Amidst the craziness of 2015, the year my Dad suffered a severe stroke, I found some quiet moments to secretly create a Polaroid Oracle Deck, card by card. That year, through tear-stuffed eyes I needed simple creativity that didn't require me to think too much. Just polaroids and a label maker, that's all there was to it. Click, print, click, stick. It was a powerful and profound process of just being. A quiet way of expressing where I was at and what I needed. Letting go of the trauma and grief for the briefest of moments and whilst there was a chance, before we might have to blue light my Dad to the Emergency Department again.
In the tangle of days, weeks and months that became the 2 years following Dad's death these cards had got tucked away somewhere in a box, somewhere in the spare bedroom and became lost to my eyes. During a clutter clear, they re-appeared. Waiting patiently. A blast from the past. Multiple mini moments of imagineering suspended in time. Shiny tactile moments of hope, possibility and healing. I felt happysad flipping through them again, remembering that version of me back then, fraught and fractured, clinging to hope, thinking I was responsible for saving my Dad.
I remembered that the idea of creating my own oracle cards had been floating around my head for years before they became enormously popular or you could print your own. I remembered that whilst loafing on my sofa, pondering on how to use up some out of date polaroid films, my highland cow polaroid, propped up on the mantle, caught my eye. I remembered the excitement of having the idea to create a really personal polaroid oracle deck, just for me.
I remembered slowly creating my retro collection, the re-assuring punch of letters on label tape, slowly eeking out words. I remembered quickly stuffing polaroids in between book pages before daylight ruined them and waiting 30 minutes until they developed, or maybe not. Such wonder. 21 cards in total. Nothing fancy, nothing special. I loved each and every one of them. I remembered it being such an incredibly heartening and delightful journey. And total escape.
Creating these cards, alongside blogging and other things kept me sane that year. I remembered embarking on a 'calmsoul mission' that year and failing almost immediately - there was nothing calm about 2015, except when my Dad slept. Even then I'd worry that would be the moment he'd fly off - too soon, too soon Dad. Instead, I spent the year mostly angry, inflamed and on the edge.
I remembered attempting to create interpretations for each card and even blogging it. Because that's what you do. I think I managed 2, maybe even 3. I remembered finding that bit hard. I don't remember a moment of giving up, maybe I just gave in to everything else around me. I remembered I must've shared them because I was asked if they could be used as inspiration for a 'create your own oracle cards' e-course. And I remembered that just weeks before Dad died I created a special website page just for that reason. I remembered feeling proud of that little page.
And then I remembered that Dad, I and the cards turned sideways in to the light and did a disappearing act. Then:
The cards re-appeared.
Dad's still disappeared
and the me that was is no longer.
The longest journey,
a flicker of time.
From hereon these cards shall be known as the Polaroid Prompt Deck formerly known as the Polaroid Oracle Deck. At least I haven't chosen an unpronounceable symbol for it's new name. But they are an unpronounceable symbol of what was lost and what was found. And what may yet be discovered.