The Light in the Dark

Time for an Animal-Wise Tarot blog.

I’ve been rewriting my story. Not the novel I’m working on, though I’m writing and rewriting that as well.

I’m talking about the story that is my life. My family tends to live a long time, my great grandfather married for the third time at 90 and lived to celebrate his 16th wedding anniversary. My grandmother lived to 99. I’m about to turn 60 (51 days and counting). It’s possible that I could still have forty years more. But even with that amount of time, I get it that time is limited. Our lives are limited. Limited to the time we have here in these bodies.

Okay, let’s say there is such a thing as past lives and that one day this life will be a past life for a new incarnation. That incarnation still will not be me in this life time.

So the question I have been asking myself is – what is my story? I’ve tried several on for size in the past. They didn’t fit. It’s interesting that I wrote two short stories for which the critique was, “This is really a novel.”

I resisted that. And now am working on making one of the short stories a novel (I will probably do the same with the other one). I’m finding that it was true. I was trying to compress something into a form that didn’t fit the story.

This is definitely not to dis short story. I’m still not sure how to write one. I hope to master that eventually.

It’s just to say that there’s more to my life story than I was allowing room for.

So today, I pulled the Devil card in my reading. The animal is the Raven and the meaning is Light in the Dark: Shapeshifting. The book says this, “We must be our own light in the dark.” And “Raven teaches us how to shapeshift our lives, but it also teaches us that how things shapeshift may not be exactly as we imagined. Regardless, we must take our responsibility for those changes.”

So here’s is what my shapeshifting is about, at least today. I have come to understand that I have expected to be turned down. To be thwarted. To be silenced. To have my head lopped off (figuratively) if I tried to rise above what others expected of life.

I can point to events that happened between the ages of ten and eleven that cemented my commitment to that particular shape – that particular belief system. What those experiences were is not important. What I think is important is to recognize that those experiences reinforced belief, not faith.

And I have come to define faith as the willingness to take action in the absence of certainty.

So I am in the middle of shapeshifting, tossing out antiquated rules and banishing fear from my workshop (thank you William Faulkner). It doesn’t mean I’m not afraid – I’m just treating fear as a friend for whom I need to set some boundaries.

I guess shapeshifting is improvising with life. Being willing to go with something to see if that really is the place you want to go. It might very well be the light in the dark.

Note: my name, Karen Lucille, means pure light. I probably should remember that.

Also, I think the saying goes both ways: “God is in the details,” and “The devil is in the details.” I suspect both are true.