Fear symmetry. It gives lie to the truth that everything comes in threes.

-1-

Here is what a wisewoman taught me about palm reading: you carry memory in your hands.

Every thing you've done, everywhere you've been, it is all charted in the lines of your palms. The mind encrypts memory into your blood, which inscribes the stories onto the skin which touches the world the most. Your hands remember how to peel an apple when your mind has forgotten. Your hands remember people by touch when your eyes don't see. It's in the skin.

Where it is mapped, for those with the wit to read it.

Like any other writing, it can tell you was has been. It can point to what may be. But it does not speak clearly to what will be. Meaning has many possible futures, always.

Most people find themselves carried naturally by the flow of time and space. But there are others, who find themselves able, by grace of some gift or force of will, to alter their paths. Their hands are like desert dunes, with lines shifting, blurring, affected not only by the sciroccos of fate, but also by the lesser dervishes of their own devising.

They are moved. They move. Their happiness hangs by the most delicate of threads, for they are incapable of acquiescence and contentment. They live for passionate joys, and are fueled by their disappointments to even greater flights and follies. They are often unwise in love, in finance, in career - for they rarely learn lessons most commonly taught by rank repetition. They are free agents.

-2-

At the end of reason, magic. Like an old map on parchment, with the notation Here Be Dragons marking the edge of rational awareness.

Crossing this border, travelling those lands, and returning with a lucid tale to share with the people left behind: that is the job of the shaman, the witch, the magician, the writer. They have catalyzed a third term in their fusion of the rational and the irrational. More than a fusion. A genesis. An act of wild magic.

And magic is a gypsy woman standing at your door with a tuppence basket. Your choice, for two pennies. You can take of it what you will.

Of all the things in her two-penny basket, why do you reach out to hold this in your hand? Put it back. There are tiny books, bangles, enameled butterfly wings. Put the iridescent black stone back in the basket before it enthralls and seduces you with its shifting certainties.

Put it back, and take out instead the tiny magnifying glass encrusted with even tinier scarab stones, garnets, and amethysts. Take it out and hold it over your heart. Quickly, now. The glass grows dark if you regard it with doubt.

-3-

A seagull with a blood-stained beak.
A blue glass bottle, sealed with red wax.
The sand, still hot from the receding sun.
The ocean, demanding a sacrifice.

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