Power Love

Your definitive resource. That's all, just your definitive resource.

23 April 2008

This is Magda. She can see into your soul. She won’t judge you for what she sees there—she’s been seeing into souls all her life, so, at 55, she’s learned how to be a passive viewer.

She can also see into the future. She could tell you how your skin will get brown spots, how your back teeth are atrophying, how you’re going to lose bone density. But you already know that. You didn’t, after all, wear suntan lotion in your 20s, floss every day, or drink enough milk. Magda doesn’t tell people the answers to their questions about the future anyway. She’s learned from experience that people don’t want to know what she actually sees; they want to know that what they hope for will come true.

Like last month, a tall boy with black hair sat down next to her on the park bench. It was a rare mild March day, so there were kids running around in the grass, yelping, and a red kite bobbing in the air. Before he said anything, she said, “It’ll be fine.” He sighed and leaned back. “OK,” he said. His eyes followed the red kite.

What the tall boy wanted to know was how things would turn out for him. He saw himself as a swashbuckler, a traveler, a restless heart falling into one high-octane life experience after another.

What Magda knew was that the tall boy’s imagination was huge, but that his courage was not. He could see where he wanted to go, but he didn’t have the heart to get there. She wondered for a moment, as she often did, where she was supposed to draw the line between providing comfort and lying.

In the case of the tall boy, she didn’t feel like she was lying—the way he leaned against the bench, slightly stiff and very uncomfortable in his skin, told her that he needed reassurance more than predictions. Besides, she thought, he ought to get used to sitting, watching others.