The Truth About Re-inventing Yourself: Not Everyone Wants to See You Improve

lightbulbs-wallpaper (1)If you had a true and credible source for knowing where your life was headed next, would you go to hear it? Would you listen? Would you even want to know? And what if what you heard absolutely sucked? Would you go back for more?

Each Fall I go to Sedona to walk the desert, climb the canyons and buttes, dodge the vortex kooks, and visit my sacred spot to ask the questions whose answers I can find nowhere else. For me (and I don’t know why this is) the Kachina Woman formation is more than a place to meditate. It’s like having my own secret door to another dimension. [more about the Kachina Woman] The peaceful and transcendent voice that speaks to me there is no simpering angel; sometimes as a beautiful goddess, sometimes as a blunt old hag, she speaks the bare and unvarnished truth, whether I’m ready for it or not. I don’t find her, she finds me, and if she’s not done she won’t let me leave—no drugs, it’s quite remarkable.  Kachina

I go searching for answers not about career or fame or other mundanities, but about my journey. Last year, my questions surrounded relationships. I had decided to engage a bit more with others and was curious and hopeful about what my new direction would bring. The answers I received were profoundly disturbing. So much so that I returned the next day still fighting her for “clarification,” which is code for “a better answer,” which never came.

I kept this to myself and set out from there determined to change my fate nonetheless–if fate it was. Who knows, maybe it wasn’t a sacred gift of insight from a higher source; it may have been an undigested bit of beef, a fragment of an underdone potato. I tried so hard to make things work out the way that I wished despite what I’d heard, and only now at the brink of my return, is what the Kachina Woman said a year ago finally making sense.

At that time, I was already well into another personal reinvention. This one was about becoming a more accessible and genuine person. Usually, these deep and ego-threatening transformations require a motivation roughly equal to that of chewing off a limb to save one’s life. This one, the effort to tear down the inner walls and personal veils I had settled into for so long was born of sheer boredom, I was just so fucking sick of staring at the inside of those same old walls. I was doing pretty well too, it felt completely right. My expectation was that if I became a more accessible and genuine person, that I would attract people of like nature or perhaps draw out some others. This didn’t happen.

As I became more able to think and behave in a way that was more true to myself, I was less and less responsive to the subtle prompts and the blind or subconscious acquiescence to the will and expectations of others that I had not noticed before. This endeared me to precious few. I lost instead of gained the connections I so wanted. I have quality friends, a few, and my external life of work and worry and joys and kid-raising went quite well, better than average in fact. But my internal life, well… I’ll say this: I am fortunate that when I look back on a difficult time, the good stuff tends to bubble to the surface of my memory; of this past year I remember very little, and the stuff I can call up, I will not revisit.

Those things that were in my power to do for others benefitted many, however, and those powers were enhanced by my new outlook—a credit for them not I, but that is the way of that.

If you practice insight long enough and bring an openness to it, you reach a point where you can begin to see things others cannot, and understand things in a way others are unable to. This does not mean that they are bad or stupid or inadequate, it just means that they haven’t the resources yet to see or understand. If this sounds like hubris, realize too that there is always someone wiser and more insightful than you, we are all links in a chain and it is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong—it just is. It is not a consummation devoutly to be wished, however. There is no greater agony than seeing a truth and beauty in something or someone that another cannot yet recognize, especially when you have to watch them suffer for the lack of it. It is the most potent kind of aloneness there is.

What the Kachina Woman said to me when I asked what new connections with others I could look forward to, was this,

“You will walk your path alone.”

“What!? huh? Whoa whoa. No, that’s not what I’m asking. Yes, I know that we all existentially walk through our existence alone, but what I’m asking you is what new connections are out there for me, you know, friendship, love… c’mon, I’m more open and accessible now. Tell me of those who can ‘walk alone with me?’ ”

“None. You will walk your path alone.”

(Knuckles on live mic sound) “Thunk thunk thunk… Hello… are you there? Is this you or a bit of underdone potato?”

(Condescending and incredulous stare as if to say, “Do you really want me to say it again?”) “You will…”

“I HEARD YOU! …dammit!!

The visual she gave me (and these are ultra-vivid and kind of cool) was my “path” symbolized as a trail such as those rocky trails that wind up the side of the red rock canyons there, it climbed up the face to the summit, then extended off the ground and arched away into the sky as if the ground were Photoshopped out of the picture, and there it hung in the blue. I was high on that path looking down into a beautiful valley covered in intertwining paths stretching into the distance.

