Every once in a while I am given the happy surprise of a dear but unexpected face in an audience. This happened in New York City at what must be the best Barnes and Noble for a writer, at Lexington and 86th. They have an intimate and elegant auditorium devoted to readings; that in itself was wonderful. But then someone raised her hand, and there was my friend Terry Iacuzzo with a question: What does your future hold? I had to laugh, and introduce her to the audience.
Terry is a psychic; she reads Tarot cards. I have visited her, from time to time, for many years. To put this in context--as I can just see your eyebrows raising and your Flake-0-Meters spinning: my mother was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. She saw a card reader every single week for years. I grew up hearing about visits to Madame Dupres; my mother adored her. I even met her once, and she read my cards, but I remember only an impression of the color and variety of the deck. Plus that I would marry someone with brown hair. Naturally I just assumed everyone had their cards read as a matter of personal maintenance, like getting your teeth cleaned regularly.
When I first met Terry, and she spread the cards before me, I was overwhelmed with a memory of their weird beauty. Then came the magic of turning things up that turn out to be true. After I had known her a few years, Terry wrote a funny and enchanting book called Small Mediums at Large, about growing up in a family of psychics, and living in Greenwich Village in the sixties and seventies. It would make an amazing movie, by the way--I'm thinking Pedro Almodovar here.
I didn't see Terry for years while she wrote and published her book. But I visited her after she popped up at Barnes and Noble, and I was once again entranced by the beauty of the cards, the glimmers of the future, and, mostly, by Terry's warmth, wisdom, and extremely dry wit. She's an edgy psychic. I asked her about the green glass buddha glowing in her window--she's Sicilian--and she said, Oh, that's just for people like you; you want to see things like that! True. The place could be crawling with santos; I'm happy to see any sort of artifact of belief.
Everything Terry said, as I turned over the cards, clicked with things I've been feeling myself: how this cycle of change is not over, how I will be moving again....so many changes coming, large and important ones. Of course, when you ask about the future, you always want to know three things: how the children will fare, and how love will fare, and how work will fare.
I described visits to Terry in Slow Love, how she lives on the fifth floor of a walk-up in Little Italy, and how the sun pours in the kitchen window over the cards on the table, how her tub sits by the refrigerator--those old style apartments are so lovely. Her cat, who used to climb on her lap when the readings turned to love, is gone, sadly. Still, it was a hot day, and the sun shone brilliantly.
After five minutes, the rain stopped, the sunshine glimmered on the wet leaves and the wet railings, and we returned to the table. I said, What just happened? What was that about? And Terry said, Pick one card. I turned up The Hierophant. Ah, said Terry, The Holy One. His fingers are raised in benediction--two up, two down. He is a bridge between Heaven and Earth. We shivered, and laughed, and I felt joyously, profoundly lucky to have witnessed such a rainfall full of sunshine. I can only hope my days shimmer with such miracles.