Kate (Psychic? Tarot Card Reader? Charlatan?) spread out the cards, telling me to pick. Flipping over the first card she told me I was the sort of person who valued balance, I actively sought it out, I brought it to situations.
Curious about what lay beyond the Vancouver Yacht Club, I accidentally walked the 11KM sea wall between Coal Harbour and English Bay.
I could start with the tarot cards on Saturday night or I could tell you the story of my accidental 11 KM walk yesterday; yet both are so connected.
I will hobble down the stairs (16KM total of walking gets you a blister on the ball of your left foot), get a cup of coffee and come back to my desk to tell you the story of both.
(there. I’m back.)
Like most people asking for a tarot card reading, I went with a mix of scepticism and amusement. I gave her $20, and I was curious to see what she would give me in return.
I walked past the 9 o’clock gun, the woman in the wet suit, and kept walking. When I pulled up the map on my phone, I thought I had to be close to the Lion’s Gate Bridge, so it was 3.8KM to English Bay and 5.5KM back to Coal Harbour. It made more sense to simply keep walking.
Mostly she told me about my past. She told me that I had a hard year. She suggested I was funny. She told me that I loved my family and perhaps more interestingly, that I held on to my memories, my memories were precious to me.
It turns out that I was nowhere near Lion’s Gate Bridge when I made the decision to keep walking. Just as you think you are turning the corner and will see the abutment of the bridge, there is yet another cove, beach, bird or section filled with cyclists.
The cards are just the cards you know. They are pictures on paper. Perhaps what matters is what you hold on to. Perhaps what matters are the phrases and words she gives you, the ones that become memory.
I would like to tell you I enjoyed the walk. The reality is that I was dehydrated, bounded by the Straight of Georgia on one side and the 70 foot cliffs of Stanley Park on the other. I had to keep walking.
Like all people who want their fortune, I went with a question, a gem of a thing I was looking for clarity about. I wanted to know what the ending really is.
There was no choice but to keep walking. It didn’t matter that I had blisters. Or a headache. It didn’t matter that the wind was blowing, or that I was tired.
Endings and not are where the two stories come together. Whether I know the end has come or I’m not sure what’s around the bend, I think of balance and memory and loyalty, holding all of these things in one hand while trying to see the bigger picture.
She lost me at balance. I am not a person skilled at holding things in balance. I hold things together until the end. I need to see the end.
And I can’t. It’s simply not possible, bounded by the Straight on one side, the cliffs on the other. There are only 10 cards, with varying meanings. I pick them face down, I try to guess where I am on an unknown path, imputing meanings to pictures and the words; trying to landmark amongst things I do not know.
Sometimes I wonder: Is the end the only possible balance point?