After a long and busy lifetime, building, creating, loving, hating, fighting, compromising, failing, succeeding, the Fool feels a profound need to retreat. In a small, rustic home deep in the woods, he hides, reading, cleaning, organizing, resting or just thinking. But every night at dusk he heads out, traveling across the bare, autumnal landscape. He carries only a staff and a lantern.
It is during these restless walks from dusk till dawn, peering at and examining whatever takes his fancy, that he sees and realizes things he's missed, about himself and the world. It is as if the secret corners in his head were being slowly illuminated, corners he never knew existed. In a way, he has become the Fool again; as in the beginning, he goes wherever inspiration leads him.
But as the Fool, his staff rested on his shoulder, carrying unseen his pack. The Fool was like the pack, whatever it was he could be was wrapped up, unknown. The Hermit’s staff leans out before him, not behind. And it carries a lantern, not a pack. The Hermit is like the lantern, illuminated from within by all he is.
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