“The truest philosophy is not to long for anything in particular, but to accept everything as it comes, and find out the reason of its coming.” ~Marie Corelli, Romance of Two Worlds.

“One writes to make a home for one’s self, on paper, in time, in others’ minds.” ~Alfred Kazin

My daughter and I spent Christmas back east in Philadelphia at the home of the middle sister in my family. The whole family made the trip and towards the end of our stay, we all dined at my sister’s boss’ house. She made an amazing beef tenderloin and James, my sister, roasted delicious fingerling potatoes and sautéed garlic green beans (Mars actually took my beans from my plate and just grinned at me, she’s my little veggie delight!). During cocktails (champagne for me) and appetizers, her boss said, “You’re the otherworldly sister, right?” I replied “No, I think Al has traveled outside of the United States a few more times than me, so really she would be the other worldly sister.” Yeah, like I’ve said I’m a special kinda pretty and I’m not kidding when I say that. Al is the youngest sister, there are three of us. I’m the eldest, the shortest, the palest and I have gray-blue eyes while theirs are like pools of melting chocolate so warm and inviting.

After dinner I was in the family room with my daughter as this house had a whole room dedicated to toys for kids as well as a bookshelf spanning the entire wall. In short, both Mars and I were in heaven. She was busily putting together a foam road for her dump truck and I was looking into a book about tarot, well, I was actually taking pictures as I could then zoom in and read it all later. I’ve been slowly getting my research together for a piece in Glow where Gracon and Lux have an encounter with a Gypsy who proceeds to give them a reading. My knowing this was to be a part started with the Cards of Destiny book I happened to find while perusing a local bookstore. The Cards of Destiny is a process of divination that uses the standard deck of cards, however, I knew that I wanted to weave the belief about tarot, both the major and minor arcana, being the prototypes for the deck of cards most think of today. Gracon being the trickster and disbeliever, he will actually mock the Gypsy but be holding a deck of cards himself (he’s a magician at the High School Halloween Carnival, Cirque du Spirit) for which she then will use his deck of cards and give a reading.

Back to me taking pictures of tarot at my sister’s boss’ house. She walks in and I explain to her how I’m interested in learning as much about them as possible as it’s a concept I’m letting unfold for the story I’m writing. She gives me this look and says “I don’t believe in coincidences, I just found a deck of tarot the other day that I haven’t opened. It’s so odd for me to find such… they are for you. I just know it, let me go find them.” She went into the next room and I’m like Ann was right, she informed me that a deck of tarot cards would be drawn to me and I to them. I wondered how cards would be drawn to me, but there you go. As my sister’s boss placed the box of cards in my hand (which incidentally also have a deck you can color yourself) I said “Oh wow… that’s what you meant by otherworldly!” She smiled and I proceeded to fill her in on the story I’m working on and that yes, I’m very spiritual as well as have had many mystical experiences that I feel are natural, we’re all just too busy to take notice and listen, to feel our way intuitively.

Incidentally, that’s exactly the purpose of a plain deck of tarot for one to color oneself. To intuitively open up, to be guided while coloring and connecting with the cards as they are just symbols, instrumentalities…the reading comes through you.  We are all channels for our spirit self [knowing self] to express.

I’m including another piece of Glow, it leads up to the period right before Gracon and Lux go into the Gypsy tent. Of note, I just pulled a card from the tarot deck and got the “Nine Cups” here’s the symbolism (it was upright): A dream come true, known as the “wish” card of the Tarot, the Nine brings you your heart’s desire. Friendship becomes love, or other wishes are granted as you begin to live the life you once dreamed about. A time for good news, friendship, and socializing, you will enjoy expressing your creativity. The card also reveals good health and security, both financially and emotionally. Hmmm, I’ll take it and I’m already enjoying expressing my creativity :)



******FROM GLOW******

All the potential actions I could make swirl in my head but I know that there is only one thing I can do, that I must do… or rather, that I have to do. I start walking towards Gracon, his eye still locked on mine, reeling me in like fishing line and I unknowing of the bait.

