By way of replacing the placeholder post

So, um. Welcome, to the tens of people who might at some point read this. How’s it going?

It should be noted, I think, that sometimes I struggle to find clever things to say when I begin writing. It should also be noted that this affliction often continues well past the beginning.

As 2011 winds down, I realize that I feel adrift in some important ways. Adrift, and somewhat scattered. There are reasons for each that I will likely natter on about at some length sooner rather than later, but for now I’ll simply say that these things are true, and leave it at that.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to craft some kind of a regular intentional practice. I’m not sure I’ll call it a spiritual practice, because that term feels like I should be doing something more important than rambling in a blog (even if it is a blog whose title and URL that I spent an embarrassing amount of time pondering). So it’s not that I don’t feel like this is an important thing – I do…or at least I feel like it can be potentially important. My reluctance hasn’t been a lack of motivation, exactly, but rather a nagging, irrational worry that one of two things will happen. Those worrisome things include:

  1. When I inevitably fail to meet my internal standards for said practice (and really, it is inevitable that I will do so at some point), I will feel shame for my momentous failure and simply cease trying.
  2. Regardless of my success or failure, I can’t help but wonder if anything I try to manifest along these lines will really be important. It somehow feels like such a thing should be something…I don’t know. Momentous, I guess, and I don’t particularly imagine myself doing that.

I’ll avoid the “spiritual practice” label, then, because…well, just because. But an intentional practice –that feels like something that can be important to me even if it isn’t Important in the larger sense. This past weekend, I came up with the rather surprising idea of doing a regular tarot draw, just one card, and writing about that card, what it says to me, and the process of doing this regularly.

Why tarot? Well, that’s a little complicated. I’m kind of surrounded by people who know more about the tarot than I do (which is to say, they reliably know more than, “Hey, that’s a pretty picture,” which is about where I am much of the time). I certainly have no great insight into the tool, and I’m not particularly drawn to develop any deep expertise in it. Like astrology, or personality tests, or any of a number of other predictive or descriptive tools, I think there’s a lot of “eye of the beholder” going on here. With tarot cards, as well, there’s also the inherent randomness of shuffling the cards and drawing one. While journaling a bit about this notion over the weekend, I wrote:

“The universe is random, but my soul is not. A single card drawn from a deck of 78 is random, but what I see in that card is not.”

Or, you know, maybe it is. I have no idea what I’ll find to be true for me here, whether I’ll develop a deep appreciation for the cards or uncover a hidden talent for interpreting them (that, I can pretty much assure you, will not happen) or if I’ll simply get a couple of weeks into the process and say, “Huh. It turns out I really don’t know anything about this after all. What a completely unsurprising development!”

In any case, I’m kind of excited to get started. Of course, I somehow managed to forget the fact that I don’t actually own a tarot deck of my own. I could borrow one, I suppose (there are at least 3 in my household that I can think of) but I don’t know. It feels like if I’m going to be writing about some number of cards before I get distracted by a shinier project, I should own a deck. Last night, I visited that great home for spiritual development, the Commonwealth of Amazonia, and ordered a deck (standard Rider-Waite deck, for anyone who’s curious. I know there are a lot of other options out there (many of them freaking beautiful) but I know that I tend to process visual information pretty literally, so simple is better for this guy.) As I am a Prime Member of the Amazonian Commonwealth, said deck is winging its way to me as we speak and should arrive tomorrow evening.