Sousa: Blinking the third eye
I’m a skeptic by nature. Whether it’s organized religion, A-Rod’s claims of baseball innocence or my girlfriend’s biased testimony that I “ate all the hummus the other night after the bar,” my responses generally can be summed up with a sarcastic “no way.”
Maybe it’s my cynical East Coast persona, accumulated after 14 years spent in the heart of Boston Proper, where a statement like “You have positive energy!” would be greeted like this by the friendly local: “That’s because the Sox won, kid” or by the less cheerful local like this: “What the $@*& is wrong with you?!”
Am I open to discovering and believing new things? Yes, absolutely. But the needling pinch of East Coast doubt rests eternally in my inner monologue:
“Well, I’m headed to see a psychic in Basalt. She’ll take a picture of my aura and give me a reading, too.”
“Um, what happened to you since you left Boston?” I can hear the voice saying. “Why don’t you just move to Carbondale and raise some chickens?”
Anyway, I tuned that voice out and found myself tragically lost in Basalt, on the way to visit renowned psychic Angel Cusick. The low-hanging sky, pregnant with snow, pressed down on me as I drove, and my mind raced uncomfortably toward a crossroads: I had just impulsively agreed to take a temporary job back East.
“Brian?” Angel greeted me at the door with a knowing smile, her eyes inquisitively bright. “Did you get lost?”
I stepped into a glowing room stocked with books, glimmering trinkets and a large computer screen.
“Let’s start by taking a picture of your aura.” Angel’s voice, tinged with a fleeting British accent, was comforting; it was easy to be swept up in her psychedelic charm. I stared into the monitor, home to a complex “chart of bodily energy systems,” tentatively placing my hands on the sensors. There was a whirring noise, and a self-portrait popped out of the printer.
It looked like a Polaroid, but a ring of bright color surrounded my head and shoulders.
“The green color means you put your heart into everything you do — this is healing energy,” Angel remarked, “Turquoise is predominant; indicating you’re creative, could be successful writing books, have musical abilities and would be a good public speaker.”
Our casual conversation led us to a small table, where I placed my feet on the floor and my hands flat the table. Angel, when ready, nodded in assent and spoke quietly to herself, slipping away from the edges of reality while holding her hands over the objects I had hastily grabbed: a framed note from my late aunt, who I was close with, and several pictures of friends and family.
When she returned, the look in Angel’s eye was deliberate, as if she’d urgently realized she needed to pass some information on. My hands sweated on the table.
What followed was nearly two hours of mind-blowing discussion about my life, all laid on the table with grace, precision and alarming perception. My skepticism, now a loose parachute, drifted weightlessly away.
At one point, Angel raised her eyebrows. “You walked out on a prestigious job! You’re an academic, but since you don’t like the rules that come with that world, you reject it.”
On the money. Last year, I left a teaching job at Boston College to be a ski bum for a year.
While my East Coast psyche smoldered with quiet questions, I couldn’t avoid the obvious: How did Angel know specific things about my sister’s career, or my childhood, when we hadn’t covered either?
Well, Angel attended the London College of Psychic Studies in England for 15 years, has conducted over 15,000 case studies and established a famous psychic practice in London. For Angel, the study of the psyche is a serious, academic pursuit, worthy of both modern technology and plenty of advice from the old masters. Her clients range from top-flight CEOs to Grammy-winners to professors, she constantly reads for people all over the world, and she’s even able to do so based on an old-fashioned, audio-only phone call.
I can’t share any more of Angel’s predictions. Highly confidential. But I will say that as I walked out into the night, my mind felt clearer. It struck me: The knee-jerk reflex to scoff, to doubt, to deflect — it doesn’t help anyone. Since I’ve arrived in Aspen, I’ve become more open to the periphery. Whether it’s river surfing, tele-skiing, hut trips, ski racing or even spending St. Patrick’s Day in a church, I’ve found pieces of myself in what is foreign.
As I left, I talked with Angel about my aunt, who had come up a few times. “Oh, and she’ll be with you on the way home,” she mentioned casually.
On the drive home, the snow was lashing from the sky, making the drive a blurry nightmare. I cranked the heat to high but couldn’t escape a distinctly chilled feeling.
Why not, I thought. “How about a sign?” I asked my aunt aloud.
And just like that, the snow stopped.
Brian Sousa appears every other Sunday in The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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