Sunday, January 21, 2018

Testing, Testing: Whispers of Lord Ganesha

I know. It's not a tarot deck. But here's why...

Elephants. Ya gotta love 'em. Their flying ears, their hairy snuffling snouts, and oh those babies!

Their loyalty to each other.                                                                       Their wisdom.

The BABAR books

A few years ago I went to Florence, Italy. As it happened, one of my online friends from TABI lived in Italy, although she's really a UKer. And she loved to take the train into Florence (her nearest big city) to stock up on British-y food items not available in her small town. So, we agreed on a day, and actually met in person for the first time. What would an entire day with an almost stranger be like, I wondered?
It turned out to be a delight.

A grand day of hoofing it around the splendour that is Florence!

And we finished up at an Indian restaurant (not in "downtown" Florence but in a regular neighbourhood) where she'd found delectable vegetarian food on past visits.

It was a small, ornate, and yummy place, with a huge brass(?) statue of Ganesha by the cash register. If he'd been smaller, he might have accidentally ended up in my purse. Well, maybe not, but it was a covetous situation.

There are all those movies, exploding with the jangle of life, that take place in India where an elephant is likely to sashay by at any moment. Like the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, for instance.

And coming up soon, a years-long dream, a visit to India - illustrated by Whispers of Lord Ganesha.
Am I nervous about leaving my family for a month, to venture so very far away? YES!
What do I hope to experience in that vast and colourful country?
I'll let Ganesha show you.

The generosity of the Indian people.

Their culture.

May I surrender to the experience and whatever it brings!


Monday, January 08, 2018

Wanting more friends - with the Wild Unknown Tarot

Real ones. In the flesh. In my city, or at least close enough to do things with.
Not virtual friends, although they are lovely too!

Here's what started this.
At the Film Festival recently, I ran into friendly acquaintances who were attending with groups of their real friends. The ones they can call on to go see a movie. I was there by myself, which I quite like, truth be told. So I didn't think much of it.

At Mamma Mia a couple of weeks later, I ran into another friendly acquaintance. We chatted as we moved toward the lobby, where she rejoined the group of real friends with whom she goes to shows. I was there by myself, which I like, but a niggle was beginning.

In an email from a friend (a real one) she mentioned that they'd spent the weekend with this friend on Saturday and those friends on Sunday. And that's when it hit me.

I don't have enough friends! I have lots of friendly acquaintances, musical peers, former students and their families, but that's not the same thing. So I spent some time moping around feeling sorry for myself. And that's when it hit me. (I'm getting bruises from all these hits.) I can do something about this! I can actively seek more friends.

This is where it gets magic. Where you send a thought out to the universe and someone or something takes note.

Three days after realizing that I don't have enough people in my life that I actually hang out with, or would feel free to invite somewhere, my choir did a short taping for the local cable station's Christmas caroling spots. We gathered, rehearsed a bit, sang a few songs. And when we were done, I asked a long-time friend in the choir if he'd like to go have dinner somewhere. And then I invited another long-time singing friend who was standing nearby. So the three of us, dressed to the nines because we'd been on TV, had a beautiful festive meal (white tablecloths, candles, wine) and warm wonderful conversation. Mmmm.

Four days after that, one of my adult students came in with big news. He was at the tantalizing beginning of a brand-new relationship with a woman he'd met through friends, while traveling. He was SO excited! And of course I was happy for him, but...would my place in his life slip down a few notches? Well, we talked and talked, through most of his lesson (as often happens with adult students) and he filled me in on all kinds of details, because, as he said, "Well, I can tell you this because we're friends." Bingo!

So, what do you think, Wild Unknown?
Ace of Pentacles
We Pents are a slow-moving suit. And an Ace? Starting small. A friendship tree isn't grown in a day, you know. Layer by layer, cup of tea by cup of tea. Conversation by conversation, concert by concert.
And check out this warm glowing centre at the heart of it all - it all starts with a warm heart.

The Tower XVI
You know what the Tower looks like in a lot of decks: boom, crash, destruction, the end.
This isn't that. 
No need to fry the entire structure of your life. Just burn off some of your outmoded notions
on the subject of friendship. 
Maybe look down deeper into some relationships that have been there with you for many rings around the tree, lo these many years - still there, still alive, the sap of life flowing through them.
Give them a bit of love and attention and see what happens.

Temperance XIV
This image reminds me of how much I love watercolours.
I wish I knew more about the artist's vision for this card. I'll just have to wing it.
Try not to sweat it too much.
Try not to get all hot&bothered.
If your flame of enthusiasm is waning, fan it a bit.
A few tears along the way are OK too.
Temperance is often equated with alchemy, the blending of two different substances to make another third substance. Friendship is kind of like that. Two different people come together with their unique components and put together a new entity - a friendship. It's magic. 

In neighbourhood news

Went to Cirque du Soleil's latest touring production, Crystal, this past weekend. If you have the chance, go to see it! It has all their usual fantastic trapeze-gymnastics-live musicians-dance-costumes-original music-creative props-comic/drama mix but ALL ON ICE! I'm still awe-struck!