Sunday, August 22, 2010

Houston/Galveston Psychic Trip: How we got invited

     Scared, intrigued and excited, Ruby J and I get invited to a “Psychic Girls Weekend” trip in Houston by our good friend Raquel. We meet Raquel when she came to Fort Worth to visit my sister-aunt Loretta. I call her that because even though she really is my aunt, she is only five years older than me. It just feels wrong calling someone who’s supposed to be your elder “aunt” when she is more like a sibling. I digress…anyway; Loretta called to say Raquel had arrived, so I speed over to meet her. I have been hearing stories about Raquel for years now and finally I get an invite to meet the only person (I know of) in the world that has psychic abilities and reads jewelry. Reads jewelry? What is that? Well, Raquel has the ability to read stories and histories of metal and stones. How’s this done? Raquel holds the jewelry in her closed hand and meditates, becoming one with the piece, allowing it to talk to her.

     Raquel then begins to tell the tale using her voice as the items channel to “get its message out.” Raquel will tell you that though the meaning is clear, understanding or decoding the jewelry’s message is up to the owner along with interpretation depending on how old the jewelry is and where the metal or stone originated from. If you have a piece of jewelry that was handed down from generation to generation there may be stories you don’t know about. Or, if you have a piece of jewelry that was melted down or re-tooled the metal or stone will always carry with it the history of anyone who wore the piece.

     Eagerly we sat waiting our turn feeling like we are back in school being picked for the kick ball team. Silently, each of us is screaming, “Pick me, pick me.” Beautiful Raquel with her soothing sincere voice looks over at my daughter and asked if she has any jewelry she would like read. Shocked that she would be picked first, she quickly looks at her hands, oops not wearing a ring today, feels her neck, no nothing there either, then slides her hands to her ears and walla-earrings. Two small diamond studs adorn her ears. She quickly takes them out and hands them to Raquel. Raquel gently closes her hand, sits in silent for a few moments then opens her eyes abruptly. She looks around the room, then to my daughter and says, “Maybe we should talk in private.” Each of us protests, wondering what could be so secretive that can’t be shared. Raquel looks directly at my daughter and says, “I don’t think you would want everyone to know this and I don’t want to reveal anything you may not want known.”

     My daughter looks at her, then at me, and says, “These earrings were a gift from my boyfriend, and there is nothing I can’t share with my mom or family.” Raquel gives her the "are you really sure" look and allows the earrings to speak. “I see a baby boy.” STOP! Dead silence in the room as we all turn towards my daughter, each of us have the same question going on in our heads, “You are pregnant?” She jumps up and with firm confidence says “NO!” Raquel, says, “Well, I may be rusty, but there is no question about the certainty of the message, let me finish and see if it makes sense to you.”

     “I see a baby boy. You are terribly unhappy, feel helpless, and don’t know what to do because the marriage is bad. There is abuse, control, threats, and now you are pregnant again. You are far from home, hundreds of miles away and don’t have anyone to talk to. He has you trapped, caged knowing your family is far away and he is in control.” STOP, WAIT RIGHT THERE, pregnant again? I look to my daughter with brows raised and she says, “Mom I am not pregnant, nor have I ever been pregnant, I swear! AND, when have I ever been away from home?”

     Hum, good point. We are all up walking around trying to make sense of it all, asking questions, getting more coffee and comfort food. Right now anything will do, just give us something to stuff in our mouths. Raquel is calm trying to explain how she has no control over what the earrings reveal, but stands by the strength of the message. I ask her to try again, but she only comes back to the original message. Perplexed we try to go deeper. Did her boyfriend get the earrings from someone else and then give them to her? Could they have belonged to another at some point in time? We ask questions like when did you get them, where did they come from, has anyone else worn them besides you, did anyone borrow them from you? Trying to answer all our questions she looks up at me and says, “There is one possibility, but it’s kind of a secret.” I’m bewildered and confused not knowing where she is going as she says, “Mom, remember when I called crying because I only had the earrings for a couple of weeks and lost one of the diamonds?”

