13: Death

Unbound, free, wild, and happy. The singularity is untied from the world, all stories are over – just a hint of them trailing behind. Compare to the High Priest, History, and the Fools; who carries their story where?

In some traditions, a marriage is celebrated by leaping over a broom. Here, we leap over a scythe. What might you want to celebrate severing? What *needs* to die?

But now her stories are written on her skin, you know. Tender filligree, long alien ciphers to expand. Bubble chamber trails of atomic collisions, tracing out the echos of what you did in the world. Are you truly dead until all of those have faded? In many important ways, yes – you certainly won’t be making any more.

Behind her, people run in the mud and rain of a moonlit shower. The ground is slick though the drops are few; is the rain ending or is this just a lull? Businessman or elegant lady or noble horseperson, we all slip and fall now and then, and eventually it will be for the last time. What’s the world going to remember when you’re gone? Who will plant black roses in your honor?

Sometimes, we say to calm a fearful questioner, the Death card is just a metaphor. But let’s be honest here. Sometimes it’s about death. So far on this world it’s been a fact of life. She comes to us all, eventually; maybe she gently leads us into paradise, maybe she throws us back into the wheel of life, maybe she’s just a pretty lie before the cold hard fact that things have an end, and that there is nothing to be found afterwards.

But who put that collar on her?