Monday, November 5, 2012

supportive influence

I really like this deck's Emperor. Usually he's presented as a harsh, imposing figure, full of authority, sitting on a throne of some sort. Here we are given a much more intimate perspective, zoomed in. We see an older, fatherly type of man, a more gentle wielding of power. But yes, mastery also, the symbols of the elements, the fish sword...

I quite like the image, the feel of it. As I've written before, unlike many I've never really had negative reaction or feelings for the Emperor. On the one hand, perhaps this is because I've never really had issues with my father. Growing up, he always seemed like the more reasonable of my parents, temperant, less easy to anger. My mother was the one who would scream, who I had most of the conflicts with. Likewise, in school, many of my favorite teachers were male. There was one English teacher in particular in high school who took notice of me, did little things that meant a lot at a time of my life when I was rather troubled and rather withdrawn... gave me book suggestions since  I was always reading, feedback on my writing even after I finished with his class, support with college application.

Even moreso, the conceptual meanings behind the Emperor, that of discipline, organization, management, ordering...these are things I long for, want in my life. Not because  I am naturally an organized, on time, on top of things type of person; no, quite the contrary. Left to my own devices, I tend to descend into chaos. Things get away from me, forgotten, lost. My living spaces and bags grow so disorganized and messy I can barely move, find anything. I start to lose my ability to think straight. I could easily sit, curled up and withdrawn from the world, for days on end, doing nothing in particular, staring at walls, wasting time on the internet.

Self-discipline and organization is what allows me to function - a gentle kind of support that I need. Part of the reason I gravitate towards ridiculously busy and stressful schedules, I now realize, is because it doesn't leave me the long slots of unstructured time that I so rarely manage to use well. Having classes and work shifts I need to get to gives a structure to my life that makes it easier to get things done than if I had the whole day to myself. Having to-do-lists, everything I need to get done neatly written down and categorized, a whole system around that, helps immensely. When possible, I try to schedule busy days exactly - class, then library to work on a, b, and c, then run this errand, then go to that appointment, then go back to another class, and so on. It's easier to get done when I am following [my own] directions. Even eating, when I am trying to do that well, so much of it is just...what ought to I eat at what times. Pre-plan exactly, bring with me as necessary, follow through. I like routines, going the same way and eating the same thing at the same time every day because it spares me the need to make decisions, so difficult even, especially, when it is about small, meaningless things.

The emperor helps me. When I write an academic paper  I follow a particular routine I have now - outline, where I write out my ideas, general organization of everything. First draft, the most painful, getting the words all down on paper. Revision, organizing things, making sure everything flows. Add citations, footnotes, fill in numbers, specific information. Revise again, take out unnecessary words, make sure everything is clear, concise, logical. Print, submit, go. It serves me well - he does, the Emperor.

I see in him all the things I need to strive for - the forces that help keep my life from falling apart.


Carla said...

You've made me actual consider ordering the Mary-El, and I didn't think that was possible. If you can write an entry reconciling me to that Hierophant image, I am sold. :)

thesycamoretree said...

I so agree with you about the positives of the Emperor that comes through organization. When I am having a bad day (or week or month), sometimes that structure helps me keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Bonkers said...

Carla, I am totally going to take you up on that challenge at some point this week ;D

Carla said...

Hooray! I look forward to that. :)

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