I love this shrine. There’s a stillness here. A sense that time doesn’t exist. No one else ever comes here either. Hey, I love my solitude. I sometimes come here to spend time with my tarot deck. Ah, how I love my own company.
Just as I’m relishing the moment, a gentleman walks into the shrine. Well, of course. I can always count on a man to interrupt my solitude with company. There’s something about him that’s annoyingly familiar.
WOAH… He should really wear less perfume. Too much, yo. I want to wave my hand across my nose but that would just be rude.
His cynical gaze lands on my tarot deck. Don’t blame him. I had the same attitude towards tarot readers for a long time. I did a reading in Melbourne 9 years ago and it was complete rubbish. The lady who did it made a whole heap of predictions that never came true. What a waste of time and money.
But our experiences change us. I went to Chinatown to usher in the Year of the Rooster in January. The lady’s reading was totally on point. A couple of weeks later, I held a deck for the first time. The connection was instantaneous. I felt like I was catching up with an old friend that I’d never met before. I wanted to believe what I felt, but my rational mind kept creeping in.
Don’t be crazy. Don’t be irrational. People are going to think you’re some kind of weirdo. Some fraud with a murky crystal ball.
Not that I even own one. I tried really hard to deny the new feelings that were growing inside me. An awakening of something that I couldn’t quite describe. I knew for me there was no going back.
The gentleman sits down, says his name is David. I’m technically not ‘open for business’, but why not.
“What brings you here?” I ask.
David doesn’t look like he’s from around here. This is a working class neighbourhood and he’s wearing a fancy smancy suit. His tie is blue and matches the colour of his eyes.
“A broken train,” he says.
Don’t we all hate it when that happens. I begin shuffling the cards. Each time I do a reading, the cards reveal a new understanding that wasn’t there before. A card flies out. I smile. The Fool. Of course.
Where it all begins and ends. The number zero. The only card in the tarot deck without a number. That’s the Fool. With a white flower, a few belongings and a small sweet companion, he is willing to take that leap that many who are more powerful than him dare not. Luckily – he doesn’t need anybody. Yes, he sometimes acts foolishly and ends up being a laughing stock. But unlike the most of us, his life is the expression of total freedom.
“You have forgotten how to just live,” I tell David. “You are caught up in the routine of your day to day affairs. You do the same crap day in and day out. You live in a world of certainty – not in a world of adventure, wonder and possibility. You need to let go of whatever grandiose cookie cutter plans you have for for the future. While we’re at it, why don’t you relegate the dusty worries of your past to the history books where they belong?
“You need to just chill the **** out and allow yourself to live. Really just live. Give yourself the chance to have new experiences. Are you going to let your life be a series of groundhog days for the rest of your life?”
David glares at me. His warm ocean-blue eyes turn icy. Most people don’t like hearing the truth about what they’re doing. They just want to hear what they want to hear. I ain’t got time for that. I can’t see the future, but I can see right through him.
I continue shuffling. The second card flies out. I smile.
(To be continued…)