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Let’s start today with one of my favorite ideas on the planet: wabi sabi.
No, it isn’t that green paste that comes with sushi, although I like THAT a lot too.
As I understand it, wabi sabi is a philosophy and an aesthetic that values things as they are and sees beauty in natural, spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Old but valued ceramics are preserved and repaired with great care, sometimes highlighting the repairs with precious metals. I’m no expert. I’m not even average-level knowledgeable about Japanese or Chinese thought or culture. All I know is that everything I’ve ever learned about Taoism, Zen and wabi sabi has helped me to live a better life and be a better person. For that, I am deeply grateful. These ideas have time and time and time again proven to be my unshakable rock in every storm, just like the rock and anchor on today’s card, the Hope card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck.
Speaking of spontaneous imperfections, the card is mislabeled in the video. The intuitive message from the card was, however, clear, concise and clairaudient (meaning the intuition came as mental words this time instead of the usual clairvoyant mental images.) It came in two parts.
First, “Storms will always come.”
The first noble truth of Buddhism is the truth of suffering. First on the list of world religions on that old 80’s T shirt is Taoism with the assertion that “shit happens.” Things break. Things are uneven. Stuff happens and sooner or later storms always come.
And it’s beautiful, because it is alive and it is real.
L’esperance, as the card is actually named, is a French word meaning hope. Storms will come. Sometimes the only hope is to find a rock and hang on.
The second half of the clairaudient message is “Know your rock.”
A paramedic instructor once told me that if you prepare for the emergency, then the emergency goes away. The same thing applies here. Knowing which ideas and philosophies you can trust makes life’s inevitable stress just that much less intimidating. Question everything. When it comes to beliefs or dogma or other peoples unsupported assertions, questioning is invaluable. It may take a trial by skeptical fire to find out what really is your philosophical storm shelter. If you know your rock, if you know where to find your anchor when the storm comes then you just might make it through to the other side intact enough to glue things back together and paint the cracks with gold.
I’m not here to tell you what your rock or your anchor is or should be. It is difficult, if not impossible for one person to determine that for another. The things I was taught as a child should be my strength and stronghold crumbled to dust and nothing at first contact with adulthood. I’ve since learned that it is much better to scout out the territory for yourself. Trust yourself to know what gives you hope. Trust yourself to lean on ideas and know what holds you up and what doesn’t. Explore new ideas and challenge old ones. Give them all a good hard kick and see if they hold strong for you. If they do, grab on because storms will always come and it pays to know your rock.
Thank you so much for listening. See you at the next sip.
L’Esperence (Hope) image from the Fancy Minchiate Tarot, cited copyright “BnF” This card from the Alleyman’s Tarot deck by Publishing Goblin LLC, used with permission.