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The School of Life: My first trip to a crystal store

I know this will be special. I tell this to my Instagram followers and my daughter Darcy as we sit in the car and stare at the awning of the store. The Golden Orb. I make a video in which I sing “The Golden Orb. Love and Light” and quickly post it to my IG stories. Followers surely will want to know what I’m up to. This video, or the audio from it, plays not once but twice while I’m inside the store. I try in vain to silence it as I browse Rose Quartz. A woman looks at me. She is puzzled. When the video plays a second time without my even touching my phone, I know there is fairy magic afoot.

It happens as I am checking out. My own voice singing from within my purse. The cashier narrows his gaze through glasses that make his eyes look small. He has a ponytail.

And when Ponytail peers at me, I know he can see my heart. I scramble to silence my phone. But the Instagram story keeps repeating, “The Golden Orbs. Love and light.” My own voice sings from inside my bag.

I feel shame. My voice (or throat chakra) is what I’m here to address. I tell this to the wisp of a woman who greets me when I enter the store. But throughout my shopping trip, my voice is loud and clear. It’s just in my bag.

Wisp wears a large sweat shirt and purple prayer beads. Her Pinterest-worthy nails finger the crystals in the bag I’ve brought.

“Ooh! You’ve brought me some goodies,” her eyes dart from the crystals to my daughter. I clutch Darcy closer to me. No, Wisp, you may not bake her into a gingerbread cookie.

Ponytail helps a braless woman. He gives me side-eye and knows I will offensively mix narratives. Suddenly, I feel an urge to take off my own bra. A sports bra. A garment at odds with all the love and light that the Golden Orb represents.

Wisp takes my crystals out of the bag and asks earnestly, “Do you need me to tell you what these are?”

I bristle immediately but repress an audible scoff. Of course, I know what they are. Amazon told me what they are. Wisp, I’ve been a student of life longer than you’ve had your moonblood. But being snarky isn’t an option. Who knows how far Wisp has gotten at Hogwarts?

“Yes,” I reply, “I know what they are. I just need to know how to charge them.”

An easy tutorial follows. Cleanse them. Then set in the moonlight to charge.

Ahh, I say to myself, I wasn’t cleansing them. I add sage in both spray and twig form to my order. I’m now $21 in and Darcy has only begun to feel her way through the neurotically sorted rocks.

Good thing it’s pay day.

Darcy lands on a statue of a baby dragon holding a gem—in short, her spirit animal. She demands some gold (pyrite) for her dragon and I acquiesce. Darcy is satisfied. She thinks that now she has more money than her brother.

“My dwragon will protwect it,” Darcy closes chubby fingers around the nugget.

Wisp sees us and glides over, “You still okay over here?”

“Yes, I’m looking for blue stones for my throat chakra,” I say without irony and hold up a lapis lazuli. Ponytail overhears. I know I will earn his respect now. Yes, Ponytail, I know about aligning the ‘chakra khans.’

But the blue stone I hold is not the blue stone I am looking for.

“That’s more of a third eye blue,” Wisp takes the lapis lazuli, “You need less blue for the throat.”

Foiled again. How many blue chakra khans are there?

Wisp hands me an aquamarine and all I can think is—That’s GREEN, Wisp! Is she sabotaging my chakra khans? Does Wisp see blues I do not?

I settle on celestite because Wisp says something about angels. I add the stone, another blue one, and at Darcy’s behest, a very large blue stone for Jackson.

“Because he’s a big boy,” she says as she hands it to Wisp without waiting for my approval.

By the time I check out I’m $58 in damage. Not bad considering there were necklaces and candles and fairy dust bath salts that I wanted, nay, needed.

I arrive home to a husband who is bemused and maybe disappointed with my spiritual purchases. I know this because he tells me to leave when I offer to sage his office. Fine, I think to myself, I’ll wait until you are out of town. I can’t have your Negative Ned attitude around when I’m clearing energy.

I sage the den. It is a workspace for me, a playroom for the kids, and a place where both our pets sleep. I read the directions for “smudging” carefully.

Start at the door.

Go counter clockwise.

Don’t neglect the corners.

I begin smudging, moving the smoldering twigs through the room. I hear an obnoxiously punctuated, “What. Is. That. Smell?!” from C.K.’s office. Why is it that he has the nose of a bloodhound when it comes to scents I like?

I repress a sigh. Be quiet, Ned.

“I’m burning sage,” I sing back cheerfully.

“Well…could you not?”

The sage has gone out by now. I’ve neglected one corner of the room. And I’ve forgotten to open the door to escort the bad energy out. I wave my arms to the lingering pot/cemetery smell toward the door. But I’m too far. I won’t make it. Suddenly, as if with intention, the pug busts through her doggie door.

Perfect. The pug has adequately escorted any bad energy out of the room. My virgin smudging was newbsauce but I’m all about acceptance today. I bless the room and say a prayer. It will be a place of positivity and creativity.

About an hour later, C.K. ambles over to his easel. The easel sits in a smudged corner of the den. He fiddles with some brushes he hasn’t touched in years. I am satisfied. Positivity and Creativity are really in the room now.

Consider yourself smudged, Ned.

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