THE DEATH CARD
The Death Card
It turns out the common conception that all the cells of the human body are replaced every seven years is a myth. For one thing, different cells die at different rates; sperm cells live three days, white blood cells live for a year, while brain cells last our entire lifetime (or are not replaced when they die). But seven year cycles, at least of the human psyche, seem real indeed. I used to count them and always found correlations with new beginnings. Now I've lost track, there have been so many psychic deaths and new beginnings in the last seven years.
I need a new algorithm.
I had a tarot reading yesterday and in it the clairvoyant pulled the death card for me, so I went online to find the image. It turned out there were dozens of death cards displayed, but I was immediately drawn to the card with death - depicted as a skeleton - riding a horse and carrying a scythe. In this card, death rides the horse well.
I wrote this eight years ago, in Cambodia:
Twelve years ago I began to let go of my life as I knew it. In leaving everything from my job to my father's record collections of Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert, my lover and consort became a series of places: Assisi, Phnom Penh, Istanbul, Bursa and Washington DC. People asked me what I did in those places, some of which I stayed for months. My answer was often, "Next to nothing." I meditated, wrote and wandered. I tried to discern what was calling or leading me, the dralas. I discovered an ablution fountain in the Grand Mosque of Bursa and bore withness, for the subsequent many weeks, to the astonishing healing power of the water. I saw the frescoes Giotto painted in Assisi. I witnessed the caravansari apocalypse of contemporary Phnom Penh.
I like the idea that each human being (and all sentient creatures) is an expression of the cutting edge of evolution. As human being proliferate our planet is plunged into greater chaos. That is an idea I also accept, in all its horror and paradox. The human ream is the realm of passion. I still believe our savior is human creativity, which goes against the habitual grain. As Paul Klee said, Genius is the error in the system.