I had a really interesting experience today. Shanna is my friend. I met her at work. She is the most unique of characters: artistic, talented, musical, creative… and yet, unafraid of a spreadsheet. Wonderful.
Shanna is psychic. She has known this for a long time. Recently she took a week-long course about communicating with angels. She is, she jokes, a “certified angel intuitive”.
Shanna knows all about my search. I was, as most of you will know, raised a Catholic. As a young person I was reasonably spiritual, and probably still am. But maybe ten or twelve years ago I dared to speak the truth: I didn’t believe in God. I still had respect for the spirit and philosophy of most religions. Bill Bailey said it most succinctly, I think: try and stay out of trouble and things will probably turn out fine. Add to that the Madge Doyle truism – If You Are Nice To People Then People Will Be Nice To You – and you have my angle on life in a nutshell.
On the other hand, I had an open mind when it came to life on other planets/the existence of aliens/spirit life/living consciousnesses existing as an energy cloud/anything that ever confronted Jen-Luc Picard on ST:TNG. Oh – except, the spirit world: they existed for everybody else, not for me. When my father died almost five years ago, I wondered if I would miraculously start believing in Life After Death. I waited. And waited. I didn’t.
As the years progressed I wondered about this apparent contradiction. I worried that, whilst I prided myself on having a wide-open mind, I seemed to have shut out completely the possibility of the existence of God or any kind of higher being, or indeed of the after-life for those who died. So surely this made me a hypocrite – or perhaps signposted a part of the universe I was reluctant to explore. My reading with Shanna was part of my recent odyssey to imagine the prospect that all things are possible. I went to a group psychic reading a few months ago with Eileen, and it seemed both our fathers had met up in the hereafter, made friends and proceeded to make a holy show of both of us in front of about a hundred people (something to do with her father’s toenails and my father’s false teeth… don’t ask). The whole experience was confronting to me. When I finally plucked up the courage to tell my mother, she seemed fairly relaxed about the whole thing.
So this morning, I sat across the hall in Shanna’s room in the Grace Hotel. She used a pack of Angel cards (these ones referred to Saint Michael the Archangel. I’ve seen Supernatural. He’s scary). Shanna spoke of self-confidence at work. She spoke of eternal love, letting people go, accepting. It all made sense, whether I believed it was coming from the cards or from my wise, worldly friend. I hadn’t asked any questions of the universe for this reading; I just asked to be told what I needed to know.
Shanna asked if I’d like to speak with my Dad. Her eyes filled with tears; she apologised. She said she never got emotional during a reading, but that my father’s emotions were overwhelming her. I told myself that it was probably because she was my friend, knew the journey I was on, that she responded so strongly (and there it is again – my instinctive attempt always to analyse and apply logic to anything presented to me).
It was good to be with him again. The detail I will keep to myself.
He came as quickly as he went, reminding me he was proud of me, to call my mother more.
Believe it or don’t believe it. I am just trying to keep an open mind.
I sit on the edge of Darling Harbour, alone in Nick’s seafood restaurant. Shanna tells me that my dad – and indeed my mum who is alive and well in Dublin – is with me all the time, along with a long, long line of ancestors stretching back to infinity.
I sit here alone, but not lonely. I’m never lonely these days. I still don’t know what to think about all this, but I’m trying to open my mind and my heart to all the possibilities of the world. Being at the edge of the water always seems to help. It will probably take all of my lifetime to figure out what I believe, but in the meantime I will try to keep all frequencies clear.