“No no, I want to be down there, see. Why can’t I be down there with all those others??”

I tried to jump off my path and get down to the valley myself, but I couldn’t.

“Okay, how about another path up here, huh? …a path parallel to mine, you know, one up here.

I looked around and saw only empty sky. With great effort I forced my focus back down along the path to where it met the ground and saw other paths chaining around mine for a short distance but then angling off in other directions and out of my field of view.  My heart sunk.

“Fuck! I don’t get this, it doesn’t make any sense!!”

Her tone then changed completely. She reached out, cupped my face in her hands, stared directly into me, and in an overwhelmingly sympathetic and tender voice, as if speaking to a child, said slowly,

“You… will… walk… your… path… … ALONE.” (It seemed as though she teared.)

When I returned the next day, all I could get out of her was that if I focused on being myself and shined that “light” outward; others would see it and find me—along with an unspoken “eventually”. Great, I thought, I climb a mountain and all I get is bad news and a corny Internet meme.

It was only a day or two ago, as I began to think about my trip back to Sedona, and the demoralizing personal failures and grim internal bruising I endured this year, that the truth and meaning of her words finally came into focus. The process of becoming more genuinely YOU and opening that self to your current life will mean that others will react to your not acquiescing to their false perception of you, a perception you yourself created for them. They may not have the recourses yet to understand you in a new way. Some never will, and others may not like what they see. Some will misunderstand and misinterpret your intentions, or be blinded by your honesty. Still others, however, will find in you everything that you actually are and love you for that, and it will be worth the wait.

It is what it is. Some stories do not conclude–they just end. Some karma is never recognized. Some beauty is never seen. Yet we walk within a vast orchard of ripe new experiences. Of the great secular trinity that shapes our existence; Destiny, Causality, and Free Will, free will can be the most tragic. The idea that we possess the power to deny, ignore, and refuse the very truth we seek though it’s lying right before us, terrifies me most. Further, what if ALL the truth and beauty we will ever need is always and everywhere around us? All of it there for the taking BUT for our ability or our willingness to recognize it, and the courage to reach for it.

The desert has a stunning beauty all its own, it is bliss to me. It has no labels for you, no projections or expectations, and it asks nothing. You find there only the truth you bring with you. I look forward to returning to the Kachina Woman and her Dirty Harry 44 Magnum pointed at my nose, and I’m feeling lucky this time.

The visual pattern the Kachina Woman showed me fit like a blueprint over the pattern of experiences I had this past year, and that pattern is now complete. Don’t you see? She knew. She knew what would happen. She also knew that I did not have the resources yet to understand it and that it would absolutely suck for me. She knew and she told me anyway because I asked her to.

Did hearing her prophesy make any difference? Did I really need to know? Maybe so. Sedona path 1Maybe I tried harder, maybe I was more aware, more prepared for what might have otherwise driven me to despair and reversed my course—giving up on openness. In the end, I learned that those times when we feel as though we are stepping down into the abyss, we’re actually taking one very difficult step upward.

And that’s why I go back.

 

The Kachina Woman: A Battle of Conscience and Compassion

SedonaYou may as well know now that I am prone to “odd” or what some would call mystical experiences. No more than many, and far less than some I am certain, but I cannot do much justice to The Amber Road without letting you in on a few of my secrets. That being said, this is not a blog about religion, faith, or even God for that matter. For the big questions I tend toward a more secular spirituality, lean Zen, and don’t go in for Dogma much, despite being raised a Catholic. Sorry, my religious friends, more power to you. I grant a wide-open space for anyone who finds what works for him or her so long as it harms none, and I hope you’ll do the same for me.

I have finally embraced the idea that I am “highly intuitive”, mostly because it explains a lot, but I still hold that everyone else is as well, if they only pay attention and explore it. The following story is excerpted from an old journal entry and details my first experience with The Kachina Woman.

A Kachina (kah-chee-nah) is a spiritual being central to the religious life of the Hopi Indians, who live in the arid highlands of northern Arizona, and have done so for twelve hundred years. The “Kachina Woman” is a particular spirit said to inhabit a rock formation of the same name in Boynton Canyon, near Sedona. This first visit of mine has inspired a number of others in the years since, and has offered me some powerful insights. Since it is my intention to share a few of the more recent insights, it only makes sense that I begin at the beginning.

