Remember the time? You had your first crush? And you thought this was forever?
And you bent backwards for that person, whoever he or she was. And you did everything there was to do to make it last? And yet, that person walked away? Without so much as turning back to see you weep your heart out? And you felt like… like a fool?
Remember the time? You had an exam or an important presentation?
And you thought you had it all pat? And there was lots of time to do whatever was left of it? Till the night before you struggled bleary-eyed to complete page after page, and with a sinking heart and sweaty palms and you realised you had been… a fool?
And remember the time you were out celebrating?
And the celebration got a bit too, well, celebratory. And you had one too many. And then you had two too many. And soon you had so many you could not even count. And then you had so many you could not even remember. And you had to trust your friends to tell you what happened the rest of the evening. And you felt miserable the next morning. And holding your head in your hands you kept wondering what you were thinking the night before. And you were so sure this time… you had been a fool!
Happy Fools’ Day.
The First of April. A day that has immense significance in the lives of people like us. Because somewhere or the other, sometime or the other, we’ve all been fools. We’ve done foolish things. We’ve talked foolishly. We’ve looked like fools. Acted like fools. And finally… felt like fools. And we’ve kicked ourselves for it. But take heart. Acknowledge this: there is one day in the day designated for fools! Like a day for mothers and fathers, for cancer, aid, smoking, diabetes, friendship and what have you. So being a fool is just as important.
In all of Shakespeare’s plays, the character known as the Fool, often said the wisest things. With extraordinary wit and contradictory statements, the Fool displayed plain truth in the face of confusion. Feste in Twelfth Night, Touchstone in As You Like It, and the Fool in King Lear all make sense once you see through their nonsense. In the Fool’s insanity lay seeds of sanity.
In the Major Arcana of Tarot cards, an important card to show up in reading is once again The Fool. In fact, some interpreters consider this card to be the central card to the whole deck. And the whole of the Major Arcana represents The Fool’s journey, ending with The World, which is about successful completion, accomplishment and fulfilment.
Some say The Fool represents ‘The Zen of Folly’. I couldn’t agree more.
Look at the picture of The Fool. With his possessions in a small bundle at the end of a stick, the fool travels to places unknown. But he is so busy with daydreaming, he may just fall over the cliff. A small dog is either warning him or jaunting along with him. The card of infinite possibilities, The Fool represents a free spirit with a lust for life, knowledge, and adventure, who has little fear of taking risks.
All of it, to my mind, positive. All of it telling you and me, it’s ok to be a fool.
So give in to foolishness.
Play the fool.
Be the fool.
Bring back that childlike innocence.
Be naïve. Be trusting. Be daring.
Take the plunge. Take that leap of faith.
Because at the end of all that shaking head in disbelief, forehead-slapping, foot-stamping, punching the air in frustration and kicking yourself, dawns infinite learning and wisdom. And you tell yourself, you will be more careful, more prepared, more sensible in the future or at least more prepared for the consequences of your foolishness. And you find yourself new ways of being a fool all over again. And sure enough, next year, the first of April will come again to honour all the wisdom you have acquired in the past year.
Happy Fools’ Day. Again.