The Truth is in There Somewhere

Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

Last weekend I attended the Mind Body Spirit festival, held in Brisbane over “three magical days of self-love, wellbeing, health, and spirituality”, those three days listed in the program as Fri-yay, Saturday, and Sunday.

Superlatives abounded: the stage was “magnificent”, the organisers were “thrilled”, everyone was “beautiful” and lots of things were “incredible”, which I thought was pretty accurate.

I browsed the crystal stalls, all fifteen of them, but stopped to buy a bottle of kombucha. “Aren’t you the guys I see at the markets on a Saturday morning?” I asked the stall-holder. “Yep,” he replied. “Gonna be a long day.” Then he asked the next customer, “Found yourself yet?”

As I continued browsing I overheard a lady explaining to her friend as they stood outside a stall looking at the posters promising a path to enlightenment, “You see Karen, it increases your vibrational frequency which helps you tune into your higher self and open your third-eye chakra.”

As I passed one of the Christian stalls a man asked me if I would like a blessing. “Sure,” I replied, and he held out a cap in which were small pieces of folded paper. As I walked away I unfolded my blessing to reveal a quote from 2 Timothy 1: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I wondered if this were code for “Get out of here. Now!”

My husband N and I had gone in different directions but would occasionally meet up and report our findings.

“I was going to go to the session on ‘How to overcome thoughts that may be holding you back’ but my thoughts held me back,” N told me.

“I want to get myself a reading,” I said, “but I’m not sure which one to choose.” A lot of the booths had sign-on lists that were heavily booked, but I knew I’d lose the will to live if I had to wait too long, which could be a session for next year’s festival.

“There are heaps of them over there,” said N, pointing to an area that was partitioned off to form the “Psychic Reading Room”.

There must have been a hundred tables, each with its own psychic medium. How would I choose which one? I thought, then saw a sign that said: Which psychic medium should you choose? Mind already read.

“There’s a Japanese man in a stall over there doing palm readings,” I said to N. “He looks legit, and he doesn’t have a clipboard full of bookings so I’m going to see him.” There were lots of magazine articles from before 2007 pinned up around the otherwise empty booth, by way of testimonials.

He was sitting at a table with a young man and alternated between holding an enormous magnifying glass to the man’s hands then telling him his findings. I hung around reading the testimonials–“I’m a Christian so I don’t normally believe in this stuff but this man told me a whole lot of things that were really accurate and came true”–and waited for him to finish.

“How much does it cost for a reading?” I asked.

“I can do quick ten minute one for $60 or you can make booking for one hour that costs $220 and see me at my hotel, because you know I live in Singapore so you lucky to catch me here. In longer one I tell you everything except when you die. Cash only.”

I said ten minutes would do and I didn’t want to know about my death anyway.

After asking my age about three times–something I thought would be pretty obvious to anyone looking at my hands, let alone an actual palm-reader–he told me I was good with words. (I’ll leave that up to you, dear reader). He told me I would become a VIP when I was 62, but might have some trouble with the law when I was 70. So presumably I’m going to become a bad-ass geriatric after the fame from being a VIP goes to my head. He said I should be careful getting out of bed, to wait thirty seconds before standing up because I was prone to falls. I thought this sounded like generic psychic waffle, something you say to fill the time because you’re short on material, like, “When you get old you should be careful in the shower”. Then he added his get-out clause: “But you won’t listen to me because you’re stubborn”.

While this may or may not be true, it sounded like the kind of thing you could add to any advice to feel vindicated when the person doesn’t take it.

“You should always say no to drugs kids, but you won’t listen to me because you’re stubborn,” you say, so you can add, “See?” when you’re called to the hospital.

He told me I was in a good-luck phase and that money was never a problem for me, which is a matter of opinion surely? As for children he said I either had no children, or if I did they would have nothing to do with me in the future so I would need to prepare to look after myself. Since I do in fact have three, I made a mental note to change my will ASAP.

Only after the event did I discover I had missed the “gratitude space”, but that was okay, because I gave thanks at a nearby cafe by consuming two mimosas after which I knew for sure I had attained enlightenment.

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