     Instantly my adrenalin begins dumping each half second, my heart begins to race, pupils dialate, frozen shock takes over, and all of a sudden I can’t speak, move or think. Trying to pull it all together and not wanting to connect the message and its memories, I begin to feel the emotions churning, going back in time, THAT place that had been stuffed and suppressed, now begins to feel raw all over again. My mind runs through the earrings story again and it hits me with full force. Immediately my stomach cramps, I’m re-living the scene, can’t breathe, no way out, as fear overcomes me. Feeling all eyes on me, I slowly and purposely make the words come out.

    “OK, (breathe) when I answered her distraught phone call about the lost diamond she was a mess and didn’t know what to do.  I tried to calm her but she was so upset because her boyfriend had worked so hard to buy them for her. She knew it was not her fault but she didn’t want to disappoint him or know about the lost diamond. So, I suggested she take a diamond from the wedding ring given to me by her father (my ex). After all, it just sits in the jewelry box, God knows I’ll never wear it and I had planned on giving it to the girls when they grew up anyway. This was the perfect solution. She came over and the diamond was the exact size, so she took it to the jeweler and her life was good again.

     As the reality of the story sinks in, the crowd now makes the connection. The one diamond had carried with it years of sadness locked into the stone. Before my daughter took the diamond it had sit alone in the jewelry box for almost 15 years, holding onto memories of the last time it was ever worn and could not let go of. Finally it would be heard, using Raquel to unlock the door that had been closed for so long. Raquel walked over to me and said the diamond must be cleansed, because the sadness it held was so strong it possessed negative energy for the wearer. Raquel walks us through each step of the cleansing ceremony using salt and sun to absorb the bad and infuse the good energy.

     Still stunned by the honesty of the stone, each of us are now a little scared to hear what other stories the jewelry in the room may unfold. One by one, we hear good, funny, sad and strange tales as we unravel the web of days gone by and unlock the history of family stones. I think there is that little place in the back of our minds that we are all wishing that Raquel is the ancestor jewelry psychic who will bring us messages from our grandmother, whose jewelry I still wear today.

     Raquel asked us, if we have jewelry that just makes us feel good, something that lifts our spirits when we wear it, no matter what kind of day we may be having, as it may be the energy associated with the jewelry. I have a beautiful black and silver necklace and earring set, that when I wear it, I feel a euphoric wave of pleasure. I can only imagine the stories it holds. I remember seeing my grandmother wearing it when I was a little girl and how beautiful she was, confident, sophisticated, and elegant.

     Raquel also warned about buying and wearing used jewelry. Each piece carries its history good or bad. She told a story of a friend who had her eye on an estate ring. When she finally saved enough money she bought it. She had never thought about its energy until she met Raquel. Though she loved the ring, she said every time she wore it she became depressed, sad and lethargic. After a reading, she learned the rings original owner was murdered by an ex-lover and her horrific death was the last memory the ring held.

    Mouths gaping and still mesmerized, it’s time for Raquel to go back to Houston. Before she goes, she invites all of us to come to Houston for a girl’s weekend getaway. We all check our schedules and probably would have packed our bags that day if she could have fit us in her car. With the date set, Raquel drives south. We on the other hand sit and talk for hours, re-living the day’s events and wondering just how she does it and what life is like in the psychic world….to be continued.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

When Friends Call or I’ll Bring the Swine

     In the Fall of 199(?) something, Ruby J decides to remodel, reface, redo, and rearrange her dated living room. So, she does what all girls do in their time of need. She called her Lobster sisters for help. I thought, yeah, a new project and a reason to get together and create new beginnings. Loaded down with sewing machines, hot glue guns, pins, tacks, tape, paint brushes, fringe, sequins and wine we arrive and scan the space. Filled with pride, as if we have all been personally selected to give the Mona Lisa a facelift, we follow a strict protocol and open the wine first. Leonardo De Vinci’s standing together in the middle of Ruby J’s living room, sharing a moment of silence for the old crap (hanging in there for so long) and making a celebrated toast asking Christopher Lowell to enter our souls and give old Mona a Flash Dance curly perm and a push up bra.

