In Morocco, Nothing is Certain

Morocco at times can wear you down. My last post I was exhausted. The Subhua for Taha, taxis to work, new job, still adjusting, just over being sick, and on and on. I felt completely worn down and worn out.
the hanged man
I had thought that I had found the perfect place to live, the perfect job, and a life that seemed worth living and in an instant, everything seemed to fall apart. But of course, I forget, that in Morocco the hanged man is the card that seems to hold the most importance. That is, in tarot, the card “The Hanged Man” shows a man in dire circumstances who has been hung from a tree. In reality, it is the fool who has blindly wandered into a situation and misinterpreted it. However, if one looks at the card, one begins to notice that far from a look of suffering on the fools face, he seems to be content and at ease. When one flips the card one sees that he is simply resting, taking a break from his journey and taking the time to look at the world from a different perspective. In fact, the Hanged Man represents the sudden reversals of fortune that life often takes and reminds us to look at the world through fresh lenses, for things are not always as they seem. Such is the case in Morocco.

The apartment I wanted was ideal. It was in the heart of the casbah, airy, spacious, well lit by windows that looked at the river running through the medina in two directions…one of them a scenic view of the waterfall and main bridge. It has a sun deck on the roof and is next door to my friend, Jessica. When I didn’t hear from Ahkmed, the other neigbor, it put me in a state of trauma. Everything started to seem to be clogged up and the flow seemed to have stopped. Suddenly, my optimism disappeared and with it I began to feel the crowded confines of the Souidi house. I began to think that my work would not work out, my relationship was doomed, my life was going to crumble around me.

And then…the extended family moved out of Hanane’s house. Two couch surfers from the Czech Republic showed up and we took them to the beautiful Cascade in the hills of Sefrou. And then today, I found that my apartment had not been taken from the rental market. Instead, Ahkmed had been shy to call me but had negotiated the price to exactly what I wanted to pay and the landlord had decided to paint and clean it before I move in. The deal is set, perhaps, after all, this is Morocco. Things aren’t always what they seem. In this case, my optimism is high though.

I’ll exchange cash for the keys this evening. Hanane doesn’t know yet. I’ve not seen her. She will be sad and disappointed to have me leave her families house, perhaps mad that I agreed without asking her, but I am confident she will be grateful that I will find the necessary space I need to write and to relax. She and Jessica have a friendship that grows stronger each time the tall English woman and my tiny Moroccan fiance spend time together. They are two of the same kind in very different corporeal bodies and cultures. So I think she will be happy. Of course, she won’t be able to move in with me until we get all the necessary papers and seal our marriage, but again, I am cautiously optimistic. Again.

If all goes well, in just a few days I will have to take the homeless from the tagline for this blog. Cross your fingers for me. Incidentally, the hanged man has his fingers crossed too.

letting go
having an emotional release
accepting what is
surrendering to experience
ending the struggle
being vulnerable and open
giving up control
accepting God’s will

turning the world around
changing your mind
overturning old priorities
seeing from a new angle
upending the old order
doing an about-face

suspending action
pausing to reflect
feeling outside of time
taking time to just be
giving up urgency
living in the moment
waiting for the best opportunity

being a martyr
renouncing a claim
putting self-interest aside
going one step back to go two steps forward
giving up for a higher cause
putting others first

The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.

The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we “control” by letting go – we “win” by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender – to die on the cross of his own travails – yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can “move forward” by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.

In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.


Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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