and here i find myself dealing these cards again. it's strange how natural it feels.
once upon a time i managed a metaphysical bookstore. this has become a joke tagline. but it's true, and at the time i was very serious about it. well, not serious enough not to be able to poke fun at the crazy people it exposed me to. at some point i vowed to write a book detailing the characters who walked in on a daily basis.
there was cranston the beared copper jeweler who professed his love for me via a frighteningly sharp copper pokey necklace, begging me to come away with him and his dog and his trailer. i passed, only to be not-so wooed by the man who would come to 'clense' the shop with his didgeridoo. he was fond of 'doo-ing too close to the girls, perhaps in hopes of exciting them.
then the aliens from the vega star system just walked right into the shop--imagine that! looking totally human yet carrying a staff that touched the ceiling, they offered me a spot on their ship. among these customers, it was almost uneventful when tom waits walked in. almost. my gay boyfriend at the time jumped up to not-so-subtly change the chanting monks or tinkering fairies or kokopelli pan-fluters to the portishead cd i'd contra-banded into the changer. just so tom waits knew we were cool. uh-huh.
most of my time at the shop was spent with various forms of divination. i read astrology, drew angel cards, and dealt a whole lot of tarot cards. tarot was a language i'd learned from the owner of the shop, who treated me as her 'god-daughter'. she was my spiritual guide, my teacher, mentor, inspiration. she gave me readings, i gave her readings, and i gave the whole town of sebastopol readings at the annual celtic festival.
tarot and writing were the therapy that brought me through my adolescence and young adulthood. i consulted the tarot at every turn. unlike the hocus-pocus fortune telling reputation it garners, i used tarot as a tool for contemplation and understanding of decisions and emotions.
but then i had a strange falling out with this woman who i'd loved and trusted, who'd called me daughter. she wrote me a letter telling me sarcastically to have a nice life. suddenly, these tools seemed powerless and false in my hands. i put all of my cards away for nearly a decade.
then last week i got an email from candi. she and her husband have employed me as teacher's assistant, as expense report writer, as photoshop consultant, as photographer. so naturally when they were looking for a gypsy to read tarot cards at their 11 year old daughter's birthday party, they turned to me for ideas.
i can do it!
uh, well, i think so.
so off i go, dressed in maria's impressive belly-dancing costumes, looking like a first rate gypsy. kind of funny to revive this skill in such a diminutive way. i told myself that i don't believe in the cards anymore. but i think i was just hurt and needed that decade away. i still think of the cards as a tool for self-discovery rather than fortune telling, but let's see what the 11 year olds think. nervous!