Sunday, 13 April 2014
I remember you
'Prince of the Chariot of the Waves'
Chesca Potter wrote of this card: 'This card denotes someone whose life serves a greater purpose, someone with perseverance, determination, self-sacrificing and wise. Could have a tendency to martyrdom-to give away too much of one self.'
Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.
What do I see in this card? It looks like a sunrise (or sunset) over a burial mound on which trees are growing, and flowing out of the entrance is water, pouring down a stepped spillway toward a golden bowl that floats on a pool of blue. A colourful salmon leaps from the water in the foreground, beside some cattails.
This is nothing like the Wildwood Knight of Vessels, which features an eel swimming and which I find not remotely appealing. Some of the landscape from the Greenwood is used in the Wildwood 6 of Cups; the leaping salmon before cascading water is in the Wildwood Queen of Vessels.
I prefer Potter's otherworldly coloration. There's a surreal quality to the light in this Knight of Cups card. There is something about Potter's colour palette in this deck that seems to lend itself easily to trance. There's a flashing colour quality to it.
(In Irish mythology, there's a story of a salmon that ate hazelnuts from trees surrounded the well of wisdom, and that the person who ate the flesh of this fish would become wise. Some other stuff happens. Click the link.)
Anyway, I like this card very much. Like many cards in the Greenwood, there is something somehow mournful about it. The salmon has always struck me as a good symbol for self-sacrifice. I asked hubby what a salmon represents to him, and he said, 'Endurance. It's doing something that's hard, but it wins. It's doing what it's supposed to do. Just because it dies doesn't mean it loses. It's doing what it's supposed to do. It's following the natural order of things.' I didn't tell him anything about this card or how I think it might have anything to do with our anniversary.
Being married for ten years hasn't exactly felt like swimming upstream (not the whole time anyway :) ). but it is true that a marriage requires some 'sacrifice' or compromise, a bit of effort. There's a quality of sadness, too, there, lurking in the background. We push onward through this life together joyfully, and when it's not joyful, we hold each other up, but somewhere inside we are always aware of the ultimate destination. We know that end will come, and we push on toward it anyway, because it's the only direction we're allowed to go in. The most romantic thing people can say to each other is that we want to grow old together. It is romantic, and it's wonderful, but it's also sad, of course. We know when we finally get there, one of us is going to go first and leave the other behind. We know our days together in this life are numbered. Our time is brief. Twenty years, thirty years, forty years. What is that? It's a twinkling of an eye. This is why people cry at weddings, and at anniversaries, and when they decide to get married. There's so much of life, and so little at the same time. You don't cry because you're sad, but because there's so much beauty and fragility to the whole thing. It overwhelms.
An anniversary is a both a celebration and a reflection. Time goes by so fast.
Nat King Cole is my favourite, and every year hubby and I have a little slow dance to this on our anniversary. It's our song: