Friday, February 19, 2010

"One of us turns over a card, picks it up, looks at it as if he were looking at himself in the mirror."

I used to think that tarot cards were just for people who didn't know any better. That was before I started reading Italo Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies, his book of tarot-inspired fiction, which is pretty great. [Note: tarot cards are still mostly just for people who don't know any better.]

From The Waverer's Tale:

A naked goddess takes two jugs containing who knows what juices kept cool for the thirsty (all around there are the yellow dunes of a sun-baked desert), and empties them to water the pebbled shore: and at that instant a growth of saxifrage springs up in the midst of the desert, and among the succulent leaves a blackbird sings; life is the waste of materials thrown away, the sea's cauldron merely repeats what happens within constellations that for billions of years go on pounding atoms in their explosions, obvious even here in the milk-colored sky.