the hanged one

letting go / perspective / sacrifice //

sometimes it feels like something broke in me in 2016 - the year of the election, of course, as well as the year i turned 30. i had been writing a poem a day that year. i felt productive, fecund.

then the well dried up. my poetry was gone, suddenly, and i hadn’t written prose in years, at that point. even my diary has suffered. i tried not to panic. i tried to remember that there are fallow seasons to everything, including writing. i tried to remember that writing has always returned to me. there has been no other constant in my life.

i tried doing a poem a day again in 2018, but it felt forced. the well was still dry and here i was trying to force water out of it. this year i switched gears, returned to photography, started a 365 project. i lamented to my friends that i haven’t been writing, only to have them point out this very newsletter. it’s different, though, i said. and it is.

sometimes it’s hard to say whether the hanged one chose to be up there or whether they’re just making the best of the situation in which they found themself. (does fate mean that we have no choice, or that given who we are we can only make the choices that we do?)

the guidebook for the mesquite tarot mentions that this stage can be one of metamorphosis, and compares it to a cocoon, which resonates with my feeling of the well being dry. i do feel cocooned, like i am becoming something new and different, something strange and beautiful.

but it also says this: “they undergo disorientation with purpose, knowing that it offers knowledge that isn’t available in comfort.” i think of odin hanging on yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights, rewarded with knowledge. i may not have chosen this situation for myself (other than by staying alive this long), but in trying to lean into it, i can only hope that i will find some reward when the well refills itself.

this week, darlings, let’s try to move outside of our comfort zones, even if just a little bit. let’s see what we can learn.


this week’s deck: mesquite tarot
this week’s plant: fukien tea bonsai