Saturday, February 23, 2013

recent past redux

I drew these cards back in the merry month of May, and had virtually nothing to say about them at the time. Click on the image to enlarge.

This is a reading for two people.

The suicidal king of hearts
Shuffles off stage left,
Slipping into the past,
Already fading.

New concerns crowd in;
A career ending upsets
The apple cart; love
Ending also is consequential.

In life's carnival, a magician
Packs his bag of cheap tricks
and moves on, but where to?
The bone man comes closer.

Come what ever he lived as a man
This time, no matter what comes now.


©2013 by Dave B a.k.a. catboxer.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

those honky-tonk blues

I was thinking some more about the fool, and fools in general. Here's another image of the fool, this one by the great Flemish 15th-century master, Hieronymus Bosch. Mouse click on the image to get a much larger and better view.

 Some people refer to this picture as the Prodigal Son, and this young fool could be the type described in the New Testament parable. A young guy is tired of working on his dad's ranch, so he asks for his inheritance, takes it, and goes off to make his way in the world.

 Except he doesn't. Instead, he falls into every trap the world sets for young guys, and his money is soon gone after a whirl of riotous living. Wine, women, song, and friends in predictably lower and lower places soon enough make a young fool of a guy get wise.

 At this point the young guy is liable to be of the same mind as the late Hank Williams, Sr. when he sang:

I'm gonna pack my troubles underneath my arm,
And scat right back to my daddy's farm,
And lose these honky-tonk blues...

Bosch captures the fool just at that moment, as he turns his back on the life he's been living and heads for home. Behind him is the sleazy tavern where he's been drinking and, for the last few nights, sleeping, probably in the unroofed loft where someone's undershirt is presently hanging out the window. The families of pigs swilling outside the place remind him to his shame that he was fighting them for some of their food just yesterday. The pigs also reflect and comment on what goes on inside, where a couple of low-lifes stand making out in the doorway. That, and the intoxicated fellow pissing the wall tell us all we need to know about how this fool has been living.

 And hasn't it made him a glorious sight? Only got one boot, raggedy-assed, beat-up, half-starved -- he's definitely had enough, and has turned his back to the tavern and all it represents, and turned his face toward home. The inevitable small animal, a growling dog in this case (Can somebody tell me why the fool is always accompanied or threatened by a dog or cat?) hurries him along, hat in hand and big wooden spoon at the ready, just in case he encounters something edible.

Poor fool! Fortunately for him, he's got a family farm to go home to. As he heads that way, a milk cow corralled behind a gate watches him tranquilly, blandly, without judgment, and timelessly, a look very much like the place he's returning to, where his father will watch him milking cows and say to himself, "He'll be all right; he's a good boy; he just needs to grow up."  

Sunday, February 03, 2013

one card today

Decided to draw one card today, kind of a 'how's your now' card, and pulled Le Fou -- the one pictured here is approximately the same as the one I pulled from the Besançon Tarot.

 The Fool is the most interesting card, because he has no place in the sequence. He originally had no number, not even the zero we give him today, because the earliest cards, even if they were numbered, used Roman numerals. There is no zero in ancient Roman arithmetic.

 The homeless and possibly mentally ill vagrant and drifter symbolized by this picture likewise has no place in society, and is shunted by those with places to the very margins.