Tarot Journal #60: The Emperor

What Kind of World Do We Want to Live in?

It has been an interesting week starting out with Monday dealing with my previous landlords wanting to charge me exorbitant amounts for things that just wore out after 5 years of use. That should be why you pay rent, for using the place. So I began the process of disputing the most ridiculous items. That will continue this Monday as I have heard nothing from them since.

I have decided to handle all of this without stress or anger, just point out where they are not acting in a humane or ethical fashion and maybe ask them how they sleep at night after stealing from the poor or working so hard for those who do this. It is all part of my plan to use calm insistent reasoning combined with some hints about how we could, by our everyday actions, make this world a better place to live. If we all do this maybe people who are rich or think they’re going to be rich will have to at least think about their effect on society. If that doesn’t work then there is always the pitchforks and torches method. After all there are a lot more people on our side, maybe we could just scare them a little.

Posted in All part of the process, banality of evil, Being Human, can't really complain but, Fools Journey, my life, my mystic toolbox, paying attention, philosophy, Self-Experiments, Works in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tarot Journal #59: Mother of Cups


After 15 hours of driving back from my Northern California trip, I had two days to relax and deal with the final details of moving. I felt almost hungover on Sunday, just barely making it to church, and after that sorting through all of my Email and unpacking and pondering how to reset my life in light of my enlightening break from routine. I feel traveling and reconnecting with so many people who were and are still so important to me was the culmination of a year of grieving and emotional and physical recovery and transformation which seemed to come full circle to this day which was the anniversary of Roberta’s death.

At sunset I walked on the bike trail to the little path through the woods to the edge of a lily pad lake where Roberta and I sat getting to know each other while the evening settled. I remembered how pushy she was and how much it scared the hell out of me that she could be so certain of our relationship. She was right. Even with all of the hardships, my life was so blessed and enriched by having her in it. I then took the last of her ashes and scattered them for I knew this is where I will return if I want to remember this part of my life and make some sense of whatever comes next.

Posted in All part of the process, California, change, developing relationships, Family, Fools Journey, House and home, Loss and Leaving, my life, my mystic toolbox, paying attention, personal history, Puget Sound, Self-Experiments, the end is the beginning, thinking in words, Walking, Works in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tarot Journal #58: XVII The Star/ 6 of Swords (Change)/ Four of Pentacles/ 3 of Wands/ Eight of Disks (Prudence)/ 10 of Disks/ Ace of Cups

Seven Days of Change

Day 1

On Sunday I packed my car and headed north to Lummi Island to spend the night at my friend’s house. As I waited for the little 20-car ferry, I thought of many times in varied weather conditions that I had ridden this ferry when I lived here with my wife and young children. Now it is just me and the memories of all the sunny and storm-tossed crossings.

Day 2

I had a pleasant breakfast with my friend, who has been my friend since high school, and our conversation tends to be cryptic and full of many times shared experiences, inside jokes, and comfortable pauses. I repacked my car and went to hike up the mountain. At the top there is a view of the San Juan islands. I deposited some of Berta’s ashes and sat thinking of her for a while. She would have been so excited to be there with me. It was a place she was not physically capable of reaching when I knew her, but she loved to be in places where you can look at water, and I know of no other view of water and islands that is more satisfying than this one.

I walked back down the mountain and drove to the ferry and waited in the long line for a while enjoying the sunny morning as it turned into afternoon. I went into Bellingham and walked around by the bay and when it was time I went to pick up my daughter and son, now grown into fine young adults and I drove us all down to Lacey to spend the night at my place so we could go through Seattle at night traffic free.

Day 3

We got up early and reorganized the load and took off south toward the north coast of California and redwoods, and after 10 hours of driving, we arrived at Prairie Creek State Park and settled into our bare-bones cabin. For each of us there were different challenges. My daughter realized that there would be no internet for 3 days, but seemed to handle it well most of the time. My son was not used to sharing space so closely and needed more padding had trouble sleeping with all the snoring and noisy shifting on air mattresses. I never sleep well so no problem for me. I was missing my music, but only on the first night.

Day 4

My son and I went on an epic hike through the part of the park with the largest trees which had trunks so massive two large cars could fit inside their base. They were also so tall even when we were up on the ridges the ones situated on the valley floor still towered above us. There is such ancient quiet in the old-growth forest. A calm stillness that invades the surroundings and any creature that wanders in there. These trees that endure fire and flood and have stood for thousands of years extend their solid patient lifeforce to the whole forest. Even when after hours of hiking and a feeling of exhaustion was starting to grow in my legs as we climbed another set of switchbacks only to descend again and the little aches in my feet started to expand, I could not be distracted from the presence of ageless peace. But we were both glad when we arrived back at the campground and rested our tired legs.

