What are you learning lately? What are the current most valuable lessons that you are taking in right now? 

 

I’ve been thinking about the archetype of the Fool a lot lately. 

 

A nomad. A joker. A fresh outlook. A new perspective. Wandering aimlessly. Or so it seems. Speaking the truth. Living in integrity. An explorer. A wild spirit. A tree hugger. An innocent mind and a wise ass. Carrying life’s experiences and important lessons in a sack on a stick. But not carrying the baggage that comes with it usually. Looking around with awe, taking in the glory of the natural world, the gift of life, the vastness and smallness of it all. Open. Open, open, open. Open. 

 

In kings’ courtyards, the jester gets to not only entertain, but to say it as it is. Risky. On the edge. Right in the middle of it all –  deep in the business of the king. And always on the outskirts. 

 

Never taken too seriously. But always has something valuable to say. Not the kind of values that capitalism forces us to believe we need, but the value that comes from the inner chambers of the body/mind/heart – the kind of value that has no price tag. 

 

Coyote, in Native American wisdom, holds the gift of the joker. And the joker’s joke will often backfire. It is the cackling crone, and her unfuckable with power. It is the laughing fest in the midst of life’s hardship. It is the late night howl at a moonless sky. 

 

Donkey from Shrek is your guide to Fool’s land. 

 

Fred & George Weasly from Harry Potter embody this badass, silly, jokester fire.

 

And Luna Lovegood from the Potter series is a Fool lady – not of this world, but living in it, saying random things that make others laugh, or feel uncomfortable. A loner. An outsider. A sad clown. 

 

Charlie Chaplin had this archetype down. His nomad character checks all the boxes of the clown who doesn’t belong, the one who is not a part of society, and has a lot to say about society – silently. 

 

Keeping it real is the Fool’s language. It sometimes takes her/him through a thick forest of thorns, but this realness will not be compromised. 

 

The authenticity of Frances Mcdormand weaves itself into my dreams, with no fucks to give, no energy wasted at the unimportant. It’s not just the character she plays so brilliantly in Nomadland, it’s the attitude she gave with her Oscar speech, and her unkempt hair. That layer of relatable depression. Not hiding the raw. Howling the truth. A love song for the feral parts. Not conforming. Making one’s own way. 

 

Fern, the character she plays in Nomadland is an outsider, out of the box, out of the ordinary being. And some of the people she meets along the way are not exactly your mainstream cats. There’s no hiding of the sad, or hiding from the dark. There’s nothing glamorous to see here. Instead there’s a tenderness, an openness toward the lost parts of ourselves, and an opportunity to turn toward the Lost Boys {and girls} people in our society. 

 

In the Tarot, the Fool is the nomad. Here begins the journey of the self. Card number 0 – the not yet. The moment before. The void. The source. The potency of possibility. With an openness, a willingness to discover, and a receptivity of a baby, the Fool embarks on a soul journey in and out and through the entirety of being. “I am not lost, I am exploring!” he/she says. 

 

Nothing to lose. Nothing to worry about. You’ve already lost, so the road is wide open. It’s your inner Thelma & Louise. 

 

There are moments in life when the gifts of the fool come to us in full ferocity. There are times when this is the softest and most gentle way of going about life. 

 

This is who we are when we have no idea where to go next. This is who we are when we are ready to find out what is out there. This is the courage to not crawl back into the arms of what things were like before, onto the lap of the comfort of the known – no matter how abusive that reality was (“Goddammit, Thelma!”). And let’s face it, capitalist life in the “land of the free” was/is abusive, misaligned, and deeply unhealthy for a lot of people, plants, and animals. 

 

How willing are we to carve a new path, as we walk out of the fog and onto solid ground again? 

 

The Fool tells us we don’t need to know exactly what to do or how to do it. It invites us to marvel at the uncertainty and be blessed by the unknown. 

 

It’s a period of feeling unsure. And the curiosity that arises out of it. 

 

It’s the playfulness we tap into when our children need us to stop worrying and just be present with them. 

 

Last week I took the kids for a barefoot walk on the beach. Sandy soles. Cold waves of ocean flow. Strong sun. Soft wind. In and out of breath – simple and profound. And massive seaweed piles. 

 

Ok, have you ever walked back and forth on piles of slippery, slimy, rubbery seaweed? Foot massage silliness. Fool massage willingness. Back and forth on that beautiful, monstrous texture. 

 

We all are fools. Like it or not, we don’t know where life is going, when we’ll die, what we should do, who we’ll be when we do what we want to do, or how things will turn up. It’s a walk up and down a slippery, slimy seaweed pile.

 

So as we take on the day, plan our next move, structure the shape of our lives, as we climb our way *out of pandemic, we might find it helpful to tune in to the wisdom of the Fool, and let the unknown, the wild, the fresh, the innocent, the instinctual, the silly, the slippery, the slimy, and the howling beast inside of us teach us a bit about what more is possible.