Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Two of Sticks — Tarot of the Absurd

 

Well favored, the Two of Sticks is about planning, progress, decisions and discovery. With such careful steps and the courage to attempt something less than comfortable, these two dancers have managed to find stability and freedom in an apparently precarious pose.

 

Ill favored, with poor planning, these two dancers start to tremble, upsetting their delicate balance. As the future quickly becomes uncertain, they must make a hasty plan to dismount.

 

I am feeling stuck. I have no plan. I feel as if my balance depends upon a partner whose next move is unknown by anyone but the omniscient. I feel stuck in this posture. Although it is where I want to be, my inability to make a plan makes it seem as if I fail to accomplish anything, ever.

 

I could blame failure of accomplishment on the fact that my baby doesn’t nap without me by her side or holding her, but that seems a cop-out. She’s so cute! How can I blame anything on her? I would rather blame it on the fact that I fail to use my time wisely and I don’t plan anything successfully. Especially not naps.

 

I would like to write a cohesive companion book for this deck. What are the steps I need to take in order to be able to do this successfully? What’s the plan, Shanahan?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Seven of Blades — Tarot of the Absurd

Psst, wanna buy a blade? The Seven of Blades is a card of deception, betrayal and stealth.  This fence sells tasseled daggers from his sturdy overcoat.  What is he hiding? Not much, it seems—

 

Don’t think I’ll tell you how I cheat.

A smile hides secrets that I keep.

Don’t think I’ll tell you where I sneak.

Daylight makes good cover for a thief.

 

Don’t think I’ll tell you what I took.

I walked in, spoke, and then walked out on foot.

Don’t think I’ll tell you I’m a crook.

See for yourself. Why do you not look?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Six of Sticks — Tarot of the Absurd

six of wands tarotThe Six of Wands is the card of victory and public recognition. These two people balance proud. They wear V for victory on their varsity sweaters. The winner’s laurel crowns their heads.

 

Victory is a success or a winning that leaves one happy or satisfied. It is, in effect, the sense of accomplishment. Thus, victory is an emotion, for our emotions are our feeling-senses. Q: “How do you feel?” A: “Victorious!”

 

A success or a winning that does not give a sense of accomplishment is not a victory. The public can recognize our acts and cry “victory,” but if we fail to acknowledge our own successes and let ourselves be happy with them, then in essence we never truly allow ourselves to be victorious no matter what the public may cry.

 

*   *   *

 

In my twenties I filled copious journals writing under the premise, “I write, therefore I exist.” My goal was to write myself into history. Pre-history is defined by the period of time before the written record, and history is written by the victors. I wrote to avoid becoming a prehistoric looser.

 

Of course, these days it takes quite a bit of effort to be prehistoric. We are recorded from our birth certificates to our death certificates. We are recorded through utility bills, traffic tickets and insurance payments. We are recorded on attendance sheets, police records, and tax payments. Tho public records, none of this will give us public recognition. Public recognition takes personality.

 

I did not want mere the existence granted by public records. I wanted to stand out: I wanted to be outstanding. No. I wanted to be outstanding, but I did NOT want to stand out. Okay, I wanted to stand out, but I did not want to STICK out. The problem was, I stuck out. I was used to sticking out. In grade school, I stuck out when the goal of every child is to fit in. I stuck out with all sorts of rough edges that fit no where. I stuck out in how I spoke and what I said and how I thought and what I wrote. I stuck out in how I moved and what I wore. I did not fit in: I stuck out. Exceptionally. And no matter how well I did at what I did— and I did do well at what I did— nothing felt like victory.

 

Victory began in the midst of an epic tour-de-USA bicycle ride when I sat atop the highest pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains: the east entrance to Yosemite. “I will always be discontent,” I decided. It seemed to be where I was headed. I made it my purpose. Elated with my decision, I descended into the valley at 35mph, no handed, arms out like eagle wings pulling a trailer on my bicycle. It was fun.

 

Soon, every time I found my self discontent, I was able to think, “This is what I want.” I became content with my discontent. The knowledge that I was where I needed to be made me happy. Eventually, happiness allowed me to recognize my own accomplishments. Eventually, acknowledgement of personal successes let me feel victorious.

 

Now my successes are all much smaller than they used to be. I allow myself a great sense of victory for each one (Yes! The kitchen is clean! The baby is sleeping! VICTORY!) and it all evens out. Secure in my existence, I hardly write anything anymore.