Psychopomp Magazine Winter 2015 - Page 29

Harmony Neal | 27

This act reinforces the accusation that gets leveled against her on occasion: that she ripped off the art from that tarot deck. Some critics point out that there are as many differences between Umwelt’s juvenile pieces and those cards as there are similarities. Mostly, the critics don’t really care about her juvenilia because they only care about what came next.

Act V: Resolution

Seven of Selves ᴥ Ecstasy

Umwelt takes on entire rooms, then entire houses, plucks from her dreams and thoughts and desires. Rooms of pristine blue skies with rainbows and flowers. Rooms of furred creatures who mean you no harm. An entire house of stars. A house of human-free Madagascar. Oceans full of unicorns, a red bull standing guard on the shore. She never obligates herself to only reveal her dreams because her world, her Umwelt, consists of the worlds of others brushing up against her own, overlapping, intertwining, like in the Vine House where each room bleeds into the next, oozes onto the outside. She begins the Vine House months after the Leopard and Leopard Woman, and it takes her months to complete. