The Fool was an exciting card to write about, but a difficult card to draw. The initial figure came easily enough: a cheery boy waving excitedly to a friend. He can’t see the danger coming, but we can. After that, though, it all fell apart. Should he have feet? None of the rest of them have feet? What about a pattern on the shirt? The shoes? What about colors? The motley nature of the card made for difficult combinations, and finding a good balance between the strong colors took a lot of time (and second guessing). The real blessing was the sun’s white corona. The Rider Waite card has a flat yellow sky with a white sun peaking out of the right (East, I assume) corner. But a white sun just felt wrong to me. It was sheer luck that I thought to give it a white corona to set it apart from the otherwise dominating yellow background. And getting those mountains to look just right? A huge pain. I spent at least an hour redrawing and rearranging the mountains to find the right balance (and I’m still not sure they’re perfect). Still, overall I’m pretty happy with the execution. The colors are bright and vibrant and fresh in a way that none of the other cards have been so far. There are a couple of little details that aren’t visible to the naked eye that I wanted to talk about. The first is the the Fool is carrying a tarot deck in his bag, and only the first card is visible, and that card is the Fool! The black smudge you see in the top right corner of the card is the sun that’s in the top right corner of the card. Clever, no? Second, the little dog is wearing a collar with a tag on it. The tag, completely invisible to the human eye, says ruach the Hebrew word for the second of the three-part soul, loosely correlating to the conscious self or the ego, as opposed to nephesh (loosely, the subconscious, id, fetch) and neshama (loosely, the superego, auamakua, godself). The conscious self is often at odds with the desires of the id for more reasons than I care to go into here, but needless to say that the purity of our desires is often manifested in the id while the discipline of our social training, for better or for worse, is manifested in the ego. The Fool is not pure id, but rather pure connectedness, the ability of ourselves to let go of what we know and embrace the reality of what is, the reality that our id is often in touch with, but our ego, our talky self, has a very difficult time embracing because there’s no "proof" for it. Thus, when we can fully embrace our the hunches of our fetch in the beautiful manner of the Fool it leaves our talky self barking behind us all the good reasons we shouldn’t be doing this, following its training to the very last. Leaving talky self behind isn’t possible, really, and true Foolish transcendence comes not of leaving it behind, but of embracing both talky and fetch fully, combining to form a unique third piece in the godsoul. Lastly, what in the world is the Wandering Otaku? Otaku is a Japanese word meaning "people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, or video games." It was a neat cross-fertilization moment to combine the Fool with the concept of the otaku. Originally the word had (and may still have) a negative connotation, denoting the most dysfunctional kind of obsession in which the otaku shuns all outside influence, but I choose to apply the word in a happier sense, one in which our passion or our bliss leads us far off the beaten path, and perhaps right to the edge and further. Following that call over the edge makes no sense in the same way that the otaku is searching for some kind of fulfillment. Our Fool will no doubt find his fulfillment, or perhaps more accurately, is fulfilled by the finding itself.
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