This morning I woke up from a bizarre dream, confused. On mornings when I am maintaining “alignment with my intentions” and actually sticking with beneficial habits, I visit with my tarot cards. I’ve been using the same set of The Wild Unknown cards since 2016, a gift to myself after my first truly successful launch. It’s beat to hell now, bent under the weight of hundreds of questions and struggles. I love these cards, and the reliable wisdom I find there.
In the dream, the part that I remember, there was a woman who died on a bench under a bridge, looking out towards a river. She remained there, as officials had decided it was too dangerous to move her body, or as a reminder to others of the danger, I’m no more certain of governmental motivations in sleep than I am when awake. I was walking with the kids, and in the way of dreams, there was an instant knowing the events surrounding this woman. It had (in dream world) been all over the news, that she had wandered into this zone with a “diminished magnetic field.” Objects, including humans, that were sensitive to this energy and happened to wander in, were immediately cut off from any sense of direction, or control over their own propulsion. Some settled, some drifted. On the top of the bench behind the woman’s shoulder was a dead fly, which in the waking life is a minor tik tok celebrity, thanks to my friend Binky featuring it’s internment on her local grocery store’s shelf. RIP. In my dream, the fly had obviously been lured in by the woman, and had met an equal fate.
As we stood, a poodle, with the rear the shape of a seahorse, and the ability to fly (what can I say, muh brain, folks) crossed into the “zone” – and immediately started lazily spinning, no longer in charge of itself. The kids caught it, and were snuggling him, just as I woke up.
After pondering the strangeness of it all, I reached the obvious conclusion that I was struggling against a pattern of gaining momentum, and then losing energy or focus, tumbling out of control. I turned to the cards to explore this idea more, using my standard daily spread, a 4 point compass.
North – Energy: Reversed Seven of Pentacles
East – Focus: Reversed Daughter (Page) of Wands
South – Message: Reversed Nine of Wands
West – Voice: The Tower
You can click the links above to read more about the individual cards, if you’re interested. The themes in the first three were clear enough, as always. It is almost laughable, and spooky, how directly relevant they can be. My interpretation of the dream matched their message precisely, lack of direction, control, momentum. However, the Voice containing the Tower card surprised me. This card is one that causes anxiety in many who practice tarot, as it represents sudden, unexpected change, often accompanied by destruction. I’ve always embraced that – I have a long history of burning my life down to make room for new growth, so the hint of upheaval ahead is not something that scares me. However, this wasn’t really about change ahead. Where the Message card in my spread is the “what I need to know/expect,” the Voice card is, “what I need to speak.”
What came to mind was the place of destruction in my patterns, and what its absence means for my patterns, now that I’ve given up my love affair with easy strike matches. What can I say about this?
Mixed Metaphors, Ahoy
Before returning to Minnesota, I knew I was done burning things down. In the spring of 2018, we spent a month in Houston, which was initially supposed to be our relaunch into fulltime travel. During that trip, I realized that whatever gypsy existed in me had been satiated, healed. I no longer felt an irresistible urge to run, and in its place was a quiet voice, calling me home. There was a sense of loss, as that vagabond nature has always been a core of my identity. Who could I possibly be inside of a normal, stable life? I spent the next six months, back in Arizona, figuring out what I wanted my life to be now, in the absence of “anything but permanent.”
I came home already committed to staying the course, to building something for keeps. That part has never been a challenge, the certainty is unwavering. I don’t even know if its fair to call it commitment when it isn’t even a question. It’s nothing rigid or forceful, it’s just a fact. Do you have a commitment to blinking?
I have spent my life using fire as fuel, destruction as a catalyst for change. Since coming home, I have really struggled to build enough momentum to create anything substantial, which I so desire, which I actually need. I get excited, but I lose my way in the space between. What used to be scorched earth awaiting my new vision, is now filled with strong roots and blooming distractions. There is no urgency in my life. I may not be content – but like that weird snuggled up seahorse-poodle in my dream, I am comfortable, cozy, safe.
The funny thing is – when I was in the build & burn cycle, I didn’t have much control over my direction. I had ideas, took frantic action, watched my ideas come to life. Then, inevitably I would realize I had made a critical error and would lunge for my trusty matches. Now, I know where I want to be, but I don’t really know how I want to get there. Maybe it’s not even that. Maybe….I am afraid that if I build here, in this safe & comfortable, rudderless place, that I will accidentally ruin everything. Maybe part of me still believes the fire is my nature, that I am the fire, and that with any friction I will simply combust. Am I sure there are no embers lying below the surface, waiting for a strong breeze to rile them into an inferno? Ok, Drama.
Imagine that you have spent your life on a ship, filled with holes, in a raging sea, and under assault from all directions, including from yourself, standing on the deck, compulsively starting fires whenever you’re not baling water or sinking under.
Then suddenly, you’re on dry land, with a sneaking sense that you are safe. How long do you just…sit, eat plump fruit dropped from rich trees, stare at the clouds, and just fucking breathe. How long before you stop scanning the horizon for threats? At what point do accept that you are ok, that everything is ok, and you can do whatever you want. At what point do you stand up, brush the sand off, and decide to build a house, seek out other inhabitants, explore what the island has to offer beyond safety and comfort? When is it safe to trust yourself with matches?