Before we head back to 1996 for this story, let it be said that I do not have a “Belief” in past lives, rather I hold an “Openness” to it. Belief is a strict and stringent concretization of a perception that I try hard to avoid. Blame it on my practice of the creative process, but I would rather embrace ambiguity than do battle with conflicting ideas that I will never understand anyway. It doesn’t matter whether we see “past lives” as a returning on a great wheel of existence, or an active subconscious, or a parallel existence, or the shared Now of a Multiverse, what matters are the lessons and insights we gain from their stories, if we allow ourselves to be available to them, and that we use those lessons to better our experience of life here and now. Fair enough?

Other than the Kachiona Woman herself, the other character in this story is Nancy, my first wife. If you’re going to be divorced, it’s best to do it twice so that you can use a number rather than the “X” prefix, which is no way to refer to a person. Nancy and I spent a good deal of the 90’s exploring all manner of spirituality, and that lead us to Sedona and the Hopi.

I love the Sedona dessert, and the red rock canyons, the sweet pinch of conifer in your nose and the bare blue sky. I could walk it until I drop, which is what Nancy and I tried to do that week on our quest to walk all of the energy vortexes that abound in the area. The New Agers will tell you that they are earth mother energies, and the scientists will tell you they are magnetic fields generated by iron deposits in the rock. I don’t much care, I just feel better here, more connected, and strangely at home.

We made our way up the canyon to the base of the Kachina Woman. The formation itself was a tall spire set apart from the cliff face at the very end of the canyon wall. It had a roundish mass of stone at its peak, which made a sphinxlike head, and gave the vague appearance of a human form. It was easy to imagine a presence inside the rock.Kachina IMG_3435

When we reached the base, I set my pack down and Nancy and I sat with our backs to the rock and began meditating.

I am no master at the art of meditation even today; I do okay, but I was certainly less so then, so I was completely unprepared for what happened. Never before, and nowhere since, have I ever had a more immediate, visceral, and impactful connection to something outside myself. This place is my little mecca.

I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, and following the Hopi aphorism, “Keep the top of your head open.” I prepared for the usual vague dance of thoughts and impressions, uncertain of what was merely my imagination and what is not. Instead, I felt my consciousness suddenly drawn up into the spire of rock like smoke through a flue, imbedding me in the red stone. It was a force quite outside myself. My vision was clear and waking. I looked out over the canyon from the top of the spire, high above the man seated against the rock below.

I was with a very powerful presence, wrapped in it in fact, unmistakably real and distinctly feminine, but larger. I made my greeting and asked if the Kachina Woman had any messages for me.

“Many roads,” she said. The words were loud and clearly audible in my mind. Her communication was a mix of spoken word and emotional impressions.

“Many roads?” I asked.

“You have traveled many roads”, she replied, referring to many past lives, and that I was an old soul. Yes, it sounded corny to me too, but it was part message, part observation. I felt her regard me with some openness and acceptance. I responded in kind, trusting, and was taken further into the rock. I was enfolded in its arms, embraced, cradled as in a mother’s arms, and felt such a solid, peaceful serenity!

“Do you remember me?” she said with a meaningful curiosity. The feeling is impossible to describe in words, a safety and belonging deeper than bedrock and so familiar! “Yes I do remember you,” I said. The Kachina Woman was showing me my connection with a more expansive realm than I could have imagined possible. It was deliberate, instructional. I was in school it seemed, only I felt like a toddler at a Doctoral dissertation defense.

My analytical nature took over, as it often does when I am fearful that I am becoming “embarrassingly New Age.” I thought about how long she had been in this rock, the millions of years it took to form this canyon, and the improbability of the whole thing. Here I was, in the presence of a great spirit playing with the Tinker Toys of intellect, I should have been embarrassed about that.

I no sooner held the thought out to her, than she showed me her age. My mind expanded across time, silent ages, sand and wind over stone. Then, briefly, she allowed me to glimpse the ages she had passed. My consciousness stretched needle–thin as though forced through a wormhole. I saw before me every instant of countless millennia, every minute detail of every moment, drawn out in an impossibly long line. This line had no perspective, no vanishing point, I saw all of it, and it was endless. Each instant I saw singularly, and I saw every instant simultaneously, at the same instant, the original instant, the perfect Now. She did not sit for ages inside a rock.  Her mind exists outside time.  She had always been there, and it has always been the present.  I experienced a moment well beyond my mind’s reach, she had granted me a part of her “ageless mind” in order that I could know it. It hurt, I must tell you. I do not retain this experience directly; rather I retain the impression of it.

