I sit in the vintage orange colored tent; the noise from the carnival fades into a background to the ethnic music this woman plays. I wonder how I got here. How did my feet walk into this tent? To the home of a gypsy with incense burners and crystal balls, with long strands of hair and tie-dye scarves, how did my reason lead me to here?
I sit out of place, I sit uncomfortable in my own skin, I sit and I watch this gypsy woman take the chair across from me and look me straight in the eye.
“You’ve come a long way” I watch her say, “you’ve come with much silence, and hunger in your soul”, “give me your hand girl, give me your hand”.
I extend my hand and expectantly turn my palm to her, she turns my hand over and reaches for my other hand as well, and I watch her close her eyes as she asks me to close mine. “Shush your noises and free your heart, let me feel what it is that took you away from your home and brought you here”.
I do as I’m told, in the most unlikely obedience I hold the woman’s hands and close my eyes. I block out the noises, I silence the contradicting voices that live in my head, I unblock the passage of all the feelings from my heart to my blood. My shoulders lose strain, my spine releases bottled up pain as I stop my minds control over me and hear myself breathe.
She opens her eyes and asks for my palm, she takes a few minutes to confirm what it seems she felt through my pulse, I watch her eyes rise up from the lines of my grip to meet mine.
“You have been far from home my girl, what is it with water that makes you yearn so?”
Expressionless I look at her and wait for her to go off mark and lose her guessing ground.
“Since you are here with a mistrustful heart, but here nonetheless, I will tell you what there is to know”. “I will tell you why you come here; I will tell you what questions you need to ask your soul”.
“Your home is neither here nor there, you are one with the people whose home is in their hearts”, “your life has had much sea and sun and too many farewells for your years”. “You change with the wind, you live inside your bones, you build yourself every day, and your heart is lost at water”.
To this she sees my eyes light up.
“Yes my girl, you feel like the fire and act like the steel, your soul is a battle field between your thoughts and your desires, you are always happy and always tired, you are so very alive and so very quiet, and your heart is lost at water”.
“Which of these two men do you love?”
I look at her pensively; “What men do you mean? There are no men in my days, there was only one, he is now far away and lost to me”.
“Sweet girl, why do you come to my tent then tell me lies? In these past moons, and past season’s whole turns you met two men by the sea”. “One of them loved you the moment he saw you, and the other one played you till he loved you too”.
“Gypsy woman, I tell you, there was one man and many, and the many meant nothing for more than days each time. There was only one man, we met by the sea, he loved and unloved, and loved me once more, and I tell you gypsy woman, he is now far away with only the winds guiding his way”.
“Why are you youth so blind in the heart?”, “I tell you again, and listen to me, the first man you met melted when you smiled, the first man you met travelled for you, the first man you met wanted homes and fireplaces, the first man you met held your hand through the rough, how can you not know this man from the other?”
I answer the crazy woman in confusion; “The man that I had, was sometimes like that, but who is this other? My soul hasn’t moved for anyone else in such a long time…”
“Sweet girl, I will help you”, “the other man you met is a smiling sunny man though he is sometimes dark, he lives out of a bag, and is always on his feet, he rushes you often, and plays with you often, and had your heart not been more free, he would have hurt you more often”.
“He comes and he goes, and when he goes he loses touch with what he loves when in your arms”, “but you are no fool, you know he always comes back to you”. “You wait for him without waiting; you welcome him back with a smile without asking, you care for his happiness more than he knows”. “You didn’t know this man loved you just as much as the other who made you coffee every morning did”.
“Now do you know the men in your life?”, “Now tell me my child, which of these men kept your heart with him at sea?”, “which of these men do you miss when you laugh? Which of these men would you have if he asked? Which of these men would give you a life you’d build another you for?”
“Which of these men is missed by the soul?”
I watch her watch me frown, I watch her watch me ache, I watch her watch me understand every word she had to say. I watch her wait for me to say anything at all since I walked into her world.
“These two men are one and the same.”
I watch her go quiet; I watch her sympathy as she understands why she finds me in her tent today.
“My girl, your heart soars and your mind needs the earth, my child your soul misses but your reason won’t let you weaken, daughter of this universe you are strong in the now, you must also be strong with the unknown tomorrows.”
“Which of these men do you want to come for you?”
I exhale my sigh, I look at her with despair, I talk to her with conviction; “Gypsy woman, I want them both. Gypsy woman I know them both and I’ve lived with them both. I’ve held one’s hand and packed the others bags, I’ve taken one’s flowers and planned the others trips, I’ve seen the home of both. Gypsy woman, I love them both.”
She looks me at, and she is the only one who looks at me with understanding, looks at me like I am sane, looks at me like I know what it is this worlds about. She understands me better than I understand myself; “but you love yourself as well.”
And she watches my tears of conflict stream down my face; “Yes Gypsy woman, I love myself as well”.
She picks up my palm, looking for the answers, she looks at my hands lines, looking for a premonition of what will become of me, she spends minutes or hours lost in her thoughts of my path and my knots.
“My girl, I can’t see.”
I look at her in despair; “What are you telling me?”
“In your years you have learnt more than your day’s worth, in his years he has seen plenty more than he should. With players so aware of life and your own choice, what can a woman in an orange tent say? The two of you are of the people whose palm changes every day. You make your lines, you make yourselves, you make your tomorrows, to people like you I have nothing to say.”
“Oh girl, why does the water overpower you so?”
I take back my hand, I pick up my bag, I remove myself from that chair and prepare to leave.
“What will you do girl? What will you do?”
“I’ll live gypsy woman, I’ve already done all that I can”
“And what about the part of you that stays with him at water?”
“It shall stay with him at water, for as long as he may need”
“You give a part of you away and sacrifice life for love?”
“Wise woman, the day I shared it is the day it stopped being mine. I will live well dear woman; life and love never were separate for me.”
“And you’ll love yourself well?”
“Yes gypsy woman, I’ll love us all well, I know no other way.”
“Go my girl, you shall never find yourself in harm, for you have understood the mystery of this world.”
And with unlined hands, I walk out of the orange tent back into the world.