Just another day in Peripeteia

MAY 04 04

The swifts have arrived, swooping about the great expanse of sky as the sun sets and the midges they feed on rise in smoky clouds above the gardens. This reminds me of a Chinese proverb I translated a couple of weeks ago:


Mosquitoes hold a dusk market


Is it one of those days? This is something my dad always used to say when nothing seemed to go right, the simplest things would screw up, attempting the smallest task turns into a Laurel and Hardy farce. I write this Monday evening, conscious of something in the air that is erecting obstacles to change my path in some subtle manner. It's almost as if I can see Fate setting up behind the scenes for a big occasion.

Tuesday brings a total lunar eclipse in the evening that will feed into an extraordinary array of alignments in my chart. I'm curious, decidedly curious, how this may manifest, because it could be quite dramatic. An astrologer friend specialising in transits is almost incredulous to see such an alignment in anyone's chart. Her best advice is not to stand under any trees if there's a storm, as she'd hate to see me struck by lightning. A dream image last night, however, suggests I should be careful not to put my eye out on a garden cane, something surprisingly easy to do. There's a garden cane in amongst the chrysanthemums, say, perfectly visible while the plants are small, there to strengthen the growing stems in the high winds, but then the chrysanths grow up around the cane and obscure it. One day you're outside and just bend down over the chrysanths to pull off some dead leaves and out goes your eye on that cane. Which is why it's always sensible to place red ping-pong balls over the end of garden canes, which I haven't done.

My gut instinct tells me it will be something else. I also suspect that whatever it is it will be like it has been led up to in incidental incremental happenings as surely and as stealthily as a tiger silently padding its way upon an antelope. And in retrospect will seem so intensely fateful as to make me doubt I have ever been responsible for pulling my own strings, not that this is unwelcome, since Fate is but another word for how I too would do it, had I that kind of big-picture organisational ability.

Since for an intervention by the Master of Fates all oracles must agree (which is another way of saying none may deny it), I consult the Lingqijing about it. It suggests my fate will be decided by my hesitation. That's always a tricky one to plan for. Always a powerful influence on a situation, a sudden doubt. As yet, this is but talking up a seed of potential, whereas in fact without such input it is just another day. Expectation in itself changes things, though seeing the clouds of dust raised by an approaching army is no more fore-sighted than creating a vastly elaborated scenario in one's mind's eye instantly upon hearing a cracked twig in the night by an unknown footfall. One thing that could cause hesitation at a crucial moment is sudden awareness that a situation is quite other than one has taken it for. Yes, just another day in Peripeteia.

peripeteia, n. a sudden change of fortune, esp. in a drama.