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The Fool

Genevieve Barbee-Turner


When you are learning how to dive they tell you to tuck your chin—the reason being that your tender neck skin will be slapped by the water and it feels pretty horrible. No matter how many times I tried, I would pull my face up, moving it away from the water and leaving my delicate neck bare for the inevitable smack. I got it into my head that I would never overcome this weird tick and decided to stop trying. If I hadn’t figured it out on the first few tries I never would. I just assumed other things were less difficult.

It wasn’t until about 22 years later that I learned how to accept challenges and learn new things. It didn’t come all at once but instead was slowly revealed to me that step by step I could grasp concepts that had been at first foreign to me. I had to learn how to be uncomfortable for a while and piece together a strategy to take apart a problem.

This is part of why The Fool is a self-portrait. When I knew I wanted to do this—to quit everything and craft a tarot deck about the city I've lived so many lives in—all I really knew was how clueless I was about where this journey would take me. Instead of dwelling in fear however, I tucked my chin and leapt. 

Wander + ponder

Before there was a something there was nothing. The Fool dances alone the precipice unconcerned about the next step with trust that their foot will fall into place. This mimics the Seeker’s journey through tarot, either looking for clarity and answers or the flip side—anxious or possibly careless about next steps.

Positive aspects of this card: New beginnings, spontaneousness, bold and carefree spirit

Negative aspects: Inability to get things started, getting turned around, lack of commitment, recklessness, carelessness, being too naive. 

Key features: 

A silhouette of Pittsburgh buildings surrounds my head. The outline of this city is a dramatic one and gives a grand first impression to the region. It's crooked, with buildings popping up and off of hills and lights dotting the landscape in a quixotic pattern. The wet paint on my hands seeps from the skin and my tattoos (done here in town) reference the rivers and flora of the region. 


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