From the Robin Wood Tarot
It has taken all the weeks of Jason’s visit and now his departure to really learn the lesson of the reversed 8 Pentacles. I hope I have learned it well.
This is the student’s card, the card of steady application and the hard, slow slog of learning new skills.
Reversed, it can indicate that a period of assessment is required. A time to review the lesson so far, spot the gaps, check on progress and make sure that blockbuster essay actually answers the question.
Silver Princess, which helps us identify our life direction and purpose, is a perfect match.
So what have I learned, and how does it help me?
Needless to say, our holiday was a delight. We swam, we walked the beach and shared the beauty of our little island paradise, lazed in the sun and delighted in each other’s company.
When he left I cried, of course, but I don’t think I will keep crying this time as I did before, when I wept solidly and inconsolably every day for a whole bloody year.
Perhaps my biggest learning was to understand better the reason for those tears.
I cried because there were things I had wanted to say to him but hadn’t, for fear of scaring him off, for fear of exposing myself to ridicule or exploitation.
But as I rested and relaxed with him and took the time to think about our relationship and what it means to me I realised my silence was nothing new.
When it came to a new relationship I behaved just as I had in my last one. I kept quiet, revealing just enough to let him know he’s got me, but never enough to let him know how much.
To keep quiet about my own fears and desires, to pour my energies into making someone else happy as if that’s sufficient… isn’t that just how I behaved with John?
No wonder John was surprised at my reaction when he said he didn’t love me any more and was leaving me for someone else.
Up to that moment, my default position was always to smile and say, of course dear, if that’s what makes you happy,
And this time?
Does it help a man to know that there’s a woman on the other side of the world weeping and wailing because he can’t give her the one thing she wants, his presence in her life?
Ever since that moment when our lips first crossed the line of friendship and this whole sorry saga began, I’ve followed his lead and agreed mutely that we can control this thing and step in and out of love as we choose.
But at what cost?
To open my heart and reveal the full extent of my feelings and my desires, that’s a scary thing.
But to skim lightly over the surface and avoid the hard truths is to risk the very foundation of our relationship, the true and honest friendship which brought us together in the first place.
It doesn’t matter that my motives were good, that it didn’t seem right to share the full burden of my heartache when there was nothing he could do about it.
Turns out there was one thing he could do, and he did it. He could share it.
So what did I learn? That when I finally speak what’s in my heart all else falls into place.
Not neatly, by any means. Jason’s gone, back to his wonderful career and his dank little flat, and I’m here finishing up the unpacking and preparing myself to go back to work.
Oh yes, I’ve shed a tear or two but I’m not grieving. Instead I feel complete, content and ready for the year ahead. And closer to Jason than I ever felt to anyone before.
I already knew 10,000 miles is nothing as the heart flies. It’s even less when another heart meets it halfway.
So, nothing is changed and yet everything has.
No more dancing around that silly imaginary line that we crossed so long ago now. There ain’t no going back to simple friendship but sharing the pain with honesty and trust goes a long way to making it bearable.
I do not cry or fly alone. We’re wingtip to wingtip across the ocean and on this journey for good or ill. At some point we must join up or part ways but whatever happens, I will not be choked into silence by my own fears.
The essay answers the question, time to return to the coursework of balancing our relationship with the other areas of my life until I can manage them all with authority.