“Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there!”
–“Mr. Cellophane,” from the musical Chicago
A friend and I were talking about the idea of being looked up online by potential employers. I’m assuming that it’s less of a concern here in the Virgin Islands, where even the library doesn’t have a wifi connection. But this is me we’re talking about, and my curiosity got the better of me. Thus, at 3AM, I googled myself. I got through 11 pages of results, and the only ones that were actually me were my Amazon wishlist, my LinkedIn profile, and one of my stories. Made me feel a bit small, but not in a bad way. Rather, I was reminded that no matter how many whispers go on behind my back here at UVI, the outside world is not watching me nearly as closely. It’s a comforting thought to know that I’m only a freak to a bunch of teenagers who’ve never experienced anything beyond this tiny island.
For my regular readers, One Card Weekends will return next week. This week there’s more on my mind. I have rediscovered the passion of my childhood, the obsession all the women in my family share.
Today I bought the cheapest, most basic sewing machine I’ve ever seen in my life, with the possible exception of the Barbie toy machine I found at a yard sale when I was 7. It doesn’t do anything I would need in order to use it for clothing–no buttonholes, not even the frustrating 4-step kind; no decorative stitches; no interchangeable presser feet; a control foot the size of my fist rather than that of my foot. But it will hold me over, because my mom promised me her computerized Singer when I go back to NC to visit, and I’ve already made a deal to sell this machine when I get back for nearly what I paid. I’ve needed this for so long that it’s ridiculous.
I’ve been in love with sewing since I was barely four years old. My mom and my grandmother have been making beautiful things since long before I was born, but my own first “project” was to help Mama sew up the edges of a blanket for my baby sister when she was first born. I sat on her lap while she helped me guide the fabric through the machine; I was too small for my feet to even reach the control foot. When I was nine, Grandma taught me to use her little Elna by myself.. That was the cutest machine–it had different discs that could be inserted to make funky decorative stitches. She kept me out of trouble for a whole summer with some scraps from clothes they’d made me, a rotary cutter, and that sewing machine, and she still occasionally uses the little pincushion i sewed her.
So yeah. I’ve really missed sewing. I’ll write more about it later–right now, I’m headed to the fabric store!
Sorry for my delay in posting this week’s card; Tall Dude and I went to St Thomas Friday, and I ended up completely exhausted, so today was a day of recovery.
This week’s card is the Fool, the first card of the major arcana, numbered 0 in most modern decks. He symbolizes complete innocence and the very beginning of the journey. Below is the image from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck:
The following commentary on the Fool is taken from The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A. E. Waite, creator (along with artist Pamela Colman-Smith) of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as reproduced at Sacred Texts:
With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him-its expanse of sky rather than the prospect below. His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding. The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream. He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one-all amidst the morning glory, in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days. He is the spirit in search of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarized in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.
The Fool represents new beginnings, stepping out into the unknown, and accepting new ideas. If you take it too far, it can be a bad thing, but to be open to new things is an important part of progressing in life. There’s an old saying that God looks after fools and little children, and this guy is within a hair of stepping off a cliff, and he’s just happy as a little clam. He assumes he’ll land on his feet, and so he will. I see this card as an encouragement to take the first step in changing one’s own life, of starting on a new journey.
As with every card, he does have a shadow side. With childlike innocence comes childlike immaturity, and this is what gets him in trouble. Just because we don’t know something doesn’t mean that we don’t need to. He can also talk about intoxication, vanity, and total irresponsibility.
There is a theory that the major arcana all symbolize events in the life and spiritual development, referred to as the “fool’s journey.” I’ll touch on that further as other Major Arcana cards come up, but for now, I’ll refer you to The Fool’s Journey at LearnTarot.com, which breaks it down beautifully.
Anytime I see the card come up in a reading, I see it as new things coming, changes to be embraced without fear, and the beginning of a new chapter in the querent’s life. That which is new is not always a bad thing, and one shouldn’t be afraid to have fun with life!