Friday, July 01, 2011

the tarot eskimos have twelve different words for snow

I've been gone awhile, haven't I? If you go back in the archives, back in the earliest days of this blog in 2005 (before I was married, before babies, in the halcyon days of total unemployment), you'll see that I used to post at least once a day. Sometimes twice, sometimes thrice! (Don't go back and look, though. Just take my word for it. They weren't all gems, you know what I mean?) Now I'm lucky if I post three times in a season. I don't want it to be like that. And soon, it won't be like that.

I'll explain. I'll tell you where I've been and where I'm going. (Not that I'm leaving here. I'll be posting here as consistently erratically as ever, I promise.) Maybe you'll go with me, and maybe you'll just stick around here, frowning and waiting for posts. Or maybe you're just going to go do your nails or go wash the car or have a bake sale or whatever it is you do when you run off and leave me here all by myself. (Even if I'm not posting, I just sit here quietly at my blog all day and night, watching you come and go. My family begs me to come out into the sunlight with them, but I shoo them away. NO. No, I can't. Someone I don't know know has logged on from Transylvania. I can't just leave him here by himself. He'll get lost, or break something.)

Where I've been:

*Working on Elizabeth's play, which closed last weekend and was an intensely wonderful experience. Strange to move on, after working on this piece with Elizabeth and John on and off for more than a year. It's a post in and of itself, which will have to happen later.

*Working, stop-and-start-ingly, on my book. Those things, whew. They're...mercy. Daunting. And this first draft keeps shifting on me, conceptually, and all kinds of fears muscle up to get faced, and wow. My word. I had this idea that I was going to have half of my first draft finished by August. What I'll have in August is a little more than half of twice what I have now, which is certainly not nothing, but it's not HALF of anything, see? Holy hell. But I'm dragging it along with me into the future, slowly.

*Finally, and most importantly, I've been immersing myself in a course of study. Ladies and gentlemen, after years of casual study and several months of intensive study and then one very successful, jam-packed month of on-my-feet practice with real, living people, I'm getting ready to pop out of my cocoon as a bona-fide, honest-to-goodness, plying-a-trade tarot reader.

Oh, Tarot, you glorious thing. Let me sing your praises here for everybody. I've fallen head-over-heels in love with you, and we're at the beginning of what's sure to be the proverbial beautiful friendship.

Seventy-eight cards of you, rendered a zillion different ways by all kinds of artists over the last several hundred years (at least). I love your aesthetics, I love the humming resonance of your old, old archetypes. There's the Major Arcana, or "Big Secrets", your thematic heavyweights. They're like the oceanic undertow in a reading, or the pull of the stars. Then there's the Minor Arcana, or "Little Secrets", which catalog in detail all of the streams of daily life, the practicalities and heartbreaks and thought patterns and variously shaped rushes of energy. You take concepts like sorrow or triumph or malaise, and you serve each of them up in several different nuanced preparations. Each card has a little symphony of meanings, and in one reading the clarinet rises to the top, and in another reading with the same card, the clarinet will recede to inaudibility and the strings will take over, or the bass drum, or, or, or.

So there you are, and then here I am, and to serve you up properly I have to be in the very best intuitive shape. I have to be meditating regularly, and I have to approach you with humility, and I have to have my heart organized in real service to the people who entrust me with their concerns. And then when the reading begins, I have to be bold enough to play some real jazz with you. I'm on stage, I'm listening, I'm improvising. I can't hesitate. I have to see and hear acutely and offer out loud what I'm getting as it comes in, but I have to guess its ideal form and shape it lightning-quick. Does this note come in soft or strong? Make a choice, give it up. But then I have to know when I need to be quiet for a second to understand what the shot is, when the reading is delivering something particularly subtle. A card pops up that doesn't make immediate sense. I start talking, stop talking and listen, start talking again...and there it goes. It starts taking off its clothes, reveals its purpose for being there. A moment of doubt comes in every reading, a little nervous thrill when the screen goes dark a second, a split-second or few spent sitting smack on the lap of risk, and then I jump into the blackness and freefall. And don't you know that something always catches me just in time? But who knows if it will next time! You can see why I'm in love.

So that's what I've been doing. I'm new at this, but it looks like I might have a knack. (Oh! And I can do these readings over the phone. So YOU, yes, YOU will be able to have one if you like. Details will come soon.) And it feels nice to be sort of going into the family business. (Not that tarot is precisely the family business.) I mentioned in a previous post that there's some clairvoyance that's run down through the female line on my father's side of the family. It travels as far back as our family is recorded, in fact. Grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great, great-great-great, et cetera. They all had it. And now I'm just beginning to see mine light up. Hello, family heirloom. You're getting polished up and going straight into use. I don't want any grumpy ancestors complaining about cobwebs/ungrateful descendents. No, no. No worries, ladies. I'm not a fool. You left me a pretty fine resource. I'm not going to squander this one.

As always, I have so much more I'd actually like to tell you, but there's no time. But a friend of mine is going to be building me a new website, and there will be a new blog attached that focuses entirely on the thing which lights me up more than anything else, which is the conscious cultivation of our inner lives. That's really what I'm emerging from the cocoon to do. I want to be in a lifelong conversation about the thing that matters most to me, and so...there. That. So I will. Please come with me when it's all ready.

And then, as I said, I'll always be over here posting about flotsam and jetsam and Oscar dresses and Finn and Fred and whatever takes hold of me. Same old this and that, on as loose a non-schedule as ever. Blibbity blobbity bloo.

If you've made it this far, come here and let me give you a kiss for being a big patient hero. You're all forbearance. You're like Mother Theresa. You're like Mother Theresa in the body of a movie star. I should tell you that more often.

P.S. Please meet my newest sponsor and member of my Sidebar Pantheon, the Queen of Wands. When I play spiritual dress-up, she's who I traipse around in. May her dress fit me snugly over time. (But not too snugly. You know. Gotta watch the figure.)


Anonymous said...

The slow progress on the book is about par. The fact that you are still working on it is way below par (don't take me for a golfer, but below par is a good thing). So fuck yeah: keep it up!

"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." - Thomas Mann

As for the new pursuit, I don't have anything insightful to say, but there's a question I've always wondered: how do the fortune tellers in NYC always manage to score these awesome ground-floor apartments?

Welcome back.

Tina Rowley said...

Hello, anonymous personage:

I'm a boor for not having popped on here sooner to acknowledge this comment. Thank you for the encouragement about the book! Writer's block appears to have been momentarily overcome. Steady typing is happening. And I do appreciate the welcome back. Welcome here, to you.

Can't tell you how my NYC brethren score those pads. Professional courtesy, you understand.