I’m Not a Fool

The Prompt: Are you easily tricked? Do you fall for things?

Sure, I fall for things and people and ideas all of the time. I also fall for pranks and lines and ridiculously catchy pop songs.  I’m susceptible to feel good stories, perhaps because I hear so many of the opposite kind.

But I’m not a fool. I have a gut instinct that has evolved in my blogging – sometimes it’s a combination of a good guess and reading between the lines and sometimes it is just a *knowing*  And even more often when I watch how my opponents and detractors react, I learn valuable information.

On a personal level, I’m a survivor of multiple forms of abuse, neglect and assault. That makes me vulnerable and wary. It also has fed a lot of data into my mind, a lot of experiences of how people attempt to trick and deceive and take advantage. It isn’t always motivated by true evil, but it always involves trying to get the upper hand. I’m always aware of that, but sometimes I ignore it.

I’m tricked because I want to be tricked. I always know it’s a possibility and make a “threat assessment” like any survivor does, but I don’t always listen to myself.

The thing I most often fall for – People promising to help with volunteer work and “life” interfering. This destroys me because it really hurts people, but I keep wanting to believe the next time it won’t happen. And sometimes it doesn’t. But it is definitely my Achilles heel.

The other is the whole “let’s get together” sometime promise.

I’m really good at solving mysteries on television shows, movies and books a few steps ahead of the storyline. I’m skeptical so I am rarely fooled into attending a surprise party (Laura got me once and it was GOOD!) and I can lie well so even when I am fooled, I can back out of it.

Really, these are skills learned as survival tools and applied to adult life. We make choices – some people want to trust and believe in people and they are often rewarded for that. Others are so wary of being fooled that they can’t enjoy the good moments. I don’t think it has anything to do with being stupid or foolish really, more a reflection on how we choose to cope with a life filled with uncertainty. And the certainty that someone is gonna play us at sometime.


This question did bring to mind the concept of the “The Trickster” both as an archetype and how it plays out in my own life. Consider this:

Within dynamics that have Trickster written all over them, a deeper, or token Trickster often emerges. For example, within Catholic-influenced Mexican folk religion, the Goddess Santa Muerte has emerged. Although there are other close cultural bases for this goddess figure, looking at the overall aesthetic representation of Santa Muerte, it’s obvious the Virgin Mary is the inspiration, and particularly the Virgen de Guadalupe.

In this case, there’s almost a Trickster-by-degree effect. The Virgin Mary is generally a very notable Trickster figure; there are her subversive apparitions, and associated fortean type phenomena, as well as the gender and identity issues raised with the idea of feminine deity.

In addition to these same qualities, the Virgen de Guadalupe has an even more controversial and mysterious identity. Her appearance to Juan Diego, and resultant miracle-image on his tilma have all kinds of high strangeness and reflexivity going on. There are ideas that the image is actually coded. Also, smaller images of people in various pertinent scenes have been detected within her eyes.

With Santa Muerte, most representations convey a definite Virgen de Guadalupe stance, with similar clothing. However, with this goddess, the Trickster aspect is literally down to the bone. There’s something at once so wonderful and grim about her, blasphemous and holy at the same time.

 

Of course, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a trickster! Why didn’t I think of that before? and of course, the church inverts the icon to satisfy both demands.

So there you go – I worked in a little Johnny Cash with some feminist theology. You are welcome.

 

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