It’s easy to look in the mirror and be crestfallen about the ravages of time… a silver hair here, some arm-jiggle there, – parts of your body look like that lumpy pillow you needed to get rid of months ago. We forget the gifts of time and experience; those that make us wiser, smarter, and more adapt to change. The days where we feel like we’ve gotten NOWHERE and have nothing to show for our time in the game, make us forget about our true (and growing) WISDOM.
Today’s card is from a really lovely deck (one of my favourite art decks) by Vicki Lewis — (more about that at the end)
— This tree, according to the artist, is a walnut standing in a central London park. It has seen many changes in its hundreds of years being alive; the Crimean war, the degeneracy of class struggles, women’s suffrage. Under its boughs everything has happened – countless conversations, fights, break-ups and make ups, birth, death, folks standing out of the sun, London fashion innovations from Victorian dresses to Edwardian suits to the mini-skirt. Two World Wars, crisp packets, punk-rockers, iPhones, and roller-blades. It saw the inventions of mankind: computers, the internal combustion engine, airplanes, the internet, bio-engineering, television, nuclear warheads. This tree reminds us that no matter how bone-headed or inexperienced we feel, that we have wisdom indeed and a part of you has been around the block a few times and knows many things!
You ARE growing, even if you don’t feel that you are and you are accumulating the wisdom of your experiences. After all, if you watched that tree grow in London, you wouldn’t be able to perceive its growth with your human impatience.. but grow it does! And just because you don’t feel wise, doesn’t mean that you do not have wisdom to call on or that no growth is underway.
Sometimes, as we ascend to new levels of awareness and growth, we see that we are re-hashing old issues or dredging up old fears. We may say, “Isn’t my wisdom helping me AVOID THIS, haven’t I learned?” and then feel like we’re backsliding or aren’t that wise at all. But this isn’t the case. I like to imagine that we’re climbing up a huge spiral shell stairway (or a mountain, as a friend chimed in; an even better analogy) – with each circle up the spiral we seem to be hitting the same part of the circle over and over but we are actually progressing with each turn.
Wisdom doesn’t mean that you know everything or that you know how to avoid all possible negative outcomes, rather it can mean that you can use all you’ve observed experiences to help you release your own stories, attachments and certainties about life so that you can be open to explore the world with bravery and with the wonder of the naïve…
Life is an ever changing, unfolding experience. There’s no “ultimate Wisdom” that will protect you. Life is to be explored with the eyes of a child, or as Socrates also said (even though he also said “the unexamined life is not worth living”
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
About this deck: This is “Tree Affirmations” a very whimsical and beautifully deck illustrated in ink and watercolour. (one drawback though, the cards themselves are HUGE!) The artwork is lovely and reminds me of my favourite childhood memories – spending time outdoors, painting, and of course, trees! 44 card self published deck by Victoria Lewis. http://www.vickylewis.co.uk/Trees/view.html