesterday was just such a day.

I don't need the publicity but it makes me feel . . . I don't know, good and much more enthusiastic about my job.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

All Walks, Just Thoughts

Honestly, getting back to work, I'm not as enthusiastic as I'd hoped to be but I wouldn't say that I'm burnt out anymore.

I can't believe the number of people that I've met: politicians, doctors (academic, medical, and veterinary), lawyers, strippers, heroin/coke addicts, waitresses, psychics, television producers, abuse survivors, depressed people, psychopathic people, psychotic people, social workers, sales reps, horse trainers, carpenters, authors, teachers, dental hygenists . . .

Life is full of interesting folk. My job has taught me that more than anything else. (I also see just how rare psychopaths really are. Of all the hundreds of people I've met, I believe I've only ever come across one. )

I don't think I began giving readings specifically to help people. When I began to see that I was helping people in my own peculiar way, it felt good. I liked it.

When I see signs that I'm helping, I want to keep doing it.

I know that I'm different from other psychics, probably because I'm so strongly convinced that my ability -- whatever you call it -- is biologically based and not the product of some strange confluence of ether and crystal (not -- cough -- that there's anything wrong with that).

I have spiritual beliefs and I don't think biology precludes spiritual reality. I see ghosts and the past and the future because my brain works that way: It enables me to see what others may not. I feel what others feel, even after they've left a room or when they're on the other end of the telephone.

I don't stare at crystal balls; I don't think tarot cards hold any inherent power. I don't think that I'm special. I think I get information and I, ultimately, don't know why except that this is connected to neurochemical events originating in my brain.

All this being said, I hope that my brain works effectively enough to help me drive in the days ahead. I am relinquishing my status as one of life's pedestrians. As my child ages, I realize that I need to be able to get her to her art class, ballet class, keyboard class . . . Somehow, I foresee it only gets busier from this point on.