Day 5

On our last day in the campground, I drove into town to use my phone to arrange a convergence of family and friends. My sister and her son, my other sister and my mother, and my best friend from high school who is really a part of my family all converged at our cabin around 2 pm on their way to a house my mother rented for a week up on a hillside overlooking the ocean. I had not seen any of these people for 3 years and my children had not seen them for a decade. It was the best kind of chaos.

Day 6

In the morning we packed up the car and checked out and headed for the beach where my daughter waded up to her ankles in the icy waves of the Pacific Ocean. It was all foggy shades of gray. Then we drove up the old highway to the house on the hill and spent a wonderful afternoon and evening in discussions about life, literature and the state of the world. My children blended in seamlessly and my sister cooked big meat on the grill, as she is known to do, of which we all partook enthusiastically.

It was nice to be in a bed again after 3 nights on an air pad.

Day 7

The 3 of us got up early and prepared for the long drive to Bellingham. We said goodbye to the early risers and wound our way inland to Oregon and I-5 and the long straight road to Washington with one stop for fast food. I dropped my kids at their respective abodes and drove the back 3 hours to Lacey. I was so glad to have 2 more days off to recover from 15 hours of driving, but it was all worth it to reconnect with all the people and places I have missed in the last few years.

Posted in All part of the process, California, change, Chaos and Order, conversations, developing relationships, Family, Fools Journey, my life, my mystic toolbox, paying attention, Self-Experiments, whereever you go there you are, wonder world, Works in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tarot Journal #57: The Sun/ 3 of Swords (Sorrow)

A Brief Flash of Illumination

“We are probably wrong to suspect that each individual has some secret passion, some mystery, some weakness; if Jean-Yves’s father had had to express his innermost convictions, the profound meaning he ascribed to life, he could probably have cited nothing more than a slight disappointment.”

― Michel Houellebecq, Platform

“I continued to wonder what exactly I had done to deserve a woman like Valerie. Nothing, probably. I observe the world as it unfurls, I thought; proceeding empirically, in good faith, I observe it; I can do no more than observe.”

― Michel Houellebecq, Platform

I have had such a hard time feeling any enthusiasm about much in my life since Berta’s sudden departure. All the people connected with her have faded away from me over the last year. It almost feels as if the whole relationship were a distraction in a long period of struggling to find something more than getting through another day. It is so hard to figure out how we got together in the first place and how she attracted my attention and held it long enough for me to get to know her enough to invest more than empathy in her situation. The Berta who loved me was not the mother that raised 4 children while living through a marriage with a man who abused and neglected everyone in his life. She had not worked for many years and had been homeless and abandoned by everyone she called family. At some point I showed her enough of who I am that she knew that I would take care of her. I don’t know how she knew that especially since I held her at a distance for so long while I made sure she was cared for. Finally, she made it clear that I was her choice, and I had to choose her.

Now I am back at that point where I am trying to figure out how to move on with my life with some kind of deeper commitment to anyone. I am starting to go through some motions of reconnecting with family, my grown-up children, my siblings, and my mother, after these last few years of disconnection and dissociation and the final separation of death. I can’t really think about any of this clearly anymore so I will let Jackson Browne illustrate some of the feelings involved. I am too tired and it is so late and tomorrow is another day of trying to figure out what I am doing here. I have come back to this album so many times in my life and now I find it resonating again and helping me move forward.

Posted in All part of the process, Being Human, can't really complain but, change, Chaos and Order, delusions of progress, developing relationships, discovery and recovery, Family, Fools Journey, Loss and Leaving, mindworks, music, my life, my mystic toolbox, Other peoples words, paying attention, personal history, philosophy, poetry, Questions and riddles, Self-Experiments, Singing, sympathy and empahty, the end is the beginning, thinking in words, Works in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Larval Subjects .

Leibniz really was right. We’re all points of view or windows on the universe. Or as Deleuze puts it, we’re possible worlds. The tragedy is we think we’re just seeing the universe, encountering it and other people as they are, and are seldom able to discern the window frame through which we encounter the universe. A person encounters everyone about them as jerks and assholes, and it doesn’t occur to them to wonder whether they might be the asshole. One of the greatest challenges is to see how we see…. A sort of singular transcendentalism. Here I think of the terrifying film Occulus. I’ve never been able to rewatch it because the people are so trapped in their private hell, there’s no escape.

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