Well…. when I started this project at the beginning of Lent I was looking forward to using the altered cards once Easter began. I envisaged choosing two or three cards at random and then coming up with creative ways of exploring their themes over the next week or so. That is exactly what I will go on to do, but it hadn’t crossed my mind that my first combination of cards would be so un-Easter-y in theme: in fact they are positively Good Friday-ish. I have chosen the cards Unique and Sorrow, and you can read my original reflections on these cards by clicking on their names.
I am interested that the two cards I have picked out are so much at the heart of the Enneagram type four, the Tragic Romantic. I already mentioned this in the post on Sorrow, but the feeling of being unique (and uniquely misunderstood and unseen) is also central to this type. I expect that at some point in the week I will be reflecting on the Enneagram some more, and hopefully recognising in a new way that the four-ish spectacles through which I look at the world reinforce my illusion that I am separate and uniquely sorrowful, but that this is not the truth. Perhaps one of the themes for the week for me will be about learning to see more clearly and focusing on the very real sorrow and suffering of so many on our planet right now, rather than on my own narrow (and often illusory) sorrow.
I am also struck that in my writing about both of these themes, I was aware of two opposing – or complementary – ways of looking: looking at both necessary and unnecessary suffering, and being at once both unique and totally ordinary. Perhaps it will be a time to explore the wonder of the ordinary, to be open to simple, necessary sadness, and to be aware of the many times I allow myself to suffer unnecessarily because I have automatically wandered down a familiar, well-trodden path rather than come to an experience afresh.
There are so many possible ways of exploring and combining these themes – I wish I had another week of holiday! Unfortunately I will be back at work on Tuesday, and I may be going away next weekend, so my time to play with them will be limited. Over the coming weeks I hope to use art, poetry, active imagination and time in nature as part of my spiritual practice as I work with new combinations of themes.
Do you have any creative ideas about how to explore Unique and Sorrow over the next week? Do share anything that springs to mind and perhaps join in. In a week or so I will write a post explaining how I went about exploring these ideas and will choose the two cards for the following week. If you don’t fancy using these two words, why don’t you write out 40 of your own on slips of paper and choose two from a jar. You can then let us know the two you picked and how you use them in your own spiritual practice.
A big thank you to all of you who have read along during Lent. If you would like to receive these posts regularly in your inbox (hopefully around once a week), please use the subscribe link on the right and respond to the email you’ll get shortly after. I hope you all have a wonderful week.