     Now I’m not talking about armatures here. Each one of us has at some point in our lives “created” something, so we feel pretty confident we are subject matter experts in this field. I mean, who wrote the rules for decorating? And, what made them the expert? We say who, we say when, we say who, is and always will be our motto. We don’t need no stinking de-Ka-rate-tour judging or telling us how to create the perfect room. Furthermore, anyone can create a space on unlimited funds, that’s just a no-brainer. Real creativity comes when you have to work with what you have, or one-hundred dollars, whichever is available to you. If there is one thing we are good at, it’s working with nothing, come on, after all we are dispatchers, we’ve always got a plan B, C, D, and E in our back pockets just in case the situation changes. And that’s exactly what we have here.

     Like passionate opera singers, in perfect harmony each of us are verbally designing the ideal space. Ruby J watches, never says a word and lets us ramble on and on then finally presents her inspiration piece. She lays a flat sheet, still in the plastic wrapping on the couch and says this is what we have to work with girls. We stop in mid-stream, look at her with “I beg your pardon,” “Did we hear you correctly,” “I think I misunderstood what you just said,” deer in the headlight gazes. Without speaking, we each search the room for the bottle of wine, then glance to see how many bottles are here. Ahh, there it is, “More please,” “Me too,” “Yes, thank you,” “Here, go ahead and take the last little bit,” “Oh no, you have it, I insist.” Well, plan B it is.

     Anxiously Ruby J rips the plastic off the king size sheet, unfolds it and shakes vigorously until it opens completely. It floats in the air and gracefully descends to the floor revealing all its rich colors and patterns. Earth tones burst forth in a rich Aztec pattern as the sheet comes to life. At that moment we know why Ruby J was drawn to the sheet. We could see how the room would come together from this one inspiration. The warm tones changed the cold room into an inviting and comforting space. Now the question was how to make it happen with the slim budget. White walls turned to radiant sunsets reflecting off a red, orange and rust cliffs pallet. A rug was scored on sale, taking the eye away from the dated carpet. It’s the first thing you see when entering the room, catches your attention and teases the eye where to look next. Ruby J has only one window in the living room. It’s a bay window with one center and two sides. The aluminum blinds are outta here and the new King size sheet will adorn the space. This is a westerly window and the sun is blinding hot in the evening. Together we brainstorm on how to make the best with the difficult shape and odd frame. “Can I have another glass of wine please?”

     This is a hopping place, lobsters are sewing, cutting, painting, cleaning, measuring and someone has the important job of keeping our creative juices flowing with a full glass of wine. Even when faced with a minor dilemma we are not discouraged. We find there is not enough fabric to make gathered curtains with the sheet, so we decide to make three panels. One large and two small should work nicely.

“If there is fabric left ober we can make bibe pello’s, is a panel really fat, I mean flat, or can it be a tad crimped on one edge.”

“Let’s use door nibs for fennels.”

“Where the swine?”

“Oops, glue gun injury.”

“I measured 30 inkas, the window is 28, the panel is 12, how’d that hippen, RJ.”

“You know, it kinda looks like a shiet on a windo, if you turn your head like this.”

“You guys are the bust lubsta’s eva.”

“If you can’t fund a screw hul use the gle gun.”

“I say fringee EVERYWHERE!”

“You got that writ, I put it on the cuffee teble, goooo glue gun.”

“Who’s thristy?”

“Ahh, that is so sweet, you hot glued my wine class to the table-butumas!”

“This paterene reminds me of my Indian ruts.”

“I had mosicans when I was lil, do you have any RJ we could use them as decortons”

“I don’t think the sheet scrapps look good glued to the door nob, sorry, just my pinion.”

“Ooops, did I do that?”

“Done! Puject completer, lets look at the misterpiece-and toast!

“Humm, yeah, just turn your head lik this, oh, they don’t open, but tink bout this, if the house fell forward you would look so cute slepin there, and luk it goes with your jewry.”

“ooooH you guys are tha bust, I luv it! Lets do my bedrum next week?”

“Sure, I’ll brung the swine.”