No idea why but the blog popped in my head the other day. Today I realize it's been exactly 365 days since I last posted. On this day last year I was still in the UK. There was a mixture of emotions as I'd just left the seaside and my wonderful friends in Cornwall and come back up to Devon. I knew I would soon be leaving the UK. I felt a lot of relief in some respects yet a lot of sadness as I'd come to truly love England and was surprised to felt completely at home there. And as I prepared to go home to New Orleans I felt equal parts joy and trepidation. So much had happened, some wonderful, some traumatic. I'd had the most amazing experience living abroad for four months, a dream come true! Made so many real bonds with people as well as the land itself. I'd also experience the absolute nightmare of my precious dog Selene dying only two weeks after I had left the US.
One year to the day later I find myself back in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after many many years. After swearing I would never ever come back here to live! I'll be damned if every single city I haven't said I swear I'll never live in again, the universe has not fucked me up and made me eat those words. (Maybe I should start saying I will never ever go to Paris, or London, or Mevsgissey, or Munich. Or the places that I have never been that I want to go to, like saying I will never ever go to Melbourne, or Thailand, or Rio de Janeiro!)
Oddly enough, I left home from New Orleans only 10 days more than being the exact same date I departed last year. This time I find myself reconnecting with several people I've known my whole life and who mean the world to me. But what brought me up here was giving palliative care for my beautiful mommy the last month of her life.
But that's a story for another time.
While sitting here thinking about all of that, I decided to shuffle the deck I recently acquired and is very quickly become an absolute favorite! It's the absolutely stunning White Rabbit Oracle, a self published deck by artist Ariana Siegel that can be found on her Etsy shop or at whiterabbittarot.com. As I shuffled, the car that jumped out was Desire. The scene appears to be Victorian era London. Two lovers are tucked away in a hidden alcove where they have the opportunity to give in to their deep desire for one another. Outside the world behind them is cold and gray, clouded by apathy, confusion and unfulfillment of stoic and depressed sky and surroundings. But inside the secret cavern there's the candlelit glow of the gaslamp overhead. Here they are able to release their passionate desires and focus only on the beauty and joy that this rendezvous brings. Only the Raven in-flight bears witness witness. It brings to mind some of the beautiful scenes from the seductively gothic, dark drama Penny Dreadful. Or perhaps this is Edgar Allan and his beloved Eleanor.
I don't think this card having jumped out for me is so much about carnal desires, although I'm sure there's a certain element of truth to that. Being in Pittsburgh has led me to spend an enormous amount of time with my childhood sweetheart, the first boy I ever kissed, my first love that I've known since we were 3 years old, Eric. Instead I think the card is reminding me to embrace the true desires of my heart. The death of my mother has made me truly understand in a very different way how imperative it is to embrace and cultivate the desires of the heart and more importantly those that call to the spirit. The two on the card look like they are in an erotic dance. I was really becoming rooted in the burlesque community of New Orleans and had finally gotten the courage to take my first lesson only two days before I had to come up here unexpectedly. This card is reminding me not to give up on that as well as the need to explore and embrace other things that I truly desire. Being a corporate flight attendant who travels the world and gets paid quite nicely to do so. Taking belly dance classes. Seeking out like-minded individuals and communities who have the same interests as I do that don't fit into mainstream society but call to me on a soul deep level. I really feel the importance of this card having shown itself to me. New Orleans and the French quarter in particular is like the land of misfit toys. It's where the unique, the bizarre and what is misunderstood by the masses is openly displayed and embraced. This card is reminding me to be true to myself in many different ways. To continue to explore and engage in the things my soul desires.