“But at my back, I alwaies hear/ Times winged Charriot hurrying near
And yonder all before us lye/ Desarts of vast Eternity…” from “To His Coy Mistress”
Ahhh yes, those lines I never could forget. Out of all the literature I devoured in my adolescence, it was those lines by Andrew Marvell that haunted me most beautifully. Visions of being carried away via gothic chariot into the wild night sky by the blackest of stallions (replete with plumage and flaring nostrils) became my favorite death fantasy. I think I was driving the chariot though, not being taken away all dead in the back seat or anything. That’s my Melisinka twist. What can i say – i like driving!
The Chariot card in Tarot is all about control and the exertion of one’s will. In regards to time, I see it not only as the obvious structuring of one’s time and making it work for you in terms of goal setting and achievement but also about how best to work WITH time rather than becoming a slave to it. I find one of the best ways to gain control over time is to set your own internal bodyclock, to become attuned to your own particular rhythm and pace and work with it. Many people feel forced to work to external pressures and times and end up feeling burnt out. I know we can’t avoid such structure, but it is possible – in a Zen kind of way – to harmonize ones internal timing with external time. I haven’t worn a watch in years, but I manage pretty well in my own mix of chaos and order to maintain a lifestyle that involves getting to places on time without feeling compromised. I very rarely set an alarm and even avoid them wherever possible (much to my boyfriend’s annoyance) but I can pretty much wake up at the exact time I want to by setting an internal awareness before I go to sleep. When i wake, I can usually guess within minutes the actual time.
Anyway, the haunting bit i was talking about was the vast eternity of deserts – or ‘desarts’ as Mr Marvell would have it. That image evoked all the passion and lust for life in my 16 year old self that the poet intended for his own coy mistress back in the day (mid 1600′s methinks). The thought of dying – forever- induced nightmare visions of my body rotting in the earth filled with worms, the deep tragedy of it all struck me, and before I knew it, I had silently vowed to get the most pleasure as possible from my corporeal condition while i could. To ‘ride time’ as it were. That makes sense, doesn’t it. Spirit is all well and good, but we’ll have that forever, whereas the body… the sense of touch and taste… they are of this sweet life, my friend.
The poet makes a good argument to get the girl in bed, you have to admit.
That point conceded, Time as a concept is crazy, don’t you think? I mean, it just makes everyone panic constantly because its going too fast, or want to smash the clock because its going too slow. I look up to the little numbers on top of the screen and realize with my crazy tangled bed hair and sitting here in stockings and a dressing gown, not having even seen the bathroom yet, i am surely going to be late for work. I’m tarot reading again today at the Witch’s House and to get there i must hobble in on a snake-handled walking stick.( I’m not joking. I hurt my leg and it really hurts to walk. I think it’s pretty funny that i’m having to use a walking stick just after the 40th birthday ….)
I think the only way around the torments of Time is, once again, to make Time as beautiful as possible. See the beautiful steampunk time-pieces above. Now that is something one can appreciate in its microcosmic reflection of the Big Wheel turning. Poetically, you can hold time in your hand. You can watch the hands of time move. Lovely. So different to the glaring red digital numbers that hum by boys beds.
Lucky I know how time warps. You know how sometimes it seems you have hours before you need to be somewhere and you start lounging around enjoying yourself and then suddenly, you look at the clock and you’re already late – how did that happen! Freaky! And then other times, you know you are pushing the limits of possiblility, trying to get all this stuff crammed into a corner of time, but you want it so much to happen that somehow, miraculously, time seems to expand and you JUST manage to do it all with not a nano-second to spare. Incredible.
Anyway, I gotta go! And we didn’t even touch on time-travel. Damn. Next time!
Tick tick tick
P.S. this is Mr Marvell. What a 17th century spunk!