Someone recently asked me if I would do a tarot reading for them. I found a polite way to decline and recommended a friend who does this and related things for a living. Then they asked if this person was any good, whether it would work. And I had trouble finding an answer.
It took my two weeks and it came to me during a break in between reading Death: The High Cost of Living, when I was brushing my teeth (as many such wonderful ideas and solutions to life-changing problems often do). The words scrolled through the teleprompter inside my head and I saw what I had to say and even what I would think but not say.
“She is a good friend. I’ve learnt alongside her. I’ve read for her, with her and she’s read for me. But any tarot reader, astrologer, trainer, adviser, psychiatrist or even physician – they are all only guides and no one can know what is happening inside you better than yourself.
My friend sincerely believes in what she does and that’s the best I can say, with certainty. They do say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Yet, how else can we survive? Hopes, our own and other people’s, serve as guiding lights on this path. The best we can do is keep our eyes open and pick out our steps. Or if seeing is so painful, you can choose to walk blind, holding on to other people’s guidance. But if you do, how can you be sure the other person isn’t walking blind, using your outstretched hands as guidance too?”
I hold reason, cold rationale in one hand and the flowing cup of belief in the other. My life is a constant balance between these two and occasionally the remnants of other beliefs that have passed through the cup. I wouldn’t believe in something that I didn’t first examine and learn to do for myself. But that’s just me. Seeing is hurtful but walking blind is downright scary. I dare not close my eyes.
I thought of all this and so I wrote it down. Because there is much to remember and everything is already known. But sometimes I forget and so I leave little reminders for myself to serve as guidance in my moments of blindness. Or forgetfulness. Or just faithlessness. I pick a card, I pick a memory.
Neil Gaiman’s Delirium in Sandman: Endless Nights