Posts Tagged ‘carmilla’

cup of death

Death and I have always held a peaceful relationship.  The presence of his symbols, so frightful to so many others, have always been for me, a salient reminder of  the ephemeral nature of life. I am going to die.  That truth brings me no fear.  There are many ways of dying that fill me with dread, but what comes after that is a mysterious wonder.  While I hold a general belief in reincarnation and in an afterworld, I remain open to the possibility of being totally wrong.  Perhaps those with a pantheistic viewpoint are correct and one day my decomposed bones will return solely to the earth.  I see no reason to stress upon something that I can’t possibly know until the day comes.

What I do know is life is short.   My great aunt was 88 when they found her lying in bed, a book left open on her chest, a smile on her face.  She’d lived a long and beautifully-filled life.  But she wasn’t able to finish that book.  Which is yet another reminder that I will never be able (at least in this form) to do all I wish to do.  Books will go unread.  Films unseen.  Foods untasted.  Places unvisited. Things undone.

What I can do is prioritize.  I don’t see any reason to make myself finish a novel that I’m not enjoying.  Those are put aside to perhaps be picked up another day when I might be in a different mood.   Forcing myself to finish a plate isn’t going to help any starving child anywhere.  If someone invites me to do something that I really don’t like, I tell them honestly that that just isn’t my kinda thing, but thank you very much, perhaps we could do something else together another time.  Rather than forcing myself to do something out of a false sense of obligation, much better they take someone who might actually enjoy the experience.

Time is precious.

Never will I waste it on any of the various inane debates that exist online.  If people can’t accept what works for them may not for everyone, that is their problem.   My ego isn’t so fragile that I need to explain or justify my life choices in order to receive an “okay” from complete strangers.  Instead, I’ll be laughing with Sam Vines and Granny Weatherwax (thank you Sir Terry Pratchett, and RIP), studying language, diving deeper into the paths of Tarot, taking a stroll enjoying the hot sun on my skin. Rereading Wuthering Heights or Carmilla or Little Big.  Or maybe I’ll be just sitting back watching  my son smile as he plays with his fascinating fingers.  Because that’s one of the best things of all.

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John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

“Even if she be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors; and hereafter she may suffer–both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula

“Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exists and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.” ― Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

As I continue my study of The Bohemian Gothic Tarot deck, it occured to me that it would make sense to discuss the cards in some chronological order.  However, since I’m not at all a linear thinker, that idea was quickly eschewed in favor of a more  instinctive bent. Hence, I’ll just be writing about whichever card strikes my fancy. And on this new moon, it is:

Nine of  Swords

keyowrds: Nightmares. Visions.  Terrors of the mind.   Delusions. Phobias and hysteria.   Fear of going mad.

bohemian gothic tarot nine of swords

Brings to my mind the works of Poe and Jackson. The artistic horrors of Bava and Argento.

Reflections on the card: While certainly most would consider this a negative card (and in many aspects it is), it also invokes in me a singular excitement. No doubt  because dreams and nightmares often fuel my own stories.

“I delight in what I fear,” Shirley Jackson once said.  Her Eleanor vance could have posed for this card.

We all have fears.  They can control us, or we can turn them into our own works of art.

Alexander Scriabin’s Black Mass (Piano Sonata no. 9)