From the Robin Wood Tarot

I have not said much in this journal about my continuing inner work, unless there has been a direct relation with the week’s cards.But this week has been a big one, as I finally was able to overcome a childhood horror and… pick up a guitar.

Don’t laugh too hard – but feel free to joke that the horror is all in the listening – at my own particular emotional trauma. And don’t think I’m not conscious that when it comes to deep ugly childhood stuff, my story is very much at the lighter end of the scale.

I was a shy kid who much preferred a quiet corner and a book to any prospect of adult attention. So it was a bit unfortunate when I was about 10 that my mother discovered I could sing.

My relationship with my mother was always difficult but at that point it turned nightmarish. Adults could not gather in groups of two or more without my pushy mother hauling me out of my corner and calling for a song.

I became quite the expert in reading the subtle signs of polite boredom on people’s faces as my mother insisted and cajoled and demanded just one more song.

Inevitably my father would intervene and they would end up fighting over whether or not I actually wanted to be standing there singing another bloody song. I learned soon enough to just sing a couple of quick songs and run, there was no other way.

It was a torment for a shy kid who wasn’t looking for a spotlight.

When I was about 12 I was given a guitar by one of my parents’ friends after I sang at his wedding.

The joy and excitement of the gift vanished very quickly – as soon as I realised just how much worse it would be if I could play a guitar as well. I put it away and sold it at 17 so I could buy a suitcase and make my escape.

I’ve never stopped singing but, from that day to this, I’ve sung alone. My mother’s enduring gift to me – a dash of poison to flavour the things I love most.

So this week, feeling like a trespasser, I signed up for guitar lessons and went looking for an instrument.

I found a secondhand Spanish guitar at a silly price and struggled for days to simply be able to strum the thing and make a noise – any noise. I couldn’t seem to overcome the oppressive feeling that I had no right to touch it, no right at all.

All the pain and hurt of my troubled relationship with my mother seemed to be concentrated in my nervous fingertips as I struggled to just make a sound with the thing, any sound at all.

It’s taken a week of turmoil but here, at last, for the first time in my life I’m discovering the joy of singing with a companion, my beautiful Spanish guitar that even in my clumsy hands performs a sweet duet with my soul.

I will never be alone again.

My mother taught me well when she showed me that something I loved could be twisted and made hateful if I revealed it carelessly. Best to keep these things hidden.

A lifetime of being utterly unable to articulate what I want has ensued, but I begin anew today.

Flannel Flower is for the ease of intimacy and enjoyment of sensual touch.

The King of Pentacles enjoys his abundance because he chose it, worked for it and he cherishes his heart’s desire.

And so do I. My fingers ache so sweetly and my world is transformed.