Sunday, 29 September 2019

Psychoanalysis with the tarot

Silhouettes
loneliness hits her face
with a hornet sting
she picks up the phone
and tries to ring
a friend
to hear a sugared voice -
but darkness brings fear
and ghostly shadows
cast silhouettes
onto an empty wall
awakening haunting dreams
of how things might have been

Every day Ann writes a poem, always concise, insightful, sometimes of her frustrations with a life subject to fate's whims rather than her choices. Sometimes they are nostalgic; sometimes filled with anger at the stupidity in the world, in politics, in neighbours, in family; often about the annoyances of living with me. She has the powerful ability of complete empathy, able to enter the hurt and anguish or disturbing anxieties of others, and many people share their inner pain with her, like a priest in the confessional but without the guilt. I long ago gave up any pretence at a private, inner life, for she could read me before I knew my own thoughts, and there could be no secrets from her.

Using the tarot, she does not claim to read the future, but uses the revealed cards to explore the person's inner feelings and troubles, often leading them to insight of themselves that might take them forward over difficult choices or anxieties. In the olden days it might have been called witchcraft; now it is a form of psychotherapy and if she ever chose to take paying clients, she could be very rich from it. But it remains a private thing, for a few confiding friends and family.

Ann is not widowed yet, and still has full contact with her children and most of mine, yet today's poem looks at loneliness in total bereavement, seeing in the lines a woman cut off from her past, her memories, her family, with no one to share photos or common chat of her children's young lives, nor her own childhood. I do not think in Ann's case it is prophetic, for she is someone who will always have friends and family support, yet she can enter the heartache and unbearable loneliness of others who do suffer, and cry at their pain and yearn to give comfort. It is a deep and lonely gift in its own right, and even in the midst of companionship and a life shared, it reflects the aloneness we all experience from time to time, for her poem has that wonderful quality of all great poetry, of being specific yet universal.




1 comment:

  1. I do not need the tarot to read you, you are like a book albeit a very technical one.

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