Prose of The Fool
A prose poem based on The Fool of the Tarot's Major Arcana
The first step is the hardest. Could it be because there’s no more land beneath your feet after that first step? The dog is barking with urgency, while your heart is beating with passion, and your foot hovers over a ledge taunting gravity and fate. Calling you The Fool isn’t an insult to your bravery nor an applause. You are pure adrenaline, you are the heart falling into the stomach, the stomach jumping into the throat. You might be naive or tired of everyone calling you what you’re not. You’re just The Fool facing this new beginning that may have been by Chance, but that’s no reason to pass it up.
When new experiences appear, we have the tendency to flood ourselves with expectations of the best, the worst, the fantastic, the horrific, but overall we’re hoping it all leads to a pragmatic ending: let me fall and land on my feet. Right now, you’re flooded with emotions and thoughts trying to keep your head above the high tide of your own soul. Ironically, you fear drowning before you’ve taken your step. Who knows what’s beyond that cliff. An ocean? A puddle? Land? You’ll never know as long as your foot hovers. To move to the new, you must trust.
If you’re asking yourself who or what you’re supposed to trust, you’re too easily paralyzed by the unknown. Trust is not always given. Usually it’s earned. Opportunities are similar to that notion, like the opportunity before you now. Do you take the step confidently or do you retract yourself back to the land you’ve known and probably have outgrown? If you take the more familiar path do you consider yourself smarter or do you not trust yourself? Living life without trusting yourself is like breathing poisoned air because you believe the poison you’ve breathed all these years is what you’re damned to do. You don’t deserve fresh, crisp wind in your lungs to fill you up and bring you relief. Answer, Fool: Is this opportunity yours or are you going to wait for someone else to give it to you?
"What if…?" That question teeters between the worst case scenario and the best case scenario. It can snowball into a delusion either way, but we both know why you ask “What if…?” Deflection. Procrastination. Worry. Searching for that spark of trust within while looking around hoping for a sign. “I need confirmation! I need proof!” you cry. Chance is the proof.
You treat Chance as if you’ve never seen her before. You’re playing innocent, but if you were truly innocent, you would’ve taken that step already. Hell, you would’ve leapt into her arms and let her paint all over your soul. Yes, you remember. You’ve met her before at a younger time. Yes it was bittersweet, but you’re focusing on the harshness of her bitter bite and the hallucinogenic sweetness of her tongue. She goes by Chance, but you know her by another name: Consequence.
I know you’re trying not to play The Fool, but as long as you’re human, you’ll never graduate from being a flawed, ill-prepared person floundering about on gravity’s whim. Besides, you would’ve never known the ecstasy of standing tall with your chin towards the sky and the sun warming your face without falling hard in love with her, Chance, Consequence. So, put your toes on the ledge again. Listen to her sing. You can’t hear the dog barking. Your heartbeat is slow. That warmth smack in the middle of your gut! There! That’s what you need to trust. It’s always been there. You hid it from yourself, pretending to fear recklessness when “Bring it on!” might as well be your middle name.
What is new reminds us of The Fool we once were, The Fool we are, and The Fool we always will be. Trust yourself. Trust your experience, abandon expectation, that vulnerable warmth in your gut will guide you. The first step is the hardest, but what if…