Today I had a Tarot reading done at work by my friend and co-worker, Angie. She just got a deck as a gift and we had a snowy day with nothing to do, so she read my cards. I’d never had one done before but it was a pretty cool experience, and the reading I got seemed pretty relevant to my life right now. I had to shuffle the deck with a clear head and break it into four piles. The photo shows the cards that came up on top of each pile: Justice, The Sun, the 4 of wands, and the 9 of swords. The first card I think was supposed to represent the main subject/problem of the reading, the second and third food for thought about the problem, and the fourth the solution. The first card, Justice apparently represents objective and rational thinking, and as a problem can be interpreted as bureaucratic struggle or intellectual conflict. Based on this card, Angie advised me to seek the council of elders and to do healthy things, both physically and spiritually. The Sun card linked personal growth to self expression, enthusiasm, and self-assurance, and the the 4 of wands advised against getting stuck in old patterns of behavior. The 9 of swords suggested that the answer involves depression and self doubt, meaning perhaps that I should be aware of these obstacles and not lose focus.
I found these cards very interesting. I immediately connected the first to my ongoing struggle to finish college and the difficulties I have with concentration and time management. I have a great desire to express myself (both academically at school, and otherwise – through music, photography, and other projects) but often find myself very unproductive, and have difficulty getting things done at all without approaching deadlines, and even then don’t always finish them on time. At school, this often results in me feeling quite overwhelmed and sometimes depressed.
The cards interestingly seem to reiterate the things that I know I need to change in my life. I need to avoid my habit of procrastinating, and be more assertive and self-assured. I’ve been meaning to take on new projects – like yoga, bass lessons, building a coffee table, etc. – and I need to just suck it up and go for it. The bit I found especially intriguing was the fact that the depression card was “the answer.” This, combined with the advice to seek the advice of elders also plays into a thought I have had about a possible action I could take. My grandmother is a Jungian analyst, and I have thought of asking her to refer me to another analyst for counseling. I have heard that counseling (and Jungian analysis in particular) can be a very fulfilling and illuminating experience, and I think it might be of great help to me, both pragmatically and spiritually. So, I think I am going to try and get rolling on some of the things I’ve been meaning to do, try to stay optimistic and productive, and I’ll shoot my grandma an email about an analyst.
Warm weather is finally here, it seems, and it is wonderful. Yesterday the temperature broke 30°C for the first time this year, and in celebration I went out for ice cream with Christie, Polly, Devon and Evan. After polishing off a waffle cone dripping with butter pecan and black raspberry, we drove down to Scudder’s Falls and swam in the Delaware. There were bugs everywhere, and we found a snake slithering around in the water. Luckily I managed to avoid getting sunburned and snakebitten.
The one downside to this weather is that school is unfortunately still in session. I have more work now, what with finals coming up, than I have all semester, and at the same time (though I wouldn’t have thought it possible) even less inclination to do any of it. I just can’t shake the feeling that none of it means anything, really. In two years what will it matter if I got a good grade on a paper on Leibniz and the Problem of Evil? Until recently much of what I thought of as my life existed abstractly as little numbers in teachers’ gradebooks and collections of binary data saved on hard drives. I’ve measured much of my success as a person with a standard that lacks any real existence. It’s not that I don’t see value in education, I just think that the practice of quantifying progress with graded assignments forces a somewhat arbitrary distinction between one’s education and one’s life. It makes learning a job, school an ordeal that must be met with and conquered as a prerequisite for “success.” As someone who genuinely enjoys learning (and who was at times identified only as “the smart kid” in gradeschool), I’ve often felt that I’d somehow be less of a person if I failed to make the grade. This is simply not true. Education is not a process with a clearly defined start or finish; it doesn’t begin when the school bell rings and it doesn’t end at graduation. It is a process that is coextensive with life itself. “I think, I am.” not “I think until I graduate, then I am.”