The Cartomancer: A Moving Number

The Cartomancer: A Moving Number February 22, 2017
a lace doily
Photo: Camelia Elias

I’m purging stuff today as I’m moving. I’m moving from the big city to the small city, bordering the beautiful national park, Thy, in Denmark.

I’m going through new stuff and old stuff with a Zen mind: ‘Keep nothing. Keep it simple. Keeping nothing is better than keeping it simple. Keep it simple, keep nothing.’

A mantra here, another one there, until the incomprehensible envelops me in a veil of mystery:

‘Who are these people who gave me this?’

‘What was my mother really like?’

‘Can I smell the soul of this other person who must have pricked her fingers to blood to stitch this tapestry?’

a cross stitch tapestry of a duck in flight
Photo: Camelia Elias

These were the kind of thoughts interfering with my Zen attitude: ‘Keep nothing, keep going.’ Ditch, switch, pitch.

My mother used to say that the incomprehensible makes our mind enjoy the mystery of infinity, the mystery of not knowing anything. Well, she was a logician, and most of the time she was speaking in riddles and numbers.

I think I know where I’m moving to, and why, but in reality I know absolutely nothing. Might just as well.

I look at a fragment of my mother’s embroidery on cloth that she did when she was 12. I think of the woman’s face in it. What is she looking at, approving of?

an embroidered cloth showing a woman's face
Photo: Camelia Elias

I wrap some glasses in my grandmother’s weave, and the red color attaches itself to my heart. ‘I keep going, this one stays’. ‘The other one can go’ – some other old stuff, whose number is up.

an off-white woven blanket with red accent banding
Photo: Camelia Elias

What do we do when we move? We go through our things and assess them according to numbers.

I look at my tarot cards collection, and ask, loudly: ‘Is anyone in here whose number is up? Please step up forward. Don’t let me go after you’. The cards keep silent.

They all conspire to hit me in my infinity: ‘We’re coming with you. We are you and you are us. Hallelujah. For Zen. Caught you.’

Damn. Another missed opportunity.

I go through my things, as I go through the cards when I read them in line, or link them, nice Romanian style. I go for the small infinities. I’m somewhere beyond it even, altogether beyond. I don’t even have any questions left. That’s totally Zen.

I can’t even be bothered to think of how mother would laugh at me right now. Her laughter always sounded of numbers.

a tarot spread displaying fourteen different cards in two rows of seven

The Hermit goes: ‘What goes, what stays?’ Love stays. Big time. In spite. ‘In spite of what?’, the woman of the big love asks. Never mind. ‘Bring even more of it on,’ some distant galloping voice says.

A decision is made that’s not even kind: ‘Stop stepping on them peacocks. They are not your little demons to play with. Don’t forget to pack the knives.’

I give my magic wand a rest: Who cares about what stays and what goes? Isn’t the Sun the bigger infinity, bigger than the philosopher’s stone? Or was it a lamp? Ah, yes, the lamp. It can go. The sun can stay…

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