September 11, 2008 § 4 Comments
Since yesterday afternoon, I have been in the grip of an irrational fear. It kept me awake last night, and it is still with me this morning. The “kept me awake” part might make you think of the 9 of Swords but actually, all this time, it has been the image of the Moon that has haunted me.
Whilst the 9 of Swords seems more suited to real, tangible worries about specific situations, the Moon deals in large, unfathomable fear. The fear I feel has grown out of nothing – I have no reason to fear, nothing to worry about. It’s just a feeling, a big heavy shadowy dread. It’s the fear that the worst thing that could possibly happen will happen today. And because I have no basis for this fear, I can’t do anything to overcome it.
I wrote at the top of this post that my fear was irrational – and it is. Yet it is also terrifyingly logical. It is the very raw knowledge that bad things happen to people every day and there is no reason whatsoever that they can’t happen to me. It’s the realisation that this thing I have this crippling, irrational fear of, is possible.
You know when you walk down a dark corridor or alleyway and feel scared, like someone is going to grab you from the shadows or – even more irrationally – like there is some thing there, just behind you, that you can’t see but which can see you? All you can do is keep walking. The same with the Moon. In that strange landscape, full of cold grey light and shadows, there is nothing to do but keep walking – away from the pool, past the howling wolves, between the two towers. Even though you’re terrified, there is really no option but to walk through your fears – or at least, walk with them. The same in real life. I have no option today but to carry on, to go about my business with my fears shadowing me the whole time.
It reminds me a little of Psalm 23: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Except I do fear. My world and my daily life look exactly the same today as they did yesterday, but I am in different territory. The Moon does that to you: takes everything that is familiar and safe and dependable, and distorts it. And suddenly nothing seems certain anymore.