Now fully sober, and still reeling from the experience of being afforded a glimpse of the unknowable true nature of time. Again, ouch! I put away my intellectual Tinker Toys and decided to go for broke. I asked her what my purpose in this life is.

“It is yours to find,” I appreciated the candor of her answer, the celestial equivalent of, “go fish.” What was I expecting? I tried again, choosing my words carefully.

“How can I come to know this purpose?”

“Through faith, trust, honesty, and truth to your Self,” she replied.

“How about a hint as to what my life purpose is, if you care to offer one,” I ventured.

“It is who you are.” She answered.

“Whatever that means,” I thought. “Okay, thank you. I’ll have to chew on that, but later.” I decided that it was much better to let her offer information rather than my asking insipid and shortsighted questions.

I relaxed, refocused, and invited her to send me a message of her own choosing.

A vision came immediately into view. I was looking at a cliff face of red rock, though not quite as red as the Sedona rock. In the side of the cliff face was an angular cave. A long flat ledge extended from the base of the cave and gently sloped away from the entrance. A small promontory on the ledge held the figure of an Indian warrior. Just inside the cave entrance could be seen an Indian woman and an infant child.

The Indian was a warrior, and those in the cave were his wife and daughter. The emotional impressions came: He lived on this rock, she was his whole life, and the child was the gem of his life. I gathered that this was one of my “many roads.” My attention kept coming back to the rock. It was so vivid. Its color and texture stood out. It seemed alive.

“Fine, I thought, another Indian past life. What’s all this with Indians?” As I said this, I felt I knew where it was going, and I didn’t like it. Greyness came over the scene like a mist, and I knew I would see what befell the family next.

“Nope. No thank you! I’ll have none of this.” What approached hurt in too familiar a way, pain like an old wound rubbed raw again.

A few noisy climbers jarred my concentration just then, and I used it to wriggle free of the arms of this vision like a panicked rabbit. “Nope, nope, nope.” I opened my eyes and sat forward to get up, and felt decidedly uneasy. It was as if I still had part of my consciousness inside the stone.

“Oh no you don’t,” I heard as an unseen hand grabbed me by the back of my collar and physically yanked me back against the wall hard enough to whip my head back and smack it into the stone.

“Oww! Fine, show me! (as if I had a choice)”

The first thing I saw was the mist clearing. It wasted no time to reveal the woman and child lying across the sloping entrance; their bodies slit open, gushing blood onto the rock, a dark deep red flowing over the stone. The warrior was there. There had been an attack and he had failed to protect his family, his one greatest charge. I felt the man’s rage, sorrow, and isolation. I knew his shame and self-hatred had only vengeance and anger to act upon, there was no redemption.

I had seen plenty, and I was livid for being forced to see it. “Yes, yes, betrayal and abandonment! I know this place; abused women, dead mothers, absent children. I’ve seen this play! So what!? So I am supposed to have lived another life as some poor bastard who lived these things and they have significance for me this time around too, I get it. Big deal!! I know my demons Kachina Woman, tell me something new!”

She did.

“You are the rock.” Her voice was soft, absolute, and breathtakingly kind.

“I’m the what? I thought I was the warrior guy?”

Slowly and very patiently, she repeated, “You are the rock.”

She then showed me an impression of the rock ledge and mountainside holding, supporting, and cradling this family. A new door in my understanding began to move on its hinges. I asked her to show me what happened to the warrior.

The scene returned with my knowing that with vengeance as his only remaining purpose, he had found his battle and he had lost it. He was lying on the same ledge, cut open and dying. His loss and despair was incomprehensible, I pushed with all my strength to keep it at arms length. He had failed in his sacred charge to protect what he loved; he failed himself, and even failed in his useless vengeance. The emptiness in him was vast.

