I found an eight of spades on the sidewalk last week. I often seen playing cards kicking around in the gutters where I wander but every once in a while there is one that is clearly waiting for me. I wiped the snow from it and slipped it into my purse for later reflection. The eight of spades corresponds to the Eight of Swords in tarot, a very meaningful card to me for its message about ease is one I find myself circling back to again and again. The spirit of this card is the question posed so simply by Lindsay Mack: “Could this be easier?” We can be prone to choosing a door and working really hard trying to get it to open because we’ve decided that what’s inside is the answer. But it doesn’t always cooperate and in that moment of apparent defeat there is the opportunity to cast our gaze around us and find a window standing open. We have the ability to make things easier for ourselves if we can loosen our parameters. This is the opposite of giving up, this is what resilience looks like.
This is not intended in any way to ignore the very real systemic issues that press down upon us in late-stage capitalism. This isn’t about “positive thinking” or “laws of attraction” or other ways we’re told that the problem lies with our behaviour. This is about bringing attention to the ways that this very structure in which we live can breed within us the feeling that if a certain thing can happen, then we will be happy. That contentment is a destination hard won by perseverance and singular focus despite the fact that again and again we get the prize and wind up feeling duped. Want things, want them badly, but be willing to have them arrive in many possible forms, in many possible moments, and trust that what is meant for you will find you.
Perhaps our folly is in thinking life needs to have more meaning than the collection of tasks we do in a day. It does, but it also doesn’t and the capacity to hold both these things as true at the same time is something we need to bend ourselves around. The daily concerns of life: nourishment, shelter, warmth, chores, sharing, and caretaking are what life is made of and the test for us may be trying not to be resistant to this. Perhaps finding joy in these simple tasks because they are the things that make us feel safe is a really important thing. Easing into things may be the very choice that opens a portal to ease in other places, like how we interact with each other, what we decide matters, how to be quiet, forgiveness.
I’ve been working on some new textile pieces that are combining screen printing with embroidery. I recently completed one of my hand with the three primary lines that are read in palmistry. I don’t really feel drawn to learn more about this practice but I do appreciate the concept that our hands hold a map to our experience. Heart is about emotional state and relationships, Head corresponds to knowledge and psychological makeup, and Life shows the kind of life you will lead, including health. While working on this piece, I found myself looking at my own hand, not divining any insights from the lines, but allowing them to be access points. A way to calibrate to each of those areas and think about how simple these lines make it seem. Maybe it actually is that simple?
I invite you to look at the lines of your hand and see what they tell you about simple ways to make things easier this week. What can you say no to? Where can you ask for help? What can you let go of because it’s not your goal after all? Maybe nobody cares if the dessert isn’t homemade so instead you can pick something up at the grocery store and have a nap instead? Heart. Head. Life.
Eight of Cups print (above) can be purchase in my SHOP