Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Portrait of a Fortune Teller

"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
-Charles Dickens

Somebody telephoned my mother the other evening.
A stranger.
Perhaps a friend she had not yet met but more than likely it was a simple case of mistaken identity.
"Are you the fortune teller?" said an unfamiliar voice.
"I am not," said my mother nicely.
"Oh. Really?" The caller very much wished to be speaking to the fortune teller and hoped to have dialled the correct number.
"No, I'm not. Sorry," Mater said, but the caller was hesitant to believe.
Naturally, the call ended, as they each must do, but I wonder if Mater ought to have said "yes."
Mater, after all, is the person who sends me tea before I know I need it; makes public telephones chime as I am passing by; mysteriously knows what clothes I am wearing through the medium of miles of cable that swirl underground and under the ocean to connect our voices with each other; is certain that I am lying when I declare I am not ill; and of course numberless other magical incidents which scarcely get recorded nowadays, so matter-of-fact are they.
My mother's instincts are wrapped up at times in enigmatic and incomprehensible codes: the night before Spouse and I got married she had a dream about a pig bearing black and white stripes, with whom she talked.
Sadly and most unhelpfully, all transcripts were lost during the transition from sleep to waking and we will never know what was said to Mater, or why such a pig said it.

So, then: "are you the fortune teller?"
"It depends who you ask," Mater might say next time with a wink and a sly smile.

Mater is pictured above; a wax figure of Whoopi Goldberg stands beside her. Mater is beaming both because of her proximity to a celebrity's likeness and because of the fact that she is able to walk around Las Vegas like the elated tourist she finally can be. The trip began in Las Vegas and ended with a visit to the Grand Canyon.
Permission was granted by Mater for this picture to be used; in actual fact she selected the photograph.


Beth said...

Oh, she looks like fun! Another nice post about your mother. I think that a certain amount of prescience comes with motherhood but your mother seems to have extraordinary powers to reach overseas--perhaps she can give me advice on honing my own before my daughter goes far away.

Nan said...

I just loved this! Aren't you so, so lucky to have her in your life still. She has a wonderful face.

Jaime said...

What is with that wonderful mother's instinct? I'm not a mother and I find it baffling.
Lovely post and picture of your mother. She is quite extraordinary, from what I gather..the stories you tell.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

another sweet tribute to your sweet mother...

she looks how I would imagine her! very lovely indeed!

I can identify with your mother beaming as she stands near the figure of whoopi - a few years ago, when em and I visited london, we went to the wax museum and had much fun taking pictures of each other as we stood next to the likenesses of our favorite celebs or historical figures and taking pictures - I love looking at these pictures and crack up looking at how were were hamming it up -- em pretending to kiss 'brad pitt'; me with my arm around patrick steward dressed as jean luc picard or bowing deeping in front of gandi. odd thing wax museums....was first time I had ever visited.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Beth, thank you! She is fun and funny too. I'll try to glean some information from her that might assist you when Sara goes away... she could probably share a thing or two! We'll tap into her skills ;)

Nan, I am lucky. Thanks for your sweet comment about her face :)

Jaime, I too find it baffling! They just know...everything. All the time... She'll be happy to read your comment tonight.

Kimy, She was beaming brightly, and it makes a nice picture when someone is happy.
Your story in the museum- that's so funny. It sounds like you had good times. You seemed to be quite at home with the celebrities even though you hadn't been to the wax museum before. Strange- you think you'll see it as wax and not be excited but it feels so real when you get there and stand beside it.

tangobaby said...

I think she can do all of those amazing things because she is your mom. She knows all about you...she made you!


Tell Mater hello for us.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Tangobaby, you are right. She knows everything... I can never turn my antennae off on her.
I certainly will tell her you said hello- she reads my blog herself and is delighted frequently by the comments about her ;)

tangobaby said...

I think your Mater and my mom need to have a chat because I can't get mine near a computer!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Mater does her online banking, reads my blog, checks her e-mail. That's all she uses the Internet for. It's made her life simpler and we get to keep in touch much more. Before I left Ireland she didn't use a computer either.

tangobaby said...

Maybe I didn't move far away enough. San Francisco is only an hour and a half from my mom's house.

Maybe I should move to Ireland.


That's great your mom is so savvy!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

She's savvy but sometimes I try to explain things on the phone and it for some reason never works for her- such as downloading a photo I send by e-mail.
We go through it every single time and she says she can't remember a word of what I said last time :\
Other than that, she's just great on the computer.
"Maybe I didn't move far away enough." That's hilarious. You could move to Ireland- the streets are hilly, like in San Francisco, but in a very different way. Put it this way: trying to film 'Streets of San Francisco' in Ireland wouldn't work on those roads. Too many cows holding up the speeding cars. Logistically it would fail...

hele said...

I'm now also wondering what the pig said...

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Hele, we'll always wonder ;)
I love the way you phrased that- I'd love to write a book about the meaning of dreams called 'What The Pig Said.' Catchy title, I think...
;) Thanks.

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