Time of the Curlew
I'll give a brief nod to the fact that it's been more than a year since I have posted here, on a blog that has been not so much neglected as abandoned. But today I want to talk about cards, their meanings, their uses in my world, and how I would love to share that world with you, dear reader, once again. To that end, I asked for a little help to find a card that would help us begin together. Me, begin to write -- you, begin to understand. Of course, it turned out that it was more a case of me beginning to understand... yet again.
The card that presented itself today was The Curlew. I define the meaning of this card as: Something is difficult to find or penetrate. Endless searching. One song is a warning, the other a lullaby. I have little faith in predictive card readings. However, I am grateful for insight, for confirmation of what I think I know, of a fresh angle or an "ah ha!" moment.
I have been going through a terrible time this year. One in which disasters have been layered on top of frustrations, in which old wounds have been ripped open by new assaults, and in which every avenue of escape or salvation seemed to end in a sheer drop, a mighty wall, or impenetrable darkness. Hopeful chinks of light turned out to be pipe dreams. Helping hands teased and were then withdrawn. I wouldn't wish a year like this on anyone.
In July a dear friend came to stay with me for a few days. She arrived at a time when the phrase "What fresh hell is this?" was apt, but not particularly funny. A time when I was voluntarily adding a new grief to those recently accumulated, in the hope of fending off future troubles. My friend is an activist. A doer. She said to me, not long after she arrived, that she thought there was going to be a lesson for her in that visit, and the lesson was: "There are some things that can't be fixed." I can't say that this cheered me up, but I was also relieved that we were operating from a place of mutual truth.
If you watch the little video of the curlew, above, you will see this endless searching, as it probes the sand with its long bill over and over. Of course, it will find food, but it will work hard for every morsel, with only a tiny percentage of searches bearing fruit. In the past year I have been searching, often frantically. I've looked for insight in books, blog entries, myths and meditation, from supposedly wise counsellors -- and of course, from the cards. I've sought help and friendship, answers about what to do, about what I even want to do.
Often, the things I'm looking for remain hidden, or they slither away before I can grab them. I find a lot that can't be fixed, and so I feel my way, working only with what's possible each moment, like someone crawling through a narrow passage without a light. I have my hopes, but they are not in sight, and I am reduced to feeling around in a dank, dark place. Is it possible to go to the left? ... to the right?... forward? ... or will I suddenly find the way completely blocked?
So have the cards failed me? No - they simply haven't rescued me. One confirms what I already knew was wrong - and reminds me of the seriousness of the situation. Another suggests some possible handholds in the perilous dark, while yet another lets me know that it's okay to just allow myself to float for awhile - to go into a realm of mist while waiting to become myself again. Another suggests the process of birth and nurturing, but reminds me that this is also a state of letting go. And finally the Curlew comes to remind me that I am simply searching. Following the instinct to go forward, and keep probing. Sifting the possible from the impossible and hoping that it will be enough to keep me going. Drawing a card now and again is probably all the insight I can cope with at the moment. I couldn't digest more because I'm finding that the lesson of each card is enormous.
And for awhile I've been thinking of how much I want to share the cards again. That, as always, I see how well they speak, and it's a shame not to offer them out to others. So let's do it! And I'm going to suggest that we keep it simple, so I am going to offer one card readings. More and more I come to appreciate their clarity, their lack of clutter. And I'm flexible. If the first card raises a question, or needs some kind of balance, then we'll simply draw a second card, or a third. No big deal.
Continue to part 2 - When the Centre Cannot Hold, Keep it Simple.
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Kris Hughes - writer, hedge teacher, pony lover, cartomancer,
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