The heart stone

theolderrelative.jpg

I have an elderly relative who is feeling very lonely, especially since my mother died. They were roughly the same age and she was her only friend. We don’t live in the same country but now she has a smartphone and uses every opportunity to contact me; I find her extremely irritating because whenever I decide to respond, the conversations I have with her are meaningless and mundane: how are you? Fine, thanks, and you? I’m fine, thanks for asking.

Not every conversation has to be deep and touching obviously, but in this case it seems completely unidirectional: she is happy because she gets to the human contact she craves and I feel used, like I have wasted my time. When I was a child or later a teenager, she never showed the slightest interest in me or had a kind word but now that she is old and lonely, I have suddenly become interesting. When I decide to respond, weakened by this war of attrition of constant messages, I am polite and ask her about her day, her health, the sort of sundry words you have with someone you are not really interested in knowing better.

And yet, I guess I am unkind with her because I never stop and listen to whatever she has to say. I know that she has had a very sad and difficult life, she used to come over to my parents’ house every week to eat and to tell the same stories over and over and over again.

One of my sisters wanted to get pregnant and part of her inner work was to create the family tree. She spoke with this relative and found out very interesting things. In a novel, this would have been no more than one scene, but real life is not as well written.

I’m not a very family-orientated person, I would be just happy if I have a yearly contact with her or other members of the family. Once a year, thank you very much; twice if I’m feeling particularly happy (which doesn’t happen very often) but every day, every week…

I end up reeling with frustration because I don’t have the heart to tell her to leave me alone. It’s no use to tell her that I am not my mother, with her infinite patience, that I will never be a substitute of her. We never speak about her, yet she looms in the back of these conversations that, had she still been alive, we would not be having. In her eyes, my mother could do no wrong, I got tired of listening to her hagiography. A monolith of virtues. A beacon of hope and love in this hard world. Oh, how I wish she was my mother! As her daughter, however, I have a more nuanced vision of her: a person with as many virtues as flaws but I have to keep that narrative to myself because no one wants to listen. I’m disrespectful. I have a heart of stone.

Something broke in her heart, even in her mind, many years ago, that has made her impervious to anything that it’s not her pain. That has also given her a power that she doesn’t know she has: after all she’s been through, after having any possible road closed, she is immune to any kind of curse. And she really only asks for so little.

I asked the cards: Why do I find her so irritating?

IVSTICE – LEIVGEMENT – LE PENDV

You want things on the same level: you give something and you want to receive the same. You think this relationship is more of a punishment and only do so because of what it’s expected of you as a younger member of the family: their call cannot be ignored, even if it makes you feel trapped.

If I try to give this reading a positive spin: give her respect because it’s the right thing to do, you are family because there is a spiritual connection, a karmic lesson.

After looking at these cards, I do feel that I asked the wrong question. The message here is not about generosity or kindness, but of doing the right thing. It’s given me food for thought, and after I replied to one of her messages, I don’t feel as much resentment for doing it than before.

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The nerves on edge

examen02162106I’m at the very last moments of completing my undergraduate degree. One more exam and I’ll have the degree in the bag!

This afternoon I’ve done my second-to-last exam: Mathematical Estadistics, a subject as full of fun and games as its name suggests. I have been studying hard, but none of that have prevented the pre-exam panick I had this morning.

I want to keep calm, to remember that very few things in life are worth worrying for, that it’s all an illusion that one can pop with the pin of wisdom. I’ll get there one day.

Anyway, I decided to draw 3 cards; to force myself to break from the vicious circle of anxiety and focus in the here and now. The cards at hand were the superlovely Trionfi Della Luna, a Marseille version made by Patrick Valenza, the artist behind the not enough praised Deviant Moon Tarot.

Before going into the reading, let us stop for a minute and notice the movement of the characters in the three cards: half-buried, on her knees and standing up.

First, we have three characters gone crazy by fear. Far enough, the grating sound of the horn is enough to get on the nerves of the most  collected and zen among us, but these three have gone a step further and can’t think clearly. The Star is still being gnawed by her anxieties: on her foor, her back, her head… but she remembers the main goal, up in the sky. Then, The Force gets up and gets on with it.

Arise and walk.

Hat fashion

I’m doing a Tarot course with the wonderful Camelia Elias, using the superlovely Noblet deck. I am loving the simplicity of the design, the very thick card stock, it also feautures the happiest Death you’ll ever see…

Below a few things that have caught my attention.

lemniscata
Are these three folks wearing the same hat? #fashionvictims #copycats

I just love everything in LEDIABLE, it was a very talented artist whoever draw him. However, Jean-Claude Fournoy, the french artist who restored this deck, doesn’t seem to agree with me. He says that the Diable, the Wheel  and the World were made by an apprentice neither as talented nor as detail-orientated as the artist who draw all the rest of the cards. Have a peek at the website, and let me know with whom you agree! 😉

papesse_Acecoupes
She is bored of studying and wants to drink the water of life. #undergraduategoals

At first I thought that La Papesse was wearing the Ace de Coupes on the head, but now it looks more like she has at least three Aces stuck up on her head, Ikea-style.

pendubatons
First you lose your hat and look what happens.  Le Pendu dixit.

And lastly, this not-hat-related set is just too cute to miss: the figure that’s falling from the Roue finds himself hung up in the trees. Anyhow, he doesn’t seem too bothered to have lost his crown. And the Ace de Batons is a botanical close-up on the Pendu’s trees.

I also have a few pics of all the figures sorted by the direction of their gaze, but they are bad even for my blurry usual standards. It will have to wait until my photographic skills improve.

Until next time, which I hope it won’t be in two years.