It was bound to happen. Where there is milk, there will eventually be a spill.
Such it is with bounty and abundance. Such it is with the universe, galloping headlong toward entropy. "Nothing gold can stay," Robert Frost reminded us. As does the Five of Cups.
There's a reason that the suit of emotions is represented by a vessel. Feelings flow. They surge and ebb — they roil and tumble. Without containment, they would have no form, and without form, we wouldn't be able to understand them. We'd drown in them, the tidal wave of them.
Our gentleman here is grieving. Three cups lie on the ground at his feet, their contents split and running. They may as well be a flood, even though all that remains is a puddle. And soon, even that will be gone.
Creative folk will recognize this feeling. It comes with the rejection letter. It comes with the bad review. It comes with contracts that aren't renewed, signings that go unattended, readers who walk by with their eyes averted.
But let's not get too personal. Suffice it to say, we've all been there.
So mired is he in his pain that he cannot see that two cups still remain full. There is still some good in his life, some sweetness. It is the tendency of those who love us is to press those brimming chalices to our lips and bid us drink, and drink deeply, of what we still have to be grateful for. We can forgive them this. They want us to be happy.
But first — and this is perhaps harder for them than us — we must grieve. We must be in the moment. Yes, the past is water under the bridge (note the stone bridge and flowing river in the background, a not-too-subtle reminder of that very truth). But right now, right now...we mourn.
What is it in your life that is passing away? Are you mourning it properly? Are you giving it the full eulogy it deserves? Are you capable of standing present in your grief?
I hope so. And I hope that soon you taste hope on your lips once again.