New York, NY
A few months ago I brought my Calhoun School t-shirt into my psychic class for a reading. I believe that every person is born with an intuitive sense so I’d say I was born with this ability just like everybody else. In the last couple of years I have chosen to focus on bringing my own psychic abilities to the forefront of my life.
This t-shirt is the oldest thing I own and I got it when I was in the fourth grade. I made sure to get an adult-sized extra large so I could wear it to sleep. The package with the t-shirt was delivered to school and when I pulled my huge shirt out of the box, my teacher, Jolly, commented that I should consider ordering another one in my size. With a large grin I disagreed with her. This was just my size.
I slept in this shirt until it was too small to wear as a nightshirt. I began wearing it as a regular piece of clothing when I was in high school. In college I wore the shirt inside out, as I no longer wanted to wear any advertisements on my body. When I was a sleep-away-camp counselor, I had it on all the time because by that point, it was faded and threadbare, and worn out-looking t-shirts were stylish.
That day in my psychic class, the process we were using was psychometry, an intuitive technique that involves holding or touching objects or photographs to gather information with the idea that over time you can sense the stories and experiences connected to these objects. Using psychometry is a gateway into the past, present or future.
The teacher had us choose partners, exchange objects and close our eyes while she asked us very specific questions about our partner’s object, which we answered internally. When we were finished we opened our eyes and took turns sharing out loud with our partners. The last question the teacher asked was, “What do you see in the future for this person?” I remember that question clearly because typically when I am giving a reading I don’t retain any information afterwards; instead I let it flow though me.
My class partner spoke to me about my shirt being worn while playing soccer or doing something active that I loved, which I connected to my dance practice. I dance the 5 Rhythms which is a ecstatic dance movement meditation practice. I began eight years ago and dance two to three times a week. Wherever I go I make sure I dance. Then she spoke very specifically, and accurately, about how I create communities and am often a magnet for connecting people in a communal setting.
I haven’t worn the t-shirt in 20 years. If I were to put it on again, it would be filled with so many stories that it might just rip (or maybe it’s just that old). When I picture it in its current resting place, the read I get on it is to stop reading it and let it rest. It has had a long life.
Stephanie Diamond is a New York-based artist, adjunct professor, and community builder whose work has been shown at MASS MoCA, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum of Art, MoMA/P.S.1, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She started the Listings Projects, a housing and studios for rent e-newsletter that’s become a staple in the art community.