I was here at the ARE* in New York City psychic fair for just one thing. I wanted to have a meeting with a woman, Frances A. Smolkowski**, who made intuitive readings of people using the art form of collage. My close friend, Wendy, had an intuitive reading with her last month and described the experience as truly unique and “remarkable” and yet was unable to articulate why. Wendy is never at a loss for words or insights, so I knew that this was something I would have to experience myself.
The readers today had volunteered their time and proceeds were to benefit the ARE organization. In the large room, I could hear all of the various palm readers, tarot card readers, astrologers and Reiki healers talking. The room had been partitioned off with folding rice paper screens but I heard snatches of advice from angels and some poor woman was destined to end her relationship according to the death card. I hovered near Frances, the collage intuitive, who was in the corner with a client. It was time for me to have my reading. I was told by a volunteer that she would be running overtime and was asked if I would like to have a tarot card reading instead at this time. “No!” I cried (and I might have stomped my foot). “I want to have my reading with Frances. It’s the only reason I came here today!”
But waiting for Frances was taking too long (so far it was only five minutes). I could barely contain my excitement. I wavered between telling Frances that she was running over (I was sure that she did not know) and not wanting to make her mad at me for interrupting. I settled on peeking my head to the side of her screen with a questioning look. Frances lifted her head up to me and said “I am finishing up shortly”. I couldn’t hide my type A behavior from these psychics for too long. Of course, I was already making my self an “easy read”. However, I was to discover that this was not at all what Frances was about.
Frances was still cutting paper for the person hidden behind the screen. At what seemed to be a snail’s pace (Frances reminded me later that this was only my perception), Frances finally led her client out and ushered me behind the screen. When my impatient body sat down, I looked across from me and saw a woman who clearly did not easily get ruffled. She calmly said “I may be running overtime but I promise you that you will get all of your time – or at least what you need to have.”
Frances explained that she was creating a collage for me “My collages are beacons and also energetic bridges from the present state of functioning to the desired new state of preferred experience. They let folks experience in the present the energy of their fulfillment”. This was for the future not the past. Frances was an intuitive healer or empath.
She placed a solid blue block of paper on a folded card. This was the foundation and color that was right for me. Blue is the color that is “about communication…throat chakra, speaking & writing. It also represents a clear sky, as in space without challenges, inclement weather, so to speak. It is right for you as it sets a tone of clear communication, that joyous blue sky feeling”
Next Frances started cutting out the most gorgeous golden pieces that looked like sun rays. She explained that these represented “OUTPOURING” they were my need to express myself creatively. Frances said that I had a lot to say and express…perhaps with writing or painting.
The golden rays were placed in a special order by shade and she told me that this was my need to “PRIORITIZE”. At this point, I asked Frances about blogging as an appropriate venue for self-expression. She loved blogging and noted that with blogs “there is an audience.” I told her that I already had a muse. I write my blog for him and he is my audience.
I explained my belief that creativity comes from conflict. There is yearning for the unattainable and in the conflict and pain comes the art. “How 19th century!” Frances commented. (Frances later explained that there are newer models of new models of creativity coming from joy and not conflict.) I explained that the creativity, for me, comes from the chase, it was (for me) like shopping for the perfect thing. Frances agreed that shopping was a good metaphor but she saw me creating an original item as opposed to just looking from a set of existing items in a store. “Ah ha but that is where I begin to create” I exclaimed! “If I can’t find what I want, I make my own thing with what is available”. Frances suggested that I could make the “manifest an uncatchable muse, if you need or want it to be that way.” This is something that I will need to evaluate at great length.
I noted that she was not gluing any of the pieces down. She replied “I only do that when we are sure that they are in the right place. Some people can even feel it when I put the glue on. Others are so sensitive that can feel the colors and me cutting the shapes.” At this time I asked if I could take some pictures for my blog and she said “Not yet. I want you in the here and now” ( She did seem to get me) Next she cut out a cup of blue and pink and said that these were feminine and playful. She said could see that I had a childlike delight (she really did get me). Frances explained that my approach was to take the serious matter and use irony, dry humor and play in getting my point across (Okay how did she know?) which she added could be very effective.
Frances added a handle to the cup and firmly added a fastener to keep the handle from slipping. The handle was the key to keeping control. We discussed how much more efficacious a bucket was than a cup for any kind of OUTPOURING. Frances affirmed that I was the kind of person who was most alive when I was giving. Others need to fill their buckets but I had more than enough to give and did not run the risk of going empty.I would always be happiest giving. I would continue to be sustained with the material: money and health as long as I stayed in line with my purpose. She advised me to keep the collage on my desk and meditate on it to keep me focused. Frances, I am so glad I finally took a picture because I lost the collage under the clutter on my desk. I hope I can still manifest my dream***.
* A.R.E. is the Association for Research and Enlightenment is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1931 by Edgar Cayce
**More information on Frances A. Smolkowski can be through her websitewww.chrysalisstudio.com
*** As for losing my finished collage under clutter…here is what Frances has to say: the collage as a thing operates as a portal or facilitator for you to reconnect to the positive feelings you had in the session…so you can perpetuate and extend the positive feelings & metaphors. You can reconnect by remembering the image, even if you lose it or destroy it. The art object is a tool to accelerate manifestation of positive things, if you choose to use it in meditation. But, you don’t have to ever look at it again. Some people use it by feel and sit with it, eyes closed. Others use it for focus by drawing the outlines of the shapes with their eyes or staring at an element they particularly want to manifest…like the handle for control. So, no joke, you can bury yours anywhere….and it can still work for you!!
Previously published on Open Salon November 23 2011 as Snarkychaser