The Death Card

Summer and the Lughnasa Moon

Friday gratefuls: Alan and the Parkside breakfast spot. Rabbi Jamie, Ellen, Marilyn (x2), Carol, Sally, Diane, Rebecca. The hot dog lady. The drive up Brook Forest to Shadow Mountain. The still rapid Maxwell Creek along the roadside. The Rock faces, the Ponderosa and Lodgepoles and Aspens and Willows and Dogwoods. The Cow Elk that sauntered across the road in front of me.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Getting up only one time last night.

Tarot of the Morning: Death, 13th card of the Major Arcana


We’ll get to the Tarot later, but let me say before we do that it’s good news to me.

Yesterday I met Alan for breakfast at the Parkside. A large patio offers outside dining. A cool morning when I got there at 9:20, the Sun crept around until, as in the parable, I took my jacket off and hung it on the chair.

Before I left for Evergreen, the boys of Grant Property Medic came to weed whack the lawn. That’s the way they do it. A little strange, but ok. They were only response I got to a request on Nextdoor Shadow Mountain for lawn mowers.

Not cheap. But, it’s done. The grasses in some spots were thigh high thanks to the rain we’ve gotten. They had gotten ahead of me while I was in Hawaii. Gotta get my own mower repaired, but I needed to get the place mowed once before I do that. Only two, three times a year anyhow and done for fire mitigation, not for house beautiful.

Still hacking away at budget stuff. A busy week, busier than I thought it would be. Knowledge level about the budget, our assets, cash flow increasing. Not there yet though. Have to keep weed whacking my way through the underbrush. As I often say under my breath, you’re getting there, Charlie. You’re getting there.

At 7:30 this morning I have another round of p.t. Rebecca has me gradually ramping up my exercise routine. My leg feels much better, about ready to get back to cardio. Want to include at least a hike a week. I’ve wanted to do this for years, literally.

Mussar, Thursday afternoon version, met. Good to be back there on a regular basis. As with Alan, I enjoy seeing folks, being with them, thinking with them.

Before the meeting I went over to the yahrzeit wall and found Kate’s plaque, newly installed. A bit of a shock, seeing it there, even though I expected it. I still have the occasional, oh, I gotta tell Kate moment, so it’s good to have the reminders that she is dead. That may seem weird, but it’s true. Acceptance is a process, a learned state, and it takes repetition.

For example, Eduardo told the other day that he’s sixty. Wow. Would not have guessed that. I immediately thought, Kate will be surprised. Who knows, maybe she is.

Had to break off writing this morning. P.T. at 7:30 am. Rebecca furloughed me next week based on good progress. We’ll see how I do and adjust if necessary the week after. A rational choice. Not a maximum revenue approach. Salute Rebecca.

Down the hill to Hwy 470 to Kipling, up Kipling to Chatfield, Wells Fargo. Safe Deposit box. Hunting for our marriage license which I will need to finish my application for Social Security survivor benefits. Also picking up the remainder of Kate’s jewelry connection to pass on to Jerry Miller, Sarah’s husband. Kate’s wish.

I’m holding back two pieces, one an emerald ring I had made for Kate when she had a breast cancer scare 20 years or so ago. I’m going to wear it in memory of her. Also, a gold and lapis lazuli necklace Kate bought in Santorini on our cruise of the Aegean. Again, a memory piece.

After sifting through the papers and boxes, throwing out some no longer needed, like my receipt for Blizzaks from (no idea why it was there in the first place), I concluded that the marriage license was not there. Have to get one from Ramsey County vital records.

On the way home I stopped in to see Jackie, my hair stylist, and changed my appointment to the next week. Tom’s coming and we’re gonna be out doing things.

Time to revert back to the death card. The most feared card in the Tarot deck. This came up on many of the commentators websites. For example: “First things first, don’t be afraid if you’ve pulled the death tarot card! Along with the Tower and the Devil, Death is one of the most feared cards in a Tarot deck. This is normal since most people fear dying and any card representing such a thing would naturally be viewed as negative.”  A little spark of joy. 

The same website offers these words to describe the significance of the upright Death card: “Ending of a cycle, transitions, getting rid of excess, powerful movement.” If you put this together with the six of cups I drew yesterday: “With the Six of Cups reversed, you can finally close accounts with the emotional undertow that has been part of your life.“. it’s not tough to recognize the pattern.

We’ll go into the major arcana/minor arcana distinctions once I’m clearer on them, but for now it’s enough to observe that the Death card is one of the Major Arcana, the 13th of 22. My life since Kate’s illness and decline finished on April 12th with her death. A long, difficult, and often painful journey. A shift in life style to one more reclusive and focused on medical matters, uncertainty, angst. Around 3 years or so total. A distinct intensification over the last year.

As the last three months have passed, a month for each year?, a storm of emotions has crossed my inner world. Horror, terror, fear. Abandonment, loss. Tears and a heart rent by anguish. Mourning. Beautiful and rooted rituals, most from the Jewish perspective, held me in an alembic, a place where the fire of those emotions could drive away the dross and leave me with the gold of Kate’s memory, not as a source of torment, but as a source of sustaining wisdom and love.

That gradual change has brought a punctuation to the last three years, a period, or perhaps better, a semicolon, not jettisoning it as too awful, but making it an and. There were those three years; and, there is the next phase of my life. The Death card and the six of cups underline that change for me. I see it in them and they, somehow, see it in me.

What the effect of that transition, the end of the Kate cycle of my life, means is not yet apparent. Nor could it be. I’m a new born. A different life will grow from the fertile soil of this change. I know it. And, I trust it will be a good one.

So. Yeah, Death card! Thanks six of cups.