A Piece of My Mind: Mr. Obama Comes to Portland

By Jeanne Fiorini

Although this article is about the current president of the US, this is not a political commentary. I’m not particularly interested in politics, nor do I consider myself especially patriotic. (I’m more of a “we are the world” kind of girl.) But the President’s recent visit to this part of the country did evoke some images and emotions which I’ve found to be significant.

It happened, now that I think of it, on April Fool’s Day. It was the middle of the afternoon and I was on the front porch of my house taking down the Christmas lights. (OK, for those of you who don’t live in the northeast, this late date for taking away holiday decorations is not out of the ordinary.) It had been made known for about a week that the President would be stopping in Portland, and that he would be delivering a mid-day speech somewhere in town.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed a thing but for the fact that I live about a mile from the Portland airport. Around 2:30, helicopters began flying over my house. First a smaller one, followed a few minutes later by a massive military helicopter, with two additional flyers bringing up the rear. And I do mean flying….fast and low over the tops of the trees. The noise was deafening and the thought crossed my mind that if I’d suffered from any sort of PTSD related to loud noises I’d be yanking my hair out by the roots.

When the second helicopter passed overhead, I experienced an unexpected surge of emotions. The helicopter, a very large (and did I mention loud?) Marine-green machine with an American flag prominently affixed to its flank, was most probably the one carrying Mr. Obama toward the Portland airport. The words “honor” and “greatness” flashed into my mind….and I found myself in tears.

I would give a lot of thought over the next few days to my visceral reaction to all the hub-bub, wondering why it aroused such feelings in me. In describing the scene to some friends, I realized that part of what made such an impression was the sheer power and speed of those machines as they flew through the air. What an effort -- and what a statement -- to bring a single person to the little city of Portland Maine. If this country really wanted to kick some ass --or get something useful accomplished – we’ve certainly got the power to do so, mightily and swiftly.

If George Clooney had flown over my house, yes I would have gotten excited about that, but not moved to tears. Political views aside, I do consider Mr. Obama to be a person of honor and integrity, someone with an opportunity to generate profound changes in the world. I came to understand that my reaction to the helicopters that day was a response to the notion of “might for right,” to the massive power of goodness and honor, to the speed and urgency of hope, and how much the world is in desperate need of such things.

Of course, such an experience and its subsequent musings will always bring my mind back to the Tarot: the importance of the work, how it fosters hope and truth, how it can change lives. I find it useful to be reminded about why we do the work, so as to help forge a re-commitment to this particular field and practice. The experience also reminded me of the unique impact of every individual, let alone when a person is filled with purpose.

Soon, and in the wake of these solemn moments of reflection and gratitude, my musings turned fanciful.

As some of you may know, I have a “Tarot Spreads and Layouts” (not the official title) book coming out this fall, to be published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. There will likely be some book signings and maybe some trips to various parts of the country to promote both the book and the methods described therein. Do you think I might be able to get a helicopter ride instead of a plane ticket?

I’d love to zip around the country in my fab little Tarot helicopter. Instead of military green, wouldn’t purple or yellow or rainbow shades be a cool look for a ‘copter?  Of course the Tarotcopter wouldn’t be called Marine I as was Mr. Obama’s, maybe we’d call her Tarot I or Arcana I or Le Fou.  

We’d replace the American flag on the flanks of the Tarotcopter with The Empress card on one side and The Emperor on the other. Or maybe The Sun and The Moon. The thing would be made completely of recycled materials and would run on biodegradable corn fuel, getting miraculous MPG numbers, of course.  

Might for right, the massive power of goodness and honor, Arcana I, a recycled purple Tarotcopter, indestructible hope, high mpg. Ah, a girl can dream………

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