There alone, his blood flowed over the same stone. In his final agony, buried in his shame, he became distracted by the sparkling in the red stone. He watched his own blood pool and flow into view. He became absorbed by the contrast of his red blood and the redness of the stone, and thought how beautiful it was. He was glad to die, glad to be rid of his life that now held no meaning for him. As his strength faded, his anger gave up and let go. In his final moment, he embraced surrender. He himself thought it strange, but he rejoiced as he died, and in his agony thanked in his heart those who took his life.

Stories have happy endings, I thought, but life sometimes does not. I watched then as his spirit arched up from his form. Behind him, from the spot where they perished, the spirits of his wife and child also rose. Once beyond the earth, they were rejoined. I saw the three glittering spirits embrace, swirling in an ecstasy of reunion. They seemed to merge into one shining mist, and then they rose again, up and away from me to some higher place.

“You are the rock”, she said again.

The epiphany landed, “Oooooh..” I finally caught the leap in understanding that she was bringing me to all along. I am not the man who lived these events, I, the truer, deeper self she knew me as, am like the rock that held these lives, kept them, created them. The man, the entire family for that matter, was an aspect of me. I am not a character in my past lives; I am the rock upon which they play out their pageants, the foundation; deep, solid, whole.

This was the purpose of her playful question, “Do you recognize me?” She was asking if I could see her as she sees me; the greater self that I am. Her message was planned from the moment I sat down. She answered my question about time to show me how much greater the breadth of existence is than the tiny one I thought I knew. She wanted me to know that all of the pain I knew had a purpose and a meaning, and that I was the one who chose it. There is no such thing as a victim.

The Kachina Woman made me aware of a whole new truth. Once I am able to see myself as she does, my whole sense of reality changes. I create my own meaning, direct my own life purpose, and it has all to do with who I am. How can I come to know this purpose?

“Through faith, trust, honesty, and truth to your Self,” she said.

My poor mind was stretched to its limit. I had to leave. I thanked the Kachina Woman for her wisdom and patience. She seemed pleased with me. I slowly drew my consciousness from the spire, and gathered myself back into this my current pageant.

I have since that time began a practice of trying to see others the way she saw me, and I have gotten pretty good at it. We all walk through life carrying a collection of luggage in the form of fears, doubts, anger, questions of self worth, inhibitions, insecurities, mistrust, misconceptions, projections, lies, and a sense of separateness.

In my work as a director and teacher, it is my job to cut through the luggage to discover the artist inside. In my relationships it is my job to see most clearly the person I love. It is easy to get lost in all that garbage we tote around, unless you know how to keep your focus on the prize.

It’s not that hard to do. You just find them in a quiet moment when they have no one to perform for, and watch their eyes. Then look. Don’t look into their eyes, because that makes you an active player, watch them when they are not looking at you. The hardest part is not to see through your eyes. We all look at others through the lens of our own expectation, perspective, and judgment. You’ll have to learn how to see through your own greater self first.

If you do this, you will see them as their original self, in the same way we see a child, before all of that luggage is acquired. If you can do this, no matter who it is, you will be rewarded with a view of an absolute and perfect beauty. Once you have this picture, you will find all the patience you’ll ever need to deal with the luggage.

I don’t try this with everyone; I will pick and choose when the need or desire arises. I think if I tried to do this with everyone my head would explode. My only caution is to be prepared for something quite powerful, and don’t mistake it for something else.

If there is a word for people who can see everyone this way, it must be Greatness. This is its architecture.

For we mortals, I know for certain that there is a word for setting yourself aside in order to see through to the truth and beauty of another.

It is Compassion.

PART V: Father/Daughter Stories–Magic

I know that there are some things a father just cannot give a daughter (this haunts me), but of the things that I can, one of the most important to me is to inspire a sense of Magic. Acquainting Madi with Santa, the Easter Bunny, the tooth Fairy, leprechauns, sprites, and a host of others has been a huge delight for me. I know a time will come when these particular characters will begin to fade, and I am not concerned. In fact, I am dauntless. I will bear their torches straight through Middle School if I have to.

DSC_0018c

To me, Magic isn’t a trick. Magic isn’t a Disney princess. Magic isn’t a frivolous childish thing. A sense of Magic is a willingness to consider the unseen, an innate knowledge that something doesn’t have to be actual in order to be real. If we lose this willingness as we grow up, we lose our ability to recognize beauty. We will never notice the gossamer threads that hold our existence together and give it meaning; the invisible, unknowable things like chance, truth, trust, and love. It doesn’t matter if there is anything at the bottom of Loch Ness; that same quality of openness allows us to believe in ourselves, to imagine our own potential, and consider our own possibilities as real.

