This entry will pour down like rain and meander like a river...
|Soudat, France - March 2015|
A couple of weeks ago I motored to Soudat, a tiny commune in the Dordogne, approx. 30 minutes away, to do some tarot readings. Arrived a bit early with "le temps de ne rien faire" (time to do nothing) so I wandered around the hamlet in the rain taking photographs. The place was festooned with metal hearts on barns, sculptural hearts; painted hearts on the sides of buildings, and more hearts on the walls of the school. Asked a local I bumped into, "what's with all the hearts?" He said that they'd had a festival of "Hearts" a few years ago and these were what remained. Enchanting.
|Cherub, Soudat - March 2015|
In Paris, the rain is harder to bear, not romantic, just grey, extra wet & unyielding. I snapped a fragment of Paul Verlaine's poem on a wall somewhere in the 20th arr. "There is weeping in my heart like the rain falling on the city." Somebody named "Marty", must have been feeling triste when he scribbled Verlaine's poem on the wall, or maybe he lost his umbrella. I know how sad that made me when I lost mine and had to walk 20 city blocks to Enrique's Pantheatre in the pouring rain.
|from Romances Sans Paroles - 1874|
Verlaine was a study; a life careening back and forth between naive innocence and criminality. In his last years, the Prince of Poets, spent most of his royalties on a pair of middle-aged prostitutes. He also frequented a gay man, Bibi-la-Purée, (sounds a little like a dog food, doesn't it?) who was famous for stealing umbrellas (hmmm, maybe that's what happened to mine!). At the same time Verlaine was being celebrated as one of France's leading poets, he was snoring in slums, later spending 18 months in prison after shooting Rimbaud in the wrist. In and out of hospitals, suffering from cirrhosis, gastritis, rheumatism, diabetes, he continued to drink, and when Andre Gide visited him in Broussais hospital, Verlaine told him he was working on a "series of masturbatory poems". No wonder his heart was weeping!
|Paris in the rain|
I prefer seeing Paris thru the window, like Chagall did
|Paris Through the Window, Marc Chagall - 1913|
How hungry we are for color when each day is grey.
March came in like a mewling lion. Three days in a row I pulled Lethe, Four of Water, from Ellen Lorenzi-Prince's Dark Goddess Tarot. Lethe is the Greek Goddess of Forgetfulness and one of the five rivers of Hades, also known as Ameles Patamos, the river of unmindfulness. In classical Greek, the word Lethe literally means, oblivion, forgetfulness, concealment. I'd pulled this same card two years ago, in November, when we were entering the time of darkness, hibernation. At the Equinox, we are moving into the light. I found it perplexing that more people commit suicide in the springtime. There's a theory that the "rebirth" accentuates a feeling of hopelessness in contrast with all the new life bursting forth.
What was she trying to tell me? I know how forgetful I am already. I like Ellen's take on it: "Let the memory of evil be washed away." How serene we might be if we remembered our joys & let the sorrows go down the drain or be taken by the river. Ovid wrote that the Lethe river flowed through the cave of Hypnos, where its murmuring would induce drowsiness.
|Sarah Moon, Photographer|
So far this March, I've had more demand for Tarot readings than January & February combined. There is a pervasive feeling out there of being "dispossessed". It's true that there are the perennial assaults of law suits, ill health, divorces, and leaking roofs etc., but as Maria Popova says in Brain Pickings: "There are also darker undercurrents of philosophical lamentation."
From David the Dreamer: Extraordinary 1922 children's book illustrated by Freud's cross-dressing niece, Tom. The kind of book that reads you as you read it. www.brainpickings.org
|David the Dreamer: His Book of Dreams, Tom Seidmann-Freud Illustrator|
There is something very disorienting about being out of sight of land in a small boat, especially when you find out, with a sinking heart, that you don’t know which way to row to get home again. It is like getting lost anywhere else, only much worse; for there isn’t any Policeman or Kind Lady to help you, and, although a lot of people you don’t know all looking at you at once is bad enough, nobody at all looking at you makes you feel even more serious. Very-Little-David felt serious indeed… He told himself sensibly that it would do no good to cry, but he did cry. So there you are. Ralph Bergengren
|David the Dreamer|
We feel out of control of some essential element of our lives. Sometimes I think we corner ourselves with edicts and broomsticks of dictatorial beliefs. I like this piece from Wendell Berry called "The Real Work":
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
|Jacques Henri Lartigue|
Or, go ahead and cry
Through the rain and the tears, there's always Tarot, the cards like a Lighthouse, guiding us in the dark, thru the storms, helping to avoid shipwrecks. The last few months, I read at an Abbaye, a horse ranch, at Festivals in Aubeterre, Vertaillac, Chalais, Brossac, Abjat-sur-Bandiat, in Paris, Bordeaux, on-line, on Skype, cell phone, on a train, the metro, in a cafe, in a converted donkey shed. I read for French, Dutch, Germans, English, South Africans, Scottish, Irish, Americans, four little French boys (my favorites). Oh, so many stories and aren't we Story People, a riff inspired by Antonio Machado, from my friend Jeanne:
|Aubeterre-sur-Dronne - converted donkey shed|
|Reading at Vertaillac for beautiful Trish from Studio Lavalette|
My four adorable french boys, full of mischief and cupcakes.
|A special querent - Abjat-sur-Bandiat|
|Reading for Fiona - Abbaye de Boschaud, Villars|
At the Abbaye (which Fiona declared a true bijou), we heard our first Cuckoo of the spring and the elusive Hoopoe Bird. Here's a haiku by the famously belligerent, Japanese poet, Buson:
The mountain cuckoo?
I have no idea what's up
with that fuckin' bird.
Here's Fiona imitating the Hoopoe Bird; I wish I had a video clip:
|Fiona - Abbaye de Boschaud|
|Communing with the Spirits|
This blog is dedicated to Pierre Mittaud, our French Fairy Godparent who "entered another room" on March 11, 2015. The ghost of loss is upon us & it's "raining in our hearts." Now you are a "beam of light," but then you always were. Our favorite Pierre disant (saying) "Are You Crazy?!"
We will never forget you, beloved Pierre.
|Pierre at home - Savigny-sous-Faye|
|Skyler, Mona, RA & K - Our last happy time together with you, Pierro|
Note: I am booked up for private readings till Mid-May - I will be reading again at Le Marquisat annual Spring Arts & Crafts Fayre, Gardes le Pontaroux, April 26th, 10 - 5 p.m.