His eyes never leave mine as that same crooked grin slowly forms. We’re like two magnets unable, unwanting, to break the attraction. I somehow effortlessly make my way through the crowd of students and booths with a trajectory intent on reaching his booth as soon as humanly possible. I break from his gaze to take in his costume. He’s gorgeous in a classic black tux. Oh my stars how he wears that tux. Without the usual oversized sweatshirt to swallow up his well built frame-thanks to the mixed martial arts-I easily see his muscles rippling below the fabric’s surface as the tux hugs all the right places. I blush aware of all the thoughts about him swirling in my head; this is so foreign to me. How can one boy elicit so many feelings at once, like a little whirlwind that I get caught up in too? I slowly look up hearing him clear his throat bringing me out of my reverie. My eyes distracted by the crimson bow tie just below his adams apple, such a stark contrast to his alabaster face which is now peering down at me with curiosity. I blush even more realizing I’ve taken a bit too long in taking him in, all 6 feet of him.

“Good evening Lux, you are quite the lovely angel. It fits you and I especially like your wings.” He winks and playfully runs his fingers through the feathered caplet. Thank the Heavenly Father and Divine Mother for the caplet otherwise my blush would be revealed in more than my face.

“Thank you. I thought an angel would be something different. Had I known about the black lights I would’ve reconsidered. “ I look up at the hanging black light mirror ball reaching the edges of the gymnasium animating the décor as much as the costumes.

“Actually, I think that helps your costume. We all know angels are beings of light and love, so, to me, the black light effect is an added bonus!” He smiles at me trying to make me feel better about the translucent bubble around me.

“That’s a good point, I never thought of it that way. By the way, you’re not so bad yourself Gracon. I have to admit I’m not sure what I’m more surprised about, the fact you are wearing a tux or that you’re a magician too. What don’t you do?” I shyly respond, as he seems to bring a playful side out of me.

He just raises an eyebrow at me and turns motioning me to the table behind him. Right I forgot we’re at the Cirque du Spirit and he’s manning a booth. Get it together Lux! I silently admonish myself.

“Actually there are many things that may surprise you about me. Congratulations, you just discovered two, I clean up nicely and specialize in card tricks. Ready to be dazzled Lux?” chuckling softly he sits down casually in his chair. Playfully he moves the cards between his hands and begins to shuffle.  I nod yes continuing to be transfixed with him until I realize he means the cards.

“Yes, of course, the card tricks. I’m not familiar with magick cards.” I sit in the chair across from him hoping he didn’t notice. I can be ditzy sometimes and who can blame me with Mr. GQ sitting across the table from me. I sigh and place my elbows on the formica top then wonder if I was being to obvious. I hope he didn’t hear the sigh over the music.

Bringing myself back to the moment, I notice how his fingers move so gracefully as he cuts the deck then begins to shuffle. Aces, diamonds, jacks create an arc of red and black from one hand to the other, so effortlessly, while his eyes never leave mine. This time it’s not a blush, but the slow burn that only his passionate gaze can ignite in me. How am I to concentrate on a card trick when he’s the only thing I notice? He’s so sure of himself, impeccable confidence, some would say arrogant or cocky but there’s a quiet knowing in him that tells me he is simply doing what he does. He is being himself and somehow, this teenager, knows exactly who he is in that moment.

“Wow, how do you get the cards to do that?”  I ask excitedly. I want to say so much more but his eyes are working magick of their own…turning me inside out. If I wasn’t sitting I’m sure I would have lost my balance from my weak knees. How does THAT happen while sitting? He just has a way of looking at me where he delves down to my soul leaving me wondering if along with knowing himself, he knows exactly who I am and why I am here in this moment. I suppose my costume doesn’t mask that.

“I don’t really know. I just do what I do and this seems to be a part of it.” His crooked grin finishing his answer with the same mysterious aura that seems to envelope him. He is soooo loving this. I feel it, his energy is dancing with mine and it tickles. The soft butterflies in my belly flutter about reminding me that I am human and clearly not in control of MY emotions like he is. I am surprised his energy is matching mine, as many wouldn’t have the ability to pick up on the subtleness of my energy field. This is curious…

“Well then seems to be a gift you’re born with…shuffling cards that is.”  Yet those words have many interpretations. Something I’ve not fully grasped yet but there is more to Gracon, more than this tux-clad teenager, much much more.

