Five of Cups

The 5 of Cups.

It appeared in my life in the winter,
when all that’s left of the blackberry
is thorn and frost.

(What a way to start the year,eh?)

Losing what you think you’re guaranteed.
How easily she slipped through my fingers.

“it’s always Cups with you”
I told her.
The cards seemed to sing of blessings, strength,
…For a time.

I felt like 9s and 10s with her,
all bright and promising…
For a time.
Her watery blue eyes shining, smiling..
For a time.

Then, I felt the shift,
like a small tremble before an earthquake.
I could smell it in the dust,
See it in the angle of the rain.
I trembled like an animal,
Unconsciously knowing what was coming.


How we fight it.
How we shake our tiny fists at the idea of letting go of…
For me, it was knowing
I was losing the one person in the entire world I thought understood me.

The one person who saw parts of my Queerness that no one had illuminated before.
The swaggering teenage boi,
the fierce daddy,
the tender little grrl hidden behind them.
She saw all of them,
for a time.

Maybe I thought wrong.
I saw her scope shifting, narrowing.
Highlighting mistakes and dismissing accomplishments.

But The idea of returning to my natural state of aloof, awkward, feral…
I fought it.

I wanted to be seen.
I wanted to be cherished,
even in my fumbling moments.

But.. as the cards shift in the stories they tell,
we orbited away from each other.
And just like that,
it was over.

It still felt like a car wreck. Sudden, unexpected.
Even our friends were surprised at the dissolution.

So, The five of cups was quite present in my mind.
I painted it
as a grieving process.
I wanted to capture the heartache,
but also the exaggerated,maudlin level to which we grieve.
The blues pouring out,
the greens begging for new life within this change.

Funny, How deeply we love! How ridiculous we get in the depths of the hurt.
The odd comfort we find in the ache of it!

Those tears poured out so heavy.
Buckets, gallons,
oceans of salt water.

I woke up every day,
for a time,
Reminding myself to leave it behind.
Dismantling that fierce, loyal, foundational love
i had laid out for her, before I even climbed out of bed.

How we as humans love our drama, our heartache!
We are so very good at fighting and wailing against inevitable change.

Looking back,
loss of that love was the right thing, in a universal sense.

When you lose what you hold dear, what you cling too tightly to, it leaves you empty, drained.

The lesson in this is convoluted, but it’s there.

Perhaps being drained for a time is part of it.
Allowing space to breath again, to see what still lies within, what remains,
What had changed and grown.

Perhaps loss is a reminder of the great capacity for love and loyalty within.
To find all the places where there were leaks and to patch them up.
And eventually, to ask for a universal refill.

For if you lose it all,
Breathe deep.

You only have everything to gain.