I have seen a lot of really good movies lately. Let me start there. I am a big crier; let me add that. I evaluate things not by any standards other than my own soul. Let me finish with that.
What I mean is that my taste in things, specifically movies, is often the butt of jokes. I don’t do things ironically, anymore, and I have confused a lot of people with my genuine investment in “objectively” “bad” things. What I’m about to tell you is one of the less confusing things, I think, at least to me – the internet tells me that I’m less alone in this than I thought, although face-to-face with others it’s hard to remember. But, okay. I am going to say it and you are going to read it, and then I am going to explain why this is happening in the freaking tarot column. Are you ready? Here it is: I cried at the end of Furious 7, a movie during which cars are driven out of a plane and then parachute down onto a road and drive away. I cried then, and I’m still crying a little still when I hear the credit song on the radio. And that’s where we’re going to start – at the end of Furious 7 – and then we’re going to talk about the Ten of Cups.
(I guess this is where some sort of disclaimer goes, although I am not sure what to warn you about. What I want to talk about here is basically the last five minutes of a years-long franchise, but as a tiny microcosm of what the franchise as a whole actually is. So like, I don’t know– read at your own risk if you haven’t seen it yet?)
Paul Walker is dead, and the very harshness of that as I wrote it made me wish for the passive voice, for something softer. His life has ended. All things end. That doesn’t make it easy. The end of Furious 7 is the closing of this huge sprawling generally ridiculous chapter of our lives – The Fast and the Furious came out in 2001! There are people alive today who are younger than The Fast and the Furious as, like, a cultural thing. And I don’t know if the franchise will go on, and I’m sure it probably will because $$$$$, but the end of Furious 7 is the end of it, for me, and I think for everyone to whom it matters even a little bit. Listen.
The Fast & Furious movies are, above and below and throughout anything else, about friendship. They are about friendship so deep and abiding that it transcends the law and space and time and more explosions than seems possible or necessary. Friendship that is more important than blood, and darker, and richer and more precious. Friendship that is the truest kind of family. And I am not wrong and I am not projecting when I say that the actors in this franchise love each other just as much offscreen as they do in two-hour cinematic installments. The Fast & Furious people loved Paul Walker like he was their own because he was, and I cannot imagine the loss that they felt and still feel. Imagine making that movie! Imagine the time and effort that went into everything that came before, the years and years together. Imagine everything making you remember; the difference that loss creates in a picture that has been the same for so long. The glaring center of everything. We are getting to the tarot I PROMISE. Stay with me. It will all come together.
Paul died suddenly, and violently, and unexpectedly. Death is death is death but there is a difference between ripping off a Band-Aid and having the Band-Aid washed away in the sea someday when you are laughing and licking salt off your lips. The end of Furious 7 was a gift to him, an imagining of what should have been his, of what was his for years and years. I think, too, in a lot of ways, it was a gift to everyone that was left, a way to say goodbye, to negotiate things, to imagine him standing on the beach with his wife and child, alive somewhere in the world, apart from them but happy, but alive. I would allow you to leave my life forever before I would see you dead. It is better that I should never see you again than that I should cause you pain, that I should take from you what is deservedly yours. Vin Diesel gets up and he doesn’t say goodbye because it’s never goodbye, because he never had a chance at goodbye, and then he looks up from the steering wheel and there is Paul. And they drive under the sun and their paths follow each other for so long, wild animals streaming through the world next to each other and they are so alive in their love, their joy in each other, and the roads diverge. And that is all.
The Ten of Cups is the card of peace, of fulfillment, of the life that they wished for Paul Walker. It is the beach, it is the wife and child, it is the knowledge of many years to come in the warm bright air of the future, slowly wrinkling and softening and still the same bright spark in the eyes. It is contentment, it is everything that you’ve ever dreamed of, and there is no catch. It is an endless steady thing, friends around a table, driving fast cars, wind in your hair. It is the card of family, in whatever form it takes for you, standing around you with love in their eyes. It is a moment of pause, and I want you to take it, snapshot, he stands on the beach and his face is turned from you but you know he is happy, and you want him to stay that way forever. The Ten of Cups is a harbor, an idyll, clear still water that reflects what you have loved, what has loved you, everything bound up growing together like vines, holding each other. Together. It is the end of a long road, twisting and turning and dappled with sun and shadow. It is the product of a lifetime, of many lifetimes, of small moments that are bigger than the world. Corona, and your best friend’s children, and your wife in white, and porch steps at night. What I am saying is that this is such a blessing, this card, such a small gift that is so much of everything. The family you make, the family you choose. The love in you that is absorbed and reflected by everyone around you, keeping you warm. The road is long but you drive next to someone for as long as you can, and you can look at each other and somehow not crash your cars into each other and in that moment you are alive forever, in this bright incredible love, the sun fills your car and you smile, and you will have that love always, always, and your roads diverge. And that is all.