“Seems to be Lux, seems to be…” He just raises an eyebrow at me and prepares to separate the deck into half placing the bottom portion on the table. “Take one card, the top one, look at it, memorize it then place back on the deck.”

“Ok.” I pull the top card and bring it to me careful not to allow anyone else to see it. The Queen of diamonds-I look at it, should be easy to remember a queen, then place it back with the deck. My fingers only slightly shake as I do. I’m not sure if it’s because Gracon is looking at me so intently or my anticipation of this trick. I don’t want to mess anything up. I have a tendency to do something like hit all the cards sending them flying in all directions. I believe along with being ditzy I can also be clumsy especially here as I’m not an angel but a teenage girl dressed as one in front of her crush. Wow…I have a crush! The realization settles in but not before said crush continues with the card trick.

“Great! This is one of my favorite card tricks. So Lux, what do you think of Cirque du Spirit?” Gracon continues look at me while shuffling the cards a few more times.

“It’s amazing! It’s very surprising to see such realistic costumes which are all the more believable against the decorations. The event group did an amazing job.” For a High School, Central West sure knows how to throw a Halloween carnival. They don’t even name it plainly but give it an exotic flair with Cirque du Spirit. DJB2 put on another Kills track, hmmm “last day of magic” another of my favorites. Only if this carnival is any indication magick is hardly over let alone the last day. I hear the cupcake walk announcer state that #12 has won the luscious red velvet cupcake. The contestants walk on laminated cupcakes with numbers 1-13…I wonder why 13? Typically that number is considered unlucky. If only humans knew that 13 is more natural than 12. It’s the Church with its infinite wisdom that made 13 unlucky, a pagan number now thought of as superstitious rather than symbolic of natural synchronism of time here in this physical realm.  Gracon’s voice brings me back again.

“Here’s the deck Lux, will you find your card please.” Smiling he sits back softly chuckling, the back of his hand pushing the deck closer to me.

“Well, if that’s how the trick goes, but shouldn’t you really tell me what my card is? It’s not really dazzling to find my own card. What does this prove” my voice fades while I shake my head. Considering his confident facial expression and piercing gray eyes daring me to doubt…I feel a bit ridiculous questioning his trick.

“Please just find your card Lux, this is all part of the trick. Trust me. “ I don’t know if the last part is a question or a statement. But I do trust him, I don’t know how or why I feel it within the center of my being, but I intuitively know I can trust him.

“Hand them over then.” I reach out only to feel his hands grab mine as he places the deck in my palm of my hands. I feel the electricity surge through him into me, I don’t want him to let go but he seems to be surprised by the exchange as well. He abruptly turns and watches the student pass by placing his hands in his pockets.

I flip through the cards…aces, jacks, hearts, spades…. I don’t see my card though.

“Ummm, Gracon, my card is not in here?!?” I’m not really sure how to say this. I KNOW I memorized the Queen of Diamonds which is in fact missing from the deck. How can it not be in here? I was watching him the whole time.

“Are you sure? Why don’t you look again if you’d like.” He’s really enjoying this now, smiling like a Cheshire cat his eyes gleaming in anticipation. I can almost see the clashing clouds in his stormy gray eyes. Just as I start looking again I notice a crisp white envelope sitting on the table.

“Gracon, where did that come from?” pointing to the envelope. I then pick it up examining it as it glows in the black light.

“Why don’t you open it?” Still smiling he motions me to rip it at the top to reveal the contents.

I slide my finger through the closed flap opening it up and pull out the Queen of Diamonds. I turn to him questions fill my head.

“How did you DO that? I was watching you the whole time. How did you get it closed, let alone in an envelope that all of a sudden appeared before us.” I examine the table now, looking for a trap door or a secret compartment with envelopes. But to no avail…it’s a regular rectangular table. Even with secret hiding places how would he know what card I had picked?

“It’s my secret, as I am the magician. I’ll never tell but you’re welcome to figure it out.” Laughing he takes the card from me and starts shuffling the deck again. In the tux, he does look like a magician and with that trick, definitely knows magick. “Or we could go ask the fortune teller?”

Now he’s just playing with me. If the booth is any indication this gypsy is not going to be able to tell any fortunes let alone reveal the secret to Gracon’s magick card trick.

******to be continued******