Our House of Cards

I’ve done something I shouldn’t have. Morbid curiosity got the better of me. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been to see a tarot reader. Fuelled by a nonsensical urge to have someone tell me that everything is going to be fine, I sought out a woman with a pack of cards and a good imagination. wheeloffortuneA masquerader. Someone adept at telling stories.

I warmed to her comfortable home, her easy talk, her inviting manner and stayed two hours in a cavern of mysticism unburdening myself of all my troubles. My cards were reflective of all that I told her and some that I didn’t but I suspect that looking at me, spending time with me, anyone might get a strong sense of sorrow and struggle showing somewhere. They say tarot is like a mirror. And my cards reflected back a horror show. It was a grotesque therapy session. Like being in a fun house full of strange out of shape mirrors bending and stretching my emotions and experiences into frightening shapes. It was dramatic. And I saw she thrived on it. As the session was coming to an end she said “I’m sure if I asked the cards they would give me an indication of whether he would survive”. What would you do in my position? I’ve always been the girl that has to peek at one of my Christmas presents before the big day. The dangled carrot. Foolishly I took it. Of course I did. And she told me he wouldn’t live to see the age of eighteen.thescream I left her house, coursing with adrenalin, feeling as nauseous as I did the day I first heard the words cancer and Charlie in the same sentence, my smiling mask slightly slipping, my positivity torn. And that’s what you get when you open your Christmas presents earlier than you should. Bitter disappointment. A feeling of loss.

During the three weeks since I’ve wrestled with it. Its haunted me. But I’ve made my peace with it now. I can only concentrate on what I know. I know I don’t believe in a god and I know I don’t believe in the other end of the spectrum, the physic mind. I love the stories of religions and I love the promise of the story of the physic. But they both profess to the knowing of a higher being and images of hell adorn both the stained glass windows and the deck of cards. I live somewhere in between, where we don’t know why we are here. Specks of dust blowing around a desert. cropped-photo-27.jpgI would get no comfort from either. There is no comfort. We are each alone. Facing what is in front of us. And in that steely emptiness I know I can cope. My worry was that my positivity was gone. On that I rely so heavily and if I believe in anything it’s in that and in Charlie.

house of cardsThe downside to all of this is that I have to accept that I am vulnerable. For the moment at least. And I detest the thought of it, the ugly nakedness of the word and all it means. So for now we live in a house of cards. Flimsy, liable to collapse, delicate. But I look at Charlie’s picture now and I see it in his eyes. Determination and possibility. Do you see it? No one can know if he will survive, not science, the ‘heavens’ nor voodoo. But somebody has to survive. Why not him? Although his diagnosis is possible, not probable I can live with that fact because he has a chance. Because I’m somewhere between being an optomist and a realist the one thing I must never let anyone do is to take away a piece of my positivity. Though the ground may shake around you, keep the core of your house steady. I think it applies to whatever struggle you find yourself in not only cancer or autism.   One day, like the three little pigs we will live in a brick house where no one can blow our house down. Because I do believe in fairy tales.

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