endings and beginnings

Look, it’s a whole new updated website! With a new look and new adventures sprinkled all throughout. I think that when I look back on 2012-2013, I’ll remember it as a time when a lot happened. A lot ended, a lot changed, a lot solidified, a lot fell away, a lot began.

Endings and Beginnings. When I do tarot card readings, I think of these two cards as beautifully connected, but both holding very distinct energy qualities. “Beginnings” (or in traditional decks, ‘The Fool’) represents a time in your life when you’re all about throwing caution to the wind. It’s a time filled with surprises, spontaneity, and unlimited potential. There’s something that has brought you a renewed faith, hope and trust in your life, in the world – that the things you’re after are possible. This card is, yes, that wild untameable unicorn in you! (of course I went there.) The voice telling you to believe in your foolish heart.

Endings, on the other hand, traditionally is the infamous Death Card. Like the name sounds, there is a heaviness, sadness and longing to this energy. Death is about shedding skin, closing doors, it’s about the reluctance, pain, resistance, sense of completion, and sometimes even relief that comes with. Death is ultimately about transformation and rebirth – something has finished in order for something else to begin. This card can also be about letting go of what’s no longer important, no longer working, so that you have the space and time for what is.

Goddess Kali from Hindu mythology, from http://www.daily-tarot-girl.com

Goddess Kali from Hindu mythology, from http://www.daily-tarot-girl.com

 

This past year for me as been about growing up. Finishing old things I’ve had for lifetimes and starting new things I once had only dreamed were possible. In so many ways I’ve felt the heaviness, reluctance and sadness of the Death Card, and I’ve felt the foolish optimism, faith and bravery of the Fool Card. I’ve broken out of meaningful relationships, patterns and situations that are no longer working for me, I’ve developed new ones and grown closer to the ones that are, I feel the excitement as well as the curl-up-in-a-corner-in-fetal-position fear of diving into the unknown. Some transitions from the old to the new were slow almost unnoticeable parting of ways, some were sharp, abrupt and jarring.

I think some of biggest lessons I was supposed to learn over this past year, hell, this past decade – had to do with gaining more insight into death. 10 years ago I lost a close family member to death, it was shocking, abrupt, catastrophic in my world. Since then I’ve moved away from home/family, I’ve built friendships and community, lost friendships and community, swelled up in love, destroyed out of love. Most of those experiences with some kind of death or ending were brutal. The kind that ends so messy, breaks so hard and harsh, that you can’t ever reconcile what happened, all you can do is move on, be someone else, leave a part of yourself behind.

10 years after that first incident, this past December, I lost another dear family member to death. But it was such a different experience that it has left me still confused. This time it was a slow and quiet passing, so much so that I couldn’t tell at any given time what was “here” and what was “gone.” It was different too because this time it wasn’t a family member who, while I was incredibly close to in my heart, did not physically live in the same home or even province as me. For years I think I had been learning to communicate with her, and to hold her with me while we lived in different geographies. Now I’m trying to figure out how to do that while living in different planes of existence. Something about everything makes me so confused about how blurry the lines can get between life and death.

Endings and Beginnings, they are one in the same. A death is always an opening for something new – whether or not you like where it aggressively catapulted you, or gently placed you.

I think about all the things I learned about death over the last decade and I’m kind of amazed. I’m kind of really proud of myself. I know what it’s like to grasp onto someone’s wrists as they dangle from a cliff; I know what it’s like to cling to someone’s ankles, and drag along the floor as they leave, not noticing I’m there. What it’s like to choose to be the one to go, to make those hard decisions without showing them how much it hurts. To end something before the other is ready, to not be able to put the energy into a goodbye. I’ve had death explode in my face, I’ve had it quietly, almost secretly slip by. 10 years ago a death made me lose all my hope and faith in the universe. In 2012, my grandma gave me the most beautiful gift in her passing – a surprising clarity, comfort and trust in the spirit world that I never thought I would ever find again.

Now, I hope the next 10 years of my life will give me a greater insight and understanding in all the wonder of the Fool Card. There is that untameable, unstoppable wild unicorn in me that I can feel is waiting at the gates, waiting to charge free into the path ahead, unable to contain her enthusiasm. I hope that I will find and keep finding more and new ways of being open, feeling open. Finding faith, trust, and belief. Of throwing caution to the wind.

And there are so many things to be excited about. New adventures in art, community and astrology that you can find more about by clicking around on this website! Astrology is something that has given me a lot of comfort and insight in times of dealing with the grief of what’s passed, or the anxiety of what’s to come. The planets, the stars, the way the universe exists above us, around us, and through our relationships to each other – this has all given me a language to understand the ways in which we are individually incredibly unique and complex, and at the same time connected and a part of larger patterns and seasons in our lives, in past and future generations. In other words, it has given me a feeling of solace and purpose while moving through all of the universe’s natural rhythms of death, change and rebirth. It feels right to move forward this year with astrology as a significant and growing part of my life.

So yes, a year and a decade where a lot has happened. A time to come where surely a lot will happen. I’ve (un)learned a lot, loved a lot, lost a lot. And I’m just beginning.

*this is a performance of mine called “prayer” from Queer Diwali 2012. It reflects a lot of what I wrote about here; a moment that I want to keep with me and remember. Also it inspired in part my sister’s painting (also titled “prayer”) that I use for the background of my website.

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