Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Drowning in a Birdbath"

Jews don't "suffer a witch to live." The question is, what really is "witchcraft" nowadays: is it dark, mystical forces or simply canny observation, √† la Sherlock Holmes?

The tarot card reader, as I read in, uh, "The Tarot Card Reader" by Jessa Crispin, can simply be a storyteller, a means to putting a situation in the right perspective. The best line: 
“It’s like you’re drowning in a birdbath. Stand up, it’s just a birdbath.”  
A means to cope can be found in flipping the viewpoint; telling a story, focusing on all the players, not just on oneself, and the realization that the tale is not yet over—it brings calm. 
Sometimes you think you’re valiantly battling a dragon, but really you’re drowning in a birdbath.
We have more control than we think: We have the control to react in the best way possible. I try to think, when I think matters are difficult—in how long, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade: Will I even remember this? It will be over. My bowels will have found something else to fret over. Gam zeh ya'avor. 

In crises, the focus is on self-survival. But in order to keep our balance, we must remember other people. By brushing them aside, we allow ourselves to get swallowed by own own agonies. We must take the fuller picture in. 
But then a woman came to me, flush from an affair. She wanted to talk about her new lover and how great it all was. I laid out the cards. The hierophant — a figure of holy wisdom — reversed. The king of swords, crossing the lovers. My client was represented by the grumbling, tyrannical emperor. I could see what the story was, but it wasn’t the happy one she had just told me. “This isn’t about your new lover,” I told her, and I could see her glow fade. “We have to talk about the marriage you are betraying.” It was a difficult, but valuable, conversation.
We, too, can utilize stories to see things anew.

2 comments:

Daniel Saunders said...

Italo Calvino, in The Castle of Crossed Destinies uses the Tarot deck to tell a number of well-known legends and folk tales, which I suppose illustrates how pliable the deck is.

I try to think, when I think matters are difficult—in how long, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade

It will all be the same in a hundred years, as my maternal grandparents used to say.

Princess Lea said...

Until 120!