Monday, February 12, 2007

Not Another Jedi Mind Trick

My father is fond of buying American Indian jewelry for me. Unless I'm with him to pick it out, it's usually hideous: kokopelli earrings with multicolored stone insets or something like that. When I visit my family in California over the winter holidays, sometimes he takes me to his favorite jewelry store in SJC, Zia Jewelry, to let me pick out my own stuff. One of my favorite gifts in recent years was a necklace, earring and bracelet set made from sterling silver and white opal: simple earrings, a "tennis" bracelet with rectangular white opal baguettes, and a silver ouroboros inlaid with white opal.

One winter night, I wore the necklace and bracelet to a theater show at the high school where I used to teach. After I got home from the show, David and I were sitting on the green couch, chatting about our day. He looked at my necklace and said, "That really is a pretty necklace."

"Thanks," I said, unconsciously feeling for the bracelet on my wrist. It wasn't there! I ran down to my car and looked to see if it had fallen off while I was driving home. Retracing my steps from the car to the front door, I replayed the entire evening in my mind, desperate to pinpoint the moment the bracelet had fallen off. I called the restaurant where I'd met David and his mom for dinner before heading off to the theater by myself. They were cleaning up and hadn't found it. I figured it must have fallen off in the theater. I would go look for it tomorrow.

That night in bed, I fretted over the loss of my bracelet. My father and I have a difficult relationship, and the gifts he gives me are loaded with complex feelings and meanings for me. In fact, I felt so bereft about the bracelet's loss that I started thinking to myself, "if I can't deal with the loss of this present from my dad, how in the world am I going to deal with the loss of my dad when he dies?" I know; it's morbid, but it's how my mind was working at the moment.

I turned to David and said, "My molecules are still on that bracelet. I'm gonna stay connected to them and I'm gonna find that bracelet."

He laughed and said, "Okay."

The next day, I went to teach my first two classes, waiting until my free third period to head toward the theater. On my way across campus, I told myself that I was going to follow the energy of my molecules. I would just let my body go where it was pulled. I had to cross the street to get to the middle school campus. When I got to the parking lot by the theater, I peeled away from the theater toward the lot where I'd parked the night before. In the middle of the parking slots was a small grassy esplanade. With a surety I cannot explain, I walked to the esplanade, took a couple steps on the grass, stopped, looked down, and at my feet lay my bracelet. When I saw it, I almost passed out. MY BRACELET! I could not believe that I'd found it not by "looking" but by "feeling." I picked it up, ran back across the street to the high school campus, straight to my office, where I tried to convey my sense of wonder to my two office mates.

They stared at me as if I were crazy. Given all my babbling about molecules and energy and finding-by-feeling, I can understand; nevertheless, it was a true, real, and mind-expanding experience for me, and it amplified my respect for psychic abilities, my own and other people's.

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