Yesterday I took a long trip to attend a party in the town where I grew up. It’s deep in the distant suburbs of Los Angeles, and it takes me an hour and a half to get there via public transit. (I’m one of those Luddites who doesn’t own a car, which can work in L.A. so long as you have patience and a little shoe leather.) Even though the event promised to be festive —a birthday party for my sister’s boyfriend—I really didn’t want to deal with the hassle of the commute, partly out of moodiness and partly because I had just taken a long trip to another old haunt the previous day, which I wrote about last Saturday. Looking for a little guidance, I shuffled the Tarot.deck, and this is what turned up:
My my my . . . My sister’s boyfriend is an Aries! And this got me to thinking about what I might just be able to learn from him if I’d choose to look beyond my own nose this day. See, my sister has been plagued for the last two years by myriad health issues that have debilitated her to a great extent. Her personal “rock of Gibraltar” during this time has been her boyfriend, who has been with her every step of the way, who has ferried her to numerous doctor’s appointments and who has cared for her when she was feeling ill, even though he is not in optimal health, either—he suffers a rare blood disorder—and has been battling unemployment during the same timeframe as my sister’s illness.
How easy it would have been for him to absent himself any time during my sister’s various maladies, or to have ended the relationship altogether for convenience’s sake. Hey, he’s got problems of his own! When you live by a strong moral code, however, you realize that loving adult relationships come with responsibilities as well as romance, and that the noblest calling we can ever answer in this life is the call to help others in need—be it a lover, a relative, or even a stranger on the street. For men, this is the essence of the Mature Masculine summoned into practice.
The Talmud teaches us that when we humble ourselves, we are exalted in the eyes of God—and upon reflection, I looked forward to the commute.