“Do you want to find out who you were in your past lives?” My friend asked me.
Being a decidedly undecided person, I have not yet decided exactly what I believe. I juggle various metaphysical theories, one of which happens to be reincarnation. Either way, would not most of us have difficulty resisting the mysterious allure of a medium that is going to somehow convince your very own unconscious mind to tell you what secrets it has hidden?
What could possibly go wrong? Being not only an undecided person, but also a very anxious person, of course I had an answer to that question.
But no matter. I went to my friend’s house that bright and chilly morning. I chatted with her a bit in the dimly lit dining room, which under different circumstances looked cozy, but in that mood it just looked gloomy. I was having some doubts. Maybe some stuff we just aren’t meant to know? Maybe some stones should be left unturned?
There was no time for any more doubts though. The man arrived. There was something eccentric about his face. There was some slight malformation of his jaw. His speech was pleasant but there was something about him that he held back—something that remained unspoken in his gaze. And he did gaze at me immediately with a slightly odd look, but he smiled, letting the look wash away. Theatrics, or was he ordaining something freaky? I couldn’t be sure.
Like most people, there are two sides to my personality, and they argue constantly, and it is exhausting. Side one is all free and happy and joyful. The response is something like: Of course this is legit! Spirituality is complicated and mysterious, and we must spend time uncovering the mysteries we are meant for. Then there is the other side, who is chronically skeptical, blunt, and often rude: Bullshit. It’s all bullshit. We are all just full of shit—bullshit, to be exact.
But given the sort of intense atmosphere, neither side was winning. There was just a blankness in my mind, with a bit of nerves.
My kindly friend allowed me to go first while she entertained my children, and so I was led into her living room where I settled into her couch. The man began to do a fair amount of talking, and my eyes settled on the bright electric lights of the clock on the TV stand. The rest of the room was in shadow.
“What is the first color that comes to mind?” He asked. Purple. And so I was instructed to close my eyes and visualize a purple room—purple floor, purple walls, purple ceiling. I was to visualize walking into this room, and from there go to a mirror. It was around this time that things started to get weird.
My eyes, closed behind my lids, felt like they were jerking. It felt as though they were rattling around so much that it was difficult to keep them closed. They began to feel hot and burning with a powerful need to cry. It should be noted here that I do not cry in front of strangers. Actually, I do not cry in front of people I know if it can be avoided, and it almost always is. Crying in front of people is weird, but hell, it was beginning to seem inevitable. This was rather odd, since I had not felt sad in the least until he started with the purple room.
And so he asked me what reflection I saw in the mirror. There was a woman that was difficult to make out with accuracy. Her image was a bit blurry, and all of her could not be gazed upon at the same time as one would from a distance. She had long grey hair and a long grey dress. She looked a bit older than me, and she was spinning. It was a pleasant sort of spinning, and fairly rapid.
He asked why I was upset, or rather, why she was upset. I looked at her hands and she was holding an oblong rock shaped like a baby, which was flashing back and forth between being a swaddled baby and simply being a baby shaped rock. As he questioned more and more it became more evident that the baby was gone. He continued to fish for information. What happened to the baby? All I could say, doing my best not to outright sob, was that she did not seem to know. Something had happened that was out of her hands, or she did not understand. He requested that I move forward in time, but then all I saw was stars.
Since purple was clearly not quite a happy color, we moved on. He asked me to think of the first color I associated with a particular question he asked. Green.
The same deal; a green room. This time there was no eye jerking, no crying, and no sadness at all. In the mirror was a man. This was a bit intriguing because on no level have I ever associated myself with masculinity, but there he was. A thin frame. The clothes were difficult to make out but were very basic looking, and didn’t exactly look modern. He had a pleasant disposition to him, but he was focused. Moving forward in time, he was sitting at a desk, writing. The room was barren and clearly not what belonged to a wealthy person, but there he was happily writing.
And then the time was up.
He told me to take my time settling back into the present moment. He walked me to the kitchen where I looked out the window at the green leaves and the birds going about their business. He said I would feel foggy, and I did. For the next hour I felt like I was operating on auto pilot—functional and aware, but a bit distant.
And now I have had time to digest it all, and the two sides of me are in a terrible fight. It was so intense! shouts one side. You just made it all up. You’re a writer, for god’s sake, of course you just made it all up! shouts the other. But the eyes—that intense emotion. Where did that come from? continues the first side. Who the hell knows, the other scoffs.
I don’t know. I suppose I never will.