Summer Love – The Fool in the Land of Woo

Early in the dark of the morning the air is cool from the night rains. A mourning dove coos softly. The cat plays amongst the wet leaves. Across the courtyard a teenager coming home from the night shift searches for his key for the side door. My coffee steams bitter and dark. I am ridiculously happy.

Ridiculous, you say? Why ridiculous?

Well, externally speaking, in spite of it being summertime, things are not what you’d call great. The other day my accountant hugged me and walked me to her door saying, “you are a very brave woman”. I hate it when people tell me I’m brave – it always seems to mean I’m in way over my head. Friends look at me sideways and say, “gosh, you know, you’re doing really well considering…”

It’s not important or interesting – the story, the details, the particulars. We can just say it’s tense – not even terrible or tragic. In my work in documentary, I’m always steeped in stories of such awful luck – a young mother with terminal cancer, a teenage refugee from Sierra Leone trying to survive in a strange land by herself, a man who is discriminated against in his job and takes it to the Human Rights Commission and is held up in court cases, his life in limbo for 17 years…terrible, tragic stories. I see the news lately – not even the stuff about Gaza and the Ukraine, but the stuff about water in Detroit being shut off to a huge part of the population, and the concurrent news about companies discussing the privatization of water, and I wonder how crazy our world really is, and how much crazier it’s going to get.

So I’m grateful for a deliciously simple moment on a cool morning when I see it and I am happy – up, buoyant, optimistic, enthusiastic. Happy to be alive. Happy to have a hot cup of coffee. Happy to feel the cool rains after a hot summer day. Happy to see the beauty in so many flowers in bloom
sunflower ecu abstractHappy for a weekend away with horses and nephews
yellow flower boyHappy to have a bike that will roll me down the hill to the beach –
bike & beachThe astrologers say the tough stuff has been all about the Grand Cross, a doozy of a tense aspect, ripping one’s life to shreds, but apparently the fact that I’ve had Jupiter in my sign for the duration has made me upbeat in spite of it all. Ridiculously so. Inappropriately so.

Astrologers and psychics do good business in times of uncertainty and economic downturn, they say.

So maybe partly for that reason, I’ve been trying to teach myself the Tarot. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up living in a tent and wrap a scarf around my head and pretend to be psychic and read cards for a living. And besides, I love the mystery the cards embody, how they seem to speak like dreams, through enigmatic cryptic imagery where you have to feel you way through intuitively to find meanings that slip around like eels if you try to hold on too tight.

And one of the things that’s got me thinking they kinda really do work, is that I’ve noticed how I always get the same cards –
the towerThe Tower I’ve seen a lot of – not a lucky card.
And I never ever get say, The Hierophant or The Emperor or the Queen of Pentacles or Swords – none of the more sober and practical and grounded characters that exist in the deck, no. Not for me.
On the other hand, I do get, again and again, The Fool.
Strolling along without a care in the world, an innocent, a naΓ―f, about to step off the precipice into the unknown…the foolWeekly Photo Challenge – Summer Lovin’
P.S. – our local Canadian water hero is Maude Barlow – check out some of her stuff here.

12 thoughts on “Summer Love – The Fool in the Land of Woo

    1. Well, that’s an interesting point. Indeed, one of the books I’ve been looking at equates the Fool with the character in so many fairy tales of the youngest child – you know how the first born will go out and be greedy and cruel to the old man or the hungry squirrel or whatever the hidden helper is, and they don’t succeed at the quest, where the youngest child will give away everything and be kind to the ugly and the weak and the small and are able to get to the treasure.
      It is the basic spiritual premise of “trust the Universe” I guess…

  1. This is really interesting how you’ve combined all of these metaphysical elements with your personal story, and a social justice reference to Detroit. Very compelling article. Many thanks.

    1. Steven, thank you so much for your comment. The Detroit story I find mind-boggling – some 40% of the population had their water cut off? And the future of how water is controlled could start to move very quickly – freaky stuff. I live in Toronto – they say us folks on the Great Lakes are “water hogs”, totally unconscious about water. I didn’t even really understand this til I went to New Mexico where every shower was a Big Deal. Though I did also spend 6 months in Nicaragua, and the water was on only about 50% of the time in Managua, the capital, so people had to plan and conserve so methodically – totally different way of life. Something so essential, and lived with so differently in different places.

  2. Katalina – your essay caused me to look at my own deck, the Voyager Tarot, by James Wanless. I really like his interpretations as he weaves in psychological, mythological, cross-cultural symbology. Here is what he says about the “archetype” cards (Fool and Tower are both archetypes): “They combine mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and worldly characteristics. When they appear….it indicates that you have connected with a profound major aspect of the collective unconscious….If you allow the energy of these Archetypes to express itself through you, in your own way, you will reach deeper into your humanness and experience life more fully..”
    Isn’t that what we are after?

  3. This is what Voyager Tarot has to say about The Fool-Child: “Like the fetus and dependent child, live on faith in the order of the universe. Know that you are taken care of. In accepting this law (trust in the Universe), you can be the Fool; you can relax, be yourself, take risks, play.” (maybe that’s why you are capable of being “ridiculously happy” in light of tense conditions in your life). He also discusses the shadow aspects of each card; so no card is either totally “good” or “bad.”
    Oh, and the Tower: “,,symbolizing the law of purification,…a revolutionary cleansing of all levels of your being.” It’s about burning up our dark aspects, purging impurities, through intense self-examination. Melting down old inner and outer structures to move thru metamorphosis into a new life structure.
    Sounds intense, but has its up potential πŸ™‚

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