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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Three Of Pentacles

place a grain of sand on another grain of sand
turn the wheel
press down
make a stone, layer by layer

place a block of stone on another block of stone
turn the wheel
you can see it
turn the wheel

cut teeth into a wheel, place a wheel -
- atop another wheel, make a gear
make a handle
let the handle turn the wheel -
let it go
let there be work within your working
without you working
grains of sand

Grains of sand.

(Yeah, I love Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri).

...I swore to god I'd done this bitch before. So much so that when I drew it, I went right past it looking for a new card to write about. Why did I think I'd pondered on its face before - its impossible Escherian architecture, its turning cogwheels, its tiny overseer?

This is the grind. It's never new, I guess.

I rather like structure; one reason this site feels so good to write on is that I know what I have to do each time a new card comes out of the deck - let it talk in italics, rant a while, post some pretty pictures, publish, check it's popped out in the right order, go add it to the list, rinse, x78. It's easy to go through the motions, and easy to pause and then get going again where I left off. On the other hand, it's no surprise at all that I burned out after about x50 and didn't pick it up again for another six months.

The Three of Cups is in it for the long run, and it's boring; the RWS shows the building of a cathedral, and that's a project that can run for decades or centuries. The most beautiful church in the world, Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, has been under construction since 1882 and still isn't ready yet, but it's getting there by inches and dear god will it ever be worth it when it's done.

You could say the same about human civilisation - with its impossible figures and shady construction schedule. (You don't want to ask about the budget).

I drew it alongside the Two of Pentacles ('you've always got time') and the Magician ('what you do for yourself matters for the world'). Those, yeah, I'd done already, and I thought 'right, sure, keep grinding, now move on to the next page.'

I guess this is a poke suggesting I be more meticulous in my work in future? Whatever.

Images of the Three of Pentacles

Here's Conway's picture. I think the overseer is shrugging and maybe wondering what the machine is accomplishing? But still it turns, beneath that structure that makes no sense, and still we keep building.

Scapini has also gone with stonework - I look at this and I see Lear and Caesar, I see a pyramid built of pyramids, and I see a whole edifice weeping at its own construction.

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