29. The Hand of Fate

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I often feel as if I am composed of dualities. Not in the exciting secret identity way of mild mannered bespectacled woman/superhero, but…analytical dreamer…pragmatic idealist… instinctive rationalist …gregarious hermit and…hopeless romantic who has spent a large part of my daily work immersed in brokenness, distress and traumatic conflict.


Similarly, on the one hand, my life experience has shown me painfully how what we think of as ‘the self’ is a thing both physical and fragile. It has made me sceptical of the unscientific and yet I’m equally confounded and mostly delighted by the inexplicable in every day life.

So I saw the sign outside the tent, and even for a sceptic such as myself, it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, having my palm read in the place of my birth. I approached somewhat tentatively but with a ‘what the heck’ attitude.

I sat down opposite the Palm Reader and he took my hand in his. The analytical part of me was thinking about the selling of the palm reading process. I suspect most people start off opting for the 15 minute session, but it’s never enough (because of course what life of even marginal interest could be encapsulated in so short a time) and so you are drawn into committing to more time (and money). The most revealing insights dangled just beyond that first stage.

For all the analysing though, none of this really bothered me. I was on a mini-break in my birthplace..who cares?

As the palm reader asked me questions, all the while I was thinking it’s just a bit of fun but quite unexpectedly I was struggling to hold back tears.

The palm reader asked me to look at my hand…embarrassingly it was shaking. The problem is that nostalgia is perhaps the Casper to the less friendly ghosts of memory.  Once that portal was opened, I had less control than I thought I did.

The reader of palms told me that there was a line I have on my palm that is only seen on one in a thousand hands, this line twice crossing my life line a fate not taken before but there for the taking on a future horizon. Inwardly I couldn’t help myself thinking ‘I bet you say that to all the palmees…make them feel special..nothing wrong with that..good piece of psychology…give people something positive to speculate on for their future.. perhaps they have the confidence to take an opportunity they might not otherwise have taken.’.. nothing really wrong with that either.

I don’t set much store by all this but later I did get friends to show me their palms to compare. I don’t see a line quite like the one that turns my life line into a highway bypass. I conclude that it is more likely that my palms are just more wrinkled than that I am possessed of such peculiar distinction.

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