Sunday, September 19, 2010

Are You Psychic?

Do you have psychic abilities?

It’s hard to believe that such a thing exists but I know from personal experience there are moments in life that are unexplainable. I believe we all have what is called a sixth sense but it varies with each person, by degree and experience. My “psychic” ability generally has to do with encounters.

For example, there have been many incidents in my life when I am in a public place and I look at a stranger’s face and for some odd reason a person comes to mind. The stranger looks nothing like the person that pops into my head but more often than not as I round a corner the very person I was thinking of is there.

For the most part that’s the extent of my experience, which to some could be chalked up to coincidence. Perhaps, but one experience changed my mind and led me to believe that it was much more than mere coincidence.

During the 1990s I worked as a waitress in a now-defunct restaurant located in Dillard’s Department Store at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas. I went to a table to greet new customers and get their order. It was a man and woman at the table and something about the woman struck me as familiar. How I came to the realization of who she was is a mystery to me. “Did you go to Clarence High School?” I asked.

She answered, “Yes.”

“Do you live here in Las Vegas?” I asked.

Once again they answered, “Yes.” Her husband was a local music teacher and she, well, I can’t remember what she said. But they had been living in Vegas for a few years.

Clarence is located in New York where I grew up but left when I was nineteen. I went to Clarence High only for my freshman year, transferring to another school where I graduated from before leaving western New York for good. In addition, I knew very few people from Clarence, save for the friends from my immediate neighborhood.

How I knew this woman was from that school was crazy, especially because she was not in my grade but two years ahead of me. Some might say I have a good memory but I have a short attention span and am by no means in possession of a photographic memory. Yet, I didn’t place too much stock in the recognition other than to be amazed at the coincidence of it all. After enjoying the wonder of it we said our farewells.

A month or so later my husband, children and I went back to New York for a visit. Our base was Corfu where I called home. Of course visiting took us to other towns and one of them was Clarence where we found ourselves one afternoon when we decided to find a place to eat.

We got out of our car and at first headed to one restaurant but halfway across the road we changed our minds and chose a different spot. Because our group was so large we headed to the back of the restaurant and parked ourselves. At one point I got up and went to the front counter. Guess who was there? The same man and woman I’d met at Dillard’s. It was such a shock to see them; what are the chances of such an encounter? 3,000 miles away, in the same little town, in the same little restaurant, at the same time; my belief in coincidence was really shaken now.

But, that wasn’t the last time I would question it.

For some reason my husband and I decided we needed to change our plane reservations adding an extra day to our vacation. On the day of departure we were in the lounge awaiting our flight when we encountered, you guessed it, our “new” friends.

By now I came to the conclusion that there was a divine reason why this couple kept turning up and believed time would reveal the reason. That never happened.

It turned out that the couple had no ride home from the airport. We offered them one. After we dropped them off, remarking the whole time about the strange set of circumstances that led to our paths repeatedly crossing, we said goodbye. I have not run into them again, not in over ten years.  Were we just supposed to give them a ride home?  That's it?

I’ll share one other unexplained moment and leave the question about the existence of psychic abilities to you.

When my husband and I were dating, this was around 1986, we were in bed sleeping. Around 3:00 am we were both woken up by a knocking on the wall outside of my bedroom. It didn’t happen once but three times. Knock, Knock, Knock. After an investigation we found no one about. We didn’t know what to make of it but we soon forgot the incident. The next evening we were in the car with his parents on our way to dinner.

His mother said, “The strangest thing happened last night. I was woken up around 3:00 in the morning with a knocking on the wall outside our bedroom.”

We looked at one another, our mouths wide open. We shared our own experience but to this day have no explanation for how or why this knocking occurred to us, much less to his mother at the exact same time.

All I can come up with is that things beyond our control or reason occur in this world. Sure it would be nice to know why, but it’s really okay with me. I like knowing that mystery exists in this human experience of ours. Frankly, I love these unexplained experiences; I am in awe of how the Universe graces me with little nuggets of wonder.
I can’t wait to see what awaits me around the next corner………………….  
What are your psychic experiences?  Do tell.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Year To Call My Own

Of my fifty years on this earth, I have lived only one of them on my own. That was 1979 to 1980. Even though I was the only person paying the rent on my humble abode, I was never truly alone and in reflection all of these years later, I wish I would have taken advantage of the short time to really get to know myself. Instead, I was on the cusp of making choices that would form the path the rest of my life would journey down. But for that one year, I was all mine.

When I want to end a love relationship I find it difficult to just say, “We’re over.” I’m too gullible and I find myself back and forth, unable to break the ties for good. My solution, then, is to physically remove myself; basically I flee the state hoping that geographic distance can do what my heart cannot. That’s what happened in 1979. It was time to break it off with Michael but he wasn’t making it easy.

I’ll show him I said. Using what little money I had I purchased a 1970 Willy Jeep truck, a camper that fit over the bed, packed up all my belongings, which included my dog Babe, my cat Natasha, Zeppo my cockatiel, and headed north.

Once again I was optimistic that everything would turn out alright. I had nothing but a location to go to; no job or friendly face awaited me; as usual I leapt first and hoped for the best. In Jacksonville, Oregon I had heard about Dogs for the Deaf. Wally Ross, one of my mentors during my EATM years told me that a fellow animal trainer by the name of Roy Kabat had started a program in Oregon and that I might be able to get a job there. That’s all the motivation I needed so off I went.

Getting settled took a bit of doing, but once again things just fell into place and soon I had a job and a place to live. Of course I don’t do things the normal way; my “home” was in my camper (I soon traded up and rented a travel trailer) and parked myself on the Applegate River. The property I stayed on belonged to one Harlan Paige Bosworth, an old man whose land was used for the annual summer jazz festival and who graciously allowed my presence. I literally had the river, a campfire, and the sounds, sights, and smells of nature right outside my front door. It was heaven.

Can't you just hear the sound of the river?

Babe, my constant companion
The first job I acquired and kept throughout my time there was at a steak house. I also talked my way into the Dogs for the Deaf job so everything was working out just as I’d hoped. If only Michael, the jilted love I’d left behind in California would have left me alone. Instead, he was a constant presence in my sanctuary and eventually he would once again wear me down.

Within a year I would find myself packed up and heading south. I would be a wife by summer and a mother by next fall. My year alone on the river would become a sweet memory lost to the years of making a life that was ahead of me.

It’s when I look at the pictures of that time in Oregon that I yearn for the simple life I led; aside from all the emotional turmoil I was in, it really was a year of wonder. And it was all mine.

I'll find my way back there again someday, soon.