I have never really decided whether or not I want to know the future.
Let’s be clear–I love tarot. I have a deck I sometimes use if I’m feeling inspired, and I have at least one memorably uncanny experience where I kept asking the same question and pulling the exact same card in response, no matter how much I shuffled. It was a bad card, but my analysis of it never came true.
In my own personal philosophy, the future is always changing. When I pulled that card again and again (it was swords, I remember, but the actual card escapes me), by my reading, it was because that was the path I was on. I was obsessing about one thing, and continuing to do so would result in disaster. I stopped, I moved on, and so disaster never came to pass.
Predicting the future, I would imagine, is an imprecise art unless you ascribe to our destinies being, in some sense, predetermined. I’m not a big fan of that, myself; the idea that I don’t have free will, that there’s someone out there pulling the strings, makes me want to find them and give them a good piece of my mind. I’m comfortable not knowing. Uncertainty may be frightening, but it also gives me a sense of comfort to think that it’s chaos all the way down.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(v.) From Latin spīrāre for ‘breathe’)
To blow, or to pass away.
Rosa has heard that you see things if you stare into a candle too long. If you look at a flame in a mirror on New Year’s Eve, if the rumors are true, you’ll see your future partner. If you stare into a candle any other time, you’ll see flames that morph into other things, sinister things, the longer you watch.
What Rosa sees isn’t clear; two eyes, maybe, wreathed in flame. A toothy smile, if she squints, whispering promises in smoke and ash. It knows who her partner will be, it swears.
Rosa, without hesitation, blows the candle out.