Prompt: Draw three random cards from your deck. Separately for each card, tell us about an experience, incident, or event in your life (past or present) that fits the theme of that card. Share the cards you pulled with us here, as well as what event or experience in your life that you connect with it, and why.
The Emperor (Boletus edulis) – When I was seventeen, I was in a catastrophic car accident. After many, many surgeries to repair and reconstruct a good deal of the joints on the right side of my body and a good deal of physiotherapy, I spent time in a pain clinic, where I received some very useful advice.
For those that don’t know, a pain clinic is not meant to take away your pain. You are sent to a pain clinic to learn to live with your pain as a constant companion (and not inconvenience others with it).
In this clinic, the advice given was that “fake it ’til you make it” is a tool. A tool that can be used to alter your reality. Fake that you are not in pain and it will not take your pain away, but over time you can teach your brain and body that it doesn’t matter. You can learn where your “base line” is for your pain, and come to understand that nothing is wrong, even when you hurt… as long as you don’t hurt above a certain pain level.
In learning this, over time I was able to seize control of my responses to my pain, and adjust my perception of it. I was able to learn how to accept it as a part of my day to day life, and not allow it to rule over me moving forward.
The Hermit (Armillaria sp.) – The trip up the mountain to the lake is a hard one no matter if it’s rain or shine or snow. Agonizing and painful, as lungs burn and fingertips tingle as the body struggles to get enough air and the breeze turns frigid with the elevation gain until even sweat slicked, a jacket is needed. But reaching the lake? Is a gift. A joy. A relief. And a pleasure. With no one around but the deer and the bears, stripping off clothes to dive into glacier fed water is a shock and a balm, as freezing temperatures wash over heated skin and ease overworked muscles.
This is a hike I do often in a little known part of the rainforests, deep within the woods. And after the swim, I take time to clothe and then wander into the woods, to find myself a bed of moss to spread out on and relax. I let muscles ease as I look up at dappled leaves and fronds that block out the sky far above and listen to the voice of nature serenade the senses.
When I return to civilization, I return refreshed and recharged. Radiant, and at peace.
The Hanged Man (Morchella sp.) – Being wrong happens to everyone. And, we all have moments when we feel we’re right, our back gets up, and we just refuse to back down. As much as I try to always take in other’s perceptions and perspectives, it even happens to me now and then. I want to see other’s perspectives. I want to learn to see things differently. And yet, sometimes I get stuck too, just like everyone else, on my own perspective. Unable to see any other, unwilling to let go or loosen up on my own.
Then? I sleep. It’s in sleep that that “loosening up” happens. In sleep, my mind often processes what I wasn’t processing while awake. It never fails during these moments, that after a good sleep, I’m able to look beyond my perspective. Sometimes, I realize I’m wrong. Sometimes? I realize whoever I was clashing with and myself are actually arguing on the same damned side, just using different approaches or wording.
I then feel the need to re-hash everything. The need to go back and talk, to clear the air and admit that I fucked up or that I was wrong.
Do you go back? I do.