Que Sera Sera

Healing and fortune-telling

I like having my fortune told. I don’t take what I’m told seriously, but I do find it useful. It’s a little like discussing my problems with a therapist. Sometimes life overwhelms me and when someone says this or that may or may not happen, I suddenly see my way through all the mess, or at least have some idea of what I wish to avoid or pursue.

I met with a tarot card reader about five years ago and I suspect he didn’t actually believe in what the cards said, but just knew he was good at sussing people out. I think the best fortune tellers are the ones who are able to ‘read’ people. Unfortunately, they may use this skill to screw with their clients. The guy I saw also did past life regression and when I asked him about that he said that was just a label he used because clients were more convinced when advice was framed that way. I felt he gave me some brilliant advice and made me consider things in ways I hadn’t thought of before. I think he knew I wasn’t really there for the supernatural stuff and so just gave me a frank assessment of my concerns. He cost a lot less than my therapist, so …

But there are fortune tellers who don’t discuss your life or problems with you, but just spit out predictions like ‘You will have a husband with dark skin and large eyes, and you will have two cars.’ That is exactly what one fortune teller told me. At the time, I was rather keen on marriage and so I was happy with what she said.

I actually have a set of Tarot cards — just the Major Arcana, which is used to look at matters of the heart — yes, that’s exactly why I bought them (eyeroll). I used to do readings for myself all the time and so I know how you can interpret the cards in a variety of ways and make it sound like it makes sense in the context of whatever situation they’re supposed to refer to.

I’m not, at the moment, particularly curious about what the future holds. Let it all be a surprise. How could knowing help, anyway, when it could all change with a single sneeze.




Ursula K. Le Guin

‘If you cannot or will not imagine the results of your actions, there’s no way you can act morally or responsibly,’ Ursula K. Le Guin in The Guardian, 2005.




She inspired many, and will continue to do so, through her stories, and her ideas and how she expressed them.

I have no words for the loss I feel, the loss I felt when I heard of her death. I surprised myself because I didn’t cry when Maurice Sendak died and when David Bowie died, and I know their work better, more fully, and so, shouldn’t I have felt their loss more acutely?

But it is what it is. (Come to that, neither Sendak nor Bowie’s work has ever made me weep.)

Is it too melodramatic to say that a book changed your life? A Wizard of Earthsea changed mine. It made me look at life differently by telling me things that I knew anyway, but in a manner that suddenly made sense. Maybe it was a matter of timing, maybe not. All I know is that book and the others in the series give me hope like nothing else can; and there are some passages I visit and re-visit like medicine because they clear a space and help me breathe and continue breathing.

Thank goodness we have her words although she is gone. Thank you, Ms Le Guin.

I found this list today, from an article by Karen Joy Fowler, written in response to Le Guin’s death. More wonderful words to live by:

1. There is no reason a book of ideas can’t also be deeply moving, gorgeously written, and inhabited by people who take rooms in your heart and never move out.

2. There is no reason a married woman with children can’t also be a committed artist. (This seems self-evident now but wasn’t immediately clear to me.)

3. Write what you want to write. Add as many dragons as you like.

4. You can regret a decision you made in an earlier book and correct it in a later work. (This is a hard one in our unforgiving times, when your previous missteps are eternal and only a google away. But there is nothing shameful in becoming a better person, a wiser person. Done right, it’s pretty heroic.)

5. The values of patriarchy are buried in the very plots of our stories. New plots are needed.

6. Other writers are not your competition. They are your sustenance. Writing is joyous, but never as joyous as reading.

7. Speak up for the books, poems, shows, music, and paintings you love even though you sound smarter and more discerning when you can’t be pleased.

8. There is no reason why your next book can’t be your best yet, no matter how old you are allowed to become.

9. But also, your next book needn’t be your best yet. You could save that for the next next book.

10. And finally—immortality has never worked out well for anyone. Avoid it at all costs. ~ From Ten Things I Learned from Ursula K. Le Guin by Karen Joy Fowler in The Paris Review blog.

‘Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.’ ~ Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

Remembrance of Things Past

I have a new post up on my blog about my family. Feedback would be most welcome. Thanks.

I can feel the distance getting close


So last night I watched the final episode of HBO’s Insecure,  more than a month after it aired. It took me that long because I was avoiding how sad I knew it would make me. Funny that I chose to watch it just as I was sinking into my latest bout of depression . Hmm …

I guess I just wanted some distraction, and I’d already read so many episode recaps that I was ready for what was coming.

And, actually, it turned out OK. Sure, I cried, but I didn’t take it personally, the way I did Season 1’s final scene, blearghh.

What will happen in Season 3? Will Issa, Lawrence and Molly continue being the complete idiots they’ve always been? To be honest, their messy lives are why I love the series so much. Another nine months to go, but the most alarming thing is just how quickly they will pass.

(P.S. I hope I never see Aparna again. Nope. Do. Not. Like. The. Woman.)


Windows and Doors

door 3

Once, many years ago, I knocked on the front door of a stranger’s house just to get a glimpse of what was inside.

Windows and doors hint at and promise so much. They are literal entrances into other worlds.

Someone did answer the door I knocked on, all those years ago, and I seem to remember a dark and empty hallway: Nothing to see, move along, move along. I don’t know what I’d expected. Probably nothing. It was not knowing that spurred me into action. The possibility of what lay behind the polished wooden slats was irresistible. The reality could not help but be a disappointment.