February 26, 2009

fuzzy slippers, early morning

the i ching has been fair with me. for years i used three coins to tell tales to myself. i think they came from a coin shop via an old friend and teacher. they hung together dustily, magnetically operating as some kind of unit; it was great. but i was attracted to tarot cards, enjoying the imagery that was, initially, easier to understand. so i gave away the book of changes that was in my possession and picked up a standard rider-waite deck.

but the tarot cards, even when i did readings, felt like someone talking who was far away, through the wind: hard to hear. the i ching, when it was gifted to me again, felt less and less like a translation of an ancient text, and more and more like what no one else would tell me, that i desperately thirsted to hear: the simple truth. not my interpretation. (although one time, when the suggestion was to 'seek help regarding the argument', it took a few days for me to realise the argument in question was internal. it had less to do with the situation i was asking about and more about how i couldn't even word the question properly without scribbling it out several times.)

then i read about the yarrow method again and suddenly it made sense to go the extra mile. it used to seem extensive: fifty yarrow sticks?! shuffling around, manipulating sticks between fingers, laying them out in obtuse piles, then doing it all again and again and again and again and again. the process takes maybe twenty minutes or so, instead of the ninety seconds of tossing coins. i love it. the ritual serves as more than a quick reassurance - it becomes fulfilling in and of itself, regardless of any message.

this is how much of life seems to be flowing these days. the slow, ponderous weight of recurring events are starting to feel like love. problems aren't solved by solutions, they're clues to brewing changes in lifestyle. slow and steady doesn't so much win the race as say 'fuck the race'. not vehemently or anything - casually. with a definite "oh, that fire? that's not fire, it's just orange," attitude, a blasé sense of wonder about everything other than the frantic pace of racers.

this morning i woke up at four-thirty and hung out with the i ching. i was reminded that the outer adornments are simply that: houses, jobs, romances. endless attention could go to the "measurables": am i doing what i'm supposed to be doing? if i move cities, will i find my path? will this person love me for who i am?

uh huh, uh huh. sure, do it, quoth the i ching. but remember it is external.

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