Sunday I was selling my wares at the Arts and Crafts show near the beach in downtown Santa Barbara along the sidewalk. There I was, sitting somewhere in the craft section as on most Sundays I usually do, behind a table covered with little acrylics, watercolors and hand-painted cards. I display lyrical renditions of goddesses, beach scenes, birds, plants, palm trees, faces, bodies. My style is impressionistic, vivid and colorful.
Lately I have noticed that many children like my art. I began to bring in my paints anyway, to have something to do between ten o’clock in the morning, when I set up, and whenever I leave. With one or two boys from the same family admiring the still-wet palm trees I had done one day, I asked if either wanted to make one himself. Eagerly, one said yes. I set him up with supplies, got ten dollars from the mother, and watched one of the boys have fun. She supervised. I went back to painting myself. Purple tree trunks. Yellow coconuts. Against a blue sky, pink clouds. It cheers me up. I went nuts.
But this particular week, an interesting-looking woman with a dog wearing a pink kerchief pulling on her pink rhinestone-studded leash stopped in front of my table. I sat there in my beach chair eyeing her as she eyed my wares. I started up a conversation up, ever hopeful
“My,” she said, “this is you, expressing your soul. That is what comes through in your art. I admire you. You are so inspirational, doing your work and sitting out here like this.” She looked wistful, envious.
“Yes, I do sort of express my soul in my painting. How very perceptive of you.” So I thanked her, and invited her to try her hand at watercoloring as well.
“Oh, painting is one of those things I want to do and never have time for,” she demured.
“Well, you have the time now. Here are the supplies.” I gestured to the bottles and tubes of paint, little brushes, and pads of watercolor paper on an adjacent table next to me. I’ll give you a good deal. Five bucks.”
“No, well, you see, I have this line on my palm,” she said.
She showed me her left palm, pointing to something very engaged, bending over to show me across the table, very seriously. “You see, here, this curving half line going up from the base of my wrist towards the life line?”
I looked. “Yes.” It cut through the Mars/Venus mound area.
“And the line doesn’t get there. It never arrives. You see?”
The woman didn’t say anything.
A sadness came over her. She seemed very distant from me. “A palmist showed me once that this is why I never get anything done,” she confessed.” I have all these ideas of what I want to do, and I never take the first step to complete any of them.
“Ah, yes, that can be hard.”
She seemed happy that at last some one knew her true story.
“But isn’t that your left palm?” I innocently inquired.
The woman looked taken aback. “Yes, why do you ask?”
I smiled mysteriously (something you learn in this art). “Let me see your right.”
She stuck out her right palm, face up.
I looked closer. “Ah hah, just as I thought,” I exclaimed demurely, knowingly.
“Why? What do you mean?”
“Well, you see, in this palm, that line has moved. You don’t have it anymore. I can see, you have managed to do things you wanted to do in this life. So you have overcome what you are born with.”
“Well, you know, you are right. Here I am living out of my RV out here on the West Coast, with my dog. I am from Minnesota. I have wanted to do this for a long time.”
“So, you can discard that old belief.” She looked like she felt better about herself. “And you can paint too! Why not?”
The woman looked contemplative, and walked away, calling over her shoulder, “I’ll be back next week.”
Batya Weinbaum’s water color and inks are for sale at Perch Gallery on Cota. For a check for $30 mailed with a Xerox of your hands, you can get a complete reading Send with a SASE to Batya Weinbaum, 4902 Sandyland Road #140, Carpinteria, CA, 93013.