Two of Cups closer comes, crowned by the Magician.
Sometimes Knight, Fool, Thief, but always the Physician.
Who is the Shadow man, The World upon his heel,
Tossing Ace of Coins on edge, stopping Fortune's Wheel.
Safe in The Priestess columns, Queen of Cups is musing.
Hanged-Man and Hermit speak, they keep it all confusing.
Hermes shadow stretches long, The Chariot comes a'callin
Rise The Moon, Reverse The Devil, The Tower goes a'fallin
Shadow Man! What have you done? Rainbows in the sky
Inverse The Star, The mill chase cease, the Silver River dry
A hypothetical question. If a person were walking in backwards in a circle, are they looking forward or back? Does it matter that they're walking backwards? What if they were walking forwards. Are they looking forwards or back? Or if they were walking forward, but looking behind them, are they looking to their past or their future?
Of course the answer is, "depends on the point of view of the person." It's the only answer that makes any sense. Time Travel is exactly like that.
But did you know it is a little more complicated than that? Oh yeah, it is. You see, the person who is walking the circle isn't the only one in the room. Nope. That person is a subject that is being observed by an outside source. So, the other answer is, "Depends on the observer's point of view."
So? Which one is true? Which perspective is reality? The subject's reality or the observer's reality?
That depends on your point of view, doesn't it?
The point of all that is I don't care if anyone believes I am crazy, nuts, eccentric, or insane. Because from my perspective, I am not. I can't change another person's perspective. Nor can I change the what they might think of that perspective. Mostly, because if I do that, I am also ignoring the truth of reality. Which is that everyone's reality is valid and true.
Again, none of this will makes sense. At least, right now. And if I am not given a chance to tell my side of it and have someone hear it, all it will ever be is completely unfocused nonsense being spewed by a madwoman.
I am asking you to bear with me, as I catalog my fairy tale. All will be...okay not all, some, Some of it will be explained. Because let's face it, there are things in this world that we will never understand. Which leads me to my most favorite quote of all.
"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." -Thomas Aquinas
I met an extraordinary man. Well, I say man, but I never saw his face. Well, I say face, but I mean his real face. There was none and many. His face keeps changing. I know it is the same man because of his eyes. Even when he had no face, I knew the eyes were the same. That happened yesterday tomorrow.
He showed me a greater world. He took me many places. We had adventures, some I remember, and some not so much. There were people, planets, stars, and monsters. I remember that we both wanted to run away. When I slept, he took me away. And when my eyes were open, he was still there. How is it that I can remember something that hasn't happened yet, in the past, right now? Are these my real memories?
He was with me so often, I spoke to him. Even when I thought I was awake because I knew I wasn't alone. I was never alone. His shadow was always with me, haunting my every step. A phantom breeze, footsteps, banging, flickering lights, I thought he was a ghost. I thought I was being haunted by a fantastic beast or an evil demon. But it that made no sense. He never did anything negative. The shadow man often did positive things. More than once, he had saved my life. It was never in a direct way. A well placed word or some obstacle in my way to prevent me from being in a place at a certain time.
I began to believe that he was my angel; my guiding spirit. I explored religion and philosophy to find an explanation. I was never satisfied with what I learned, nothing ever fit. I finally settled on tarot cards. I found that they worked most of the time, but not always. Sometimes when I read them, I thought I heard him laugh and whisper, "There's no such thing as a fortune telling."
As a youth, I was compelled to think it was my destiny to run away with him. I wanted that escape. But again and again, I would feel him near me or catch a glimpse of his shadow from the periphery of my eye, but he never took me away. The conflict within me was never ending. This reflected in my daily life. Others thought I was crazy. I never fit in. I never belonged.
As I got older, he became clearer in a blurry way. Until, one night, I could see his perfect shadow. I got angry. My whole life he had been there, in and out of dream and reality but never within reach. With teasing love and taunting danger, a truth within a lie.
Locked in battle with my personal conflict, I had turned to the tarot deck for answers. It didn't help. I could help others with them. But I could never help myself. A perfect example of not being able to help myself laid before me; the two cups, magician, fool, high priestess, wheel of fortune, knight of swords, ace of coins, chariot, hanging-man, hermit, queen of cups, devil, tower, moon, ten of cups, and the star. None of it made any sense.
Then, there he was again, out of the corner of my eye. Only this time, as clear as any shadow could possibly be. I picked up the tarot deck and threw them at him. The cards did not go through him. They hit his chest and fell to the floor. That must have startled him. He tried to back off and disappear.
I jumped in front of him. "Oh no you don't! Not this time, Shadow man! You are going to talk to me."
The shadow froze in front of me. He turned around and from the blank face, blue eyes appeared and burned. I could feel the smile begin to cross it. A disembodied voice filled my ears from unmoving lips. "First tell me why, your whole life, you have been compelled to chase a doctor?"
"Because I need one. I must be crazy. I see and hear things that nobody else can or are not real. I speak aloud to invisible things, people think I talk to myself. I hear them talking back. I clearly see what is to come but can't see what is in front of me. I am smart and an idiot at the same time. I have strong flashes of the past and memory, it happens as if I am still there, still experiencing it. I do not know how to overcome it. I don't know how to make it go away."
"Why would you want that to go away?" he asked.
"Because I am alone. Others do not understand it. It makes them feel wrong. People don't like that. So, I have no friends."
"Ah, people like you," he said.
"No, I didn't say that they didn't like me. There are some people who do like me. They think I'm weird and cool. I said I didn't have any friends. People need other people. Others to see and talk to every day, go get coffee with, watch tv with, talk on the phone. People who know, understand, accept, and keep talking to you because you are weird. Not the weird guy they occasionally speak to because they are bored. I am a passing entertainment. A momentary distraction. An appeasement to their sense of guilt."
"What? What do you mean an appeasement to their sense of guilt?"
I shook my head. "You wouldn't understand."
"People feel guilty for whatever reason. Somehow, I end up being a representative of that guilt. If they talk to me or spend time with me, they appease their own sense of guilt and don't come around until they feel guilty again. Or they just run away. Which is why I never see them again."
"That is overthinking it," he said.
I shook my head again. "No. I have proof. I can show you. But I need a doctor. There is something wrong with me. and I can't figure out what it is. I won't get better without the help of a doctor. And doctors don't listen and doctors lie. That is a solid fact. I have proof of that too."
"So, you are looking for a doctor that will listen?" He asked.
The shadow man grabbed my hand and kissed it. "Then, I promise. And I have proof that this is not a lie."
"What proof?" I asked.
He didn't answer. The shadow man turned away. "You are seeing it now."
"Where are you going?"
"Just wait. A little bit longer. I swear! I swear I'll be back. And when I do, it won't be from guilt, I will show you!"
Then, he was gone.
The Shadow Man
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