The precarious nature of The 4 of Cups

Posted: July 31, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time

4-of-cups-Alchemical-Tarot4 of Vessels from the Alchemical Tarot by Robert M Place
4-of-cups-Tarot-Chesta4 of cups from the Tarot Chesta by Chester Harris
& I love this
“John Ashbery, in an interview in the Poetry Miscellany, talks about wasting time: “I waste a lot of time. That’s part of the [creative process] . . . The problem is, you can’t really use this wasted time. You have to have it wasted. Poetry disequips you for the requirements of life. You can’t use your time.” In other words, wasted time cannot be filled, or changed into another habit; it is a necessary void of fomentation. And I am wasting your time, and I am aware that I am wasting it; how could it be otherwise? Many others have spoken about this. Tess Gallagher: “I sit in the motel room, a place of much passage and no record, and feel I have made an important assault on the Great Nothing.” Gertrude Stein: “It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” Mary Oppen: “When Heidegger speaks of boredom he allies it very closely with that moment of awe in which one’s mind begins to reach beyond. And that is a poetic moment, a moment in which a poem might well have been written.” The only purpose of this lecture, this letter, my only intent, goal, object, desire, is to waste time. For there is so little time to waste during a life, what little there is being so precious, that we must waste it, in whatever way we come to waste it, with all our heart.”
– Mary Ruefle
Madness, Rack and Honey
via Whiskey River


  1. Now that explains a lot about my life, not that I’m saying I am a genius!

    • Mo Crow says:

      I have learned over the years to enjoy the procrastination part of the creative process, it keeps me halfway civilized, I mean when else would I wash the windows or catch up on correspondence or do the tax? but the above quote by Mary Ruefle takes it further to not redirect but embrace wasting time it reminds me of a favourite artist statment by Christian Boltanski
      “I come to my studio every day at 10.30, and I stay and do nothing. I go to Paris sometimes. I have a few ideas. To be very pretentious, sometimes I believe it is mystical. Sometimes you find nothing, and then you find some-thing you love to do. Sometimes you make mistakes, but some-times it’s true. In two minutes, you understand what you must do for the next two years. Sometimes it’s in the studio, but other times it’s walking in the street or reading a magazine. It’s a good life, being an artist, because you do what you want”.

  2. I love that tarot card with the elephant – wonderful imagery! And the entire quote about time-wasting is going into my ‘favorite quotes’ file. Thanks for that. xo

  3. debgorr says:

    Laughing…this makes me feel so much better!

  4. deemallon says:

    love the quotes. they are life affirming — to this diddler, anyway. haven’t read Ashbery or Gallagher in a dog’s age, so the quote is a reminder of them, too…

    somehow the quote for the four of cups turns the idea of bounty into something negative, for me, anyway….

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Dee, have a look at the Rider Waite deck and Joan Bunnings interpretation of the 4 of cups, you will see a self absorbed young man sitting under a tree with his eyes closed to the gifts being offered. This card is a wake up call for this time with my family, I can be self absorbed in my own little bubble and not enjoy the precious time we will have together or I can open my eyes, heart and ears and listen well to all their stories and share good food and company for a week at the beach in that amazing house! I leave to go to the airport in 25 hours, if the molecules in my blood vibrate much more I will matter transport without the need of an airplane!

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