These are the words that came to me as I was shuffling cards this morning. It always takes a long time for the Tarot cards to feel right. This morning, I’d gotten impatient, and stopped at good enough. As a result, the cards were incohesive. So I picked them back up and started shuffling and shuffling….and shuffling. That’s when the phrase popped into my head.
I’m not one for whom it comes easy. It’s true with cards. It’s true with physics. I struggled in my college physics class. I kept forgetting things like GRAVITY when solving homework problems. In frustration, I decided to drop out, and went to inform my professor.
“No, no, you mustn’t drop out,” he protested. “You understand it better than anyone else in the class.”
“But I’m always getting the answers wrong,” I replied.
“That’s because you’re looking at it on a deep level. The other students? They’re just memorizing formulas. They’re going to be in big trouble when we get further along, and they have to understand, not just memorize. You just need ‘stare at the wall’ time. Take time to think. To puzzle. To stare at the wall, eyes unfocused, and wonder.”
. . . . . . . .
I remember my uncle sitting beside me at my husband’s funeral. “You’ve had a hard life,” he said, patting my hand. “It’s always been tough for you.”
I was shocked. What was he talking about? I’ve owned a home since I was twenty-one, been married, a member of church, held gainful employment, earned my bachelor’s degree – how is this a hard life?
Looking back, I see that he spoke truly. For many reasons not pertinent to this conversation, it HAS been a challenging life. I am not one for whom it comes easy.
But my physics professor had it right. I just need stare-at-the-wall time – lots of it. Because whether it’s physics or Tarot or life, I dive below the surface to stare upon the face of the deep.*
And that does not come easy.
* Genesis 1:2
If Ringo’s song is going through your head now, here’s a YouTube video: It Don’t Come Easy
PS: After I posted this, I wandered over to Facebook, and in my news feed was this quote from Hugh Jackman: “”I truly believe that the job of an actor and the drive of an actor is simulating the internal journey in life which is to get deeper and deeper into our understanding of who we are.”