Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Me and Warren Zevon

I was up early this morning, out walking, and I came upon a single playing card, a casino brand, face down on the sidewalk. I picked it up, of course; it was the Queen of Spades.

We happened to have a Cagliostro deck that Rachael found at a yard sale, years ago, and has lugged around, from place to place; so, I dug it out to do a bit of research. It’s a handsome set of cards, wrapped in silk and stored in a sized walnut box with an inlaid cover, which hasn’t been opened since we moved to the Florida Keys, almost five years ago.

This is where it got a little weird; when I opened the box this morning and folded back the gray silk, the top card was laying face up. It was the Queen of Spades.

According to the little book in the box, the Cagliostro deck was first published in 1912 and draws its symbolism from Egyptian mythology and culture. It also said that “by tradition, the Queen of Spades is known as a widow, crone or divorcee. In modern times, she can be viewed as a model of self-sufficiency, independence and intelligence.”

I’m not a widow, and I don’t think of myself as a crone, but I am a divorcee. And the rest of that – about self-sufficiency, independence and intelligence – had me nodding in agreement.

Here’s what else it said:

• high standards due to subtle sensitivities, which can be perceived by others as being critical or hard to please.
• not interested in conforming.
• not always comfortable to be around, but can be counted on to see through superficiality and point to the truth of a situation.

That sounded like me, too.

But then, it said that the Queen of Spades also can point to vulnerability, as well as a tendency to open oneself to injury or to downfall; there was a warning at the end. The Queen of Spades, along with the Four of Clubs and the Ace of Spades, is considered to be a sign of bad luck.

I folded the Black Lady, and her sisters and brothers, back into the silk, slid the walnut box back onto the shelf, and turned my thoughts to scrambled eggs and bacon, with wheat toast and marionberry jam.

Hey; it’s just a deck of cards.