I went to a gypsy fortune teller and she told me that I would end up alone and destitute. She read it in my palms, confirmed it in her crystal ball and anxiously verified it by tea leaves. As she was reaching for her tarot cards, I stopped her. Enough, I said. It’s okay, I mouthed placing my hand on hers. She looked up at me so sad that all I wanted to do was to console her. I gave her a big, warm California hug and paid her for her troubles. When I hit the streets, there was a spring in my step.
We spend so much time worrying over our destiny, fearing the very worst, that it is a relief to know that the worst will occur and that there’s nothing to be done but to live fully and hungrily in the interim — that brief space between the forceps and the stone, as Joni Mitchell sings, that we muddle around in and call our lives.
I spend my days cataloging the small, graspable pieces of the greater beauty, writing them down on slips of paper and placing them in shoeboxes. I know I will never get around to opening up these boxes, as I will never have that kind of peace. But I abide by the urge to play witness.
I do not understand anything, but I am hungry and I adore. Blessed, I tell myself, are the hungry ones, because they can never silence the beating of the drums that are calling them out.
Art just celebrates life. For me, it is as simple as that. It is an act of gratitude and celebration. It is my church and it is to this voracious, devouring flame that I make an offering of myself.
When I reach Cavafy’s Ithaka alone and destitute, I will be so full by then that I will only have praises and thanks left to sing.