Granting this gift to a child takes good slight-of-hand and some fast thinking, but that’s the fun of it. As Daddy moments go, this was one of my best ever:

It was a rainy Sterling Renaissance Festival day. I don’t mind a rainy day in general, but a rainy day at Sterling is absolutely my least favorite kind of day. Some people like it, but to me it is nature taking a piss on my show, making it unnaturally long, cold and uncomfortable, and giving me hours of dullness punctuated with having to make decisions that are always the lesser of a variety of evils.

Madi’s Mom was dropping her off to me at the Festival on this day, and it was to be one of the first chances I had to just take her around the Faire myself. Since I had the option (and not the will) I did not get into costume that day. I wore my yellow raincoat as my sole source of comfort. Before we opened, I wandered bleakly through the Remembrance Shoppe, which is the place we keep all the decidedly un-renaissance souvenirs, trinkets and treats, thinking about my kid and the day we might have if it wasn’t raining.

It was Pirate Weekend, and before long Madi and I were sitting on wet benches at the Merchants Bend Stage listening to Empty Hats play delightful Celtic music. There were the usual dedicated fans, seasons pass holders mostly, and many dressed as pirates. Madi was four and not yet versed in the sanctity of a live stage performance, so she was busy chatting up the pirates in the second row, who also seemed inured to the sanctity of live performance and the indignant glances from the band. I noticed. I did my best, what the hell, it was raining.

I suppose that both parties could be forgiven, because for the pirates, Madi was impeccably cute, and for Madi, the pirates had gold coins. Those big plastic shinny gold doubloons were being passed about and Madi just had to have one. A kindly pirate gave her a few, and I used the exchange to settle her back onto her wet bench to listen to the show. It didn’t last long.

Madi Coin_08_1177cNext, she was all on about getting herself some candy. For some reason I will never know, she was insistent on me buying her a lollypop, not just any run of the mill sucker mind you, she wanted one of those big multi-colored ones made of the rolled candy set in a spiral. The old fashioned kind that are the size of a tea saucer. I kept telling her that it was too early for candy and that renaissance festivals did not sell that kind of candy, in fact they didn’t sell candy at all. She was desperate for it, kept whining on about it and was starting to make a scene, so after putting up the good fight, I caved.

In truth, I was dumbfounded at the very specific request. I was thrilled. I could not believe my luck. I had a daddy moment in the making that would never be forgotten. I told her that if she really wanted a big lollypop, I would have to make one by Magic.

“Really?? By magic?”

“Yup, but it’s not easy, and it’s going to cost you that gold doubloon.”

This was a no brainer for her, and she thrust the coin in my face and said, “Do it Daddy!” I took the coin, hefted it, rolled it through my fingers and told her it would take an incantation, then expMadi Coin_8_1192clained what an incantation was. She repeated after me, “Lollypop, lollypop, pretty and sweet, turn this coin into a big fat treat.” I then placed the coin very deliberately into my big raincoat pocket, so that she could see that it was in there. Palming coins is not my specialty, but I did it.

“Okay, reach in and see what you can feel.”

The look on her face was something between surprise and terror. She pulled out a big old-fashioned lollypop exactly like the one she described.

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD YOU DID IT!!”

“Oh my GOSH Madi, say gosh.”

“HE DID IT, HE DID IT, HE TURNED MY COIN INTO A MAGIC LOLLYPOP!!! HOW DID YOU DOOO THAT!!!”

(Boom. Magic.)

Madi was truly beside herself. She took off, stopping at everyone she saw to exclaim that her dad turned her coin into this lollypop. I mean that quite literally, she ran from stranger to stranger, like a deranged candy toting Paul Revere. I had to chase her down. She spent the day showing anyone who would stop, her progressively smaller magic lollypop. The magic lollypop has been done many many times since, with a variety of gold coins.

Last week I was setting up a Halloween show on the festival site on another wet and miserable day. I had dug my old raincoat out of the trunk, the same one I wore years earlier. While walking the chilly site, I put my hand in my coat pocket and pulled out the original coin I had used.

Do I believe in magic?

What would YOU call it when a child asks for exactly the same thing her father saw in a gift shop that morning while thinking of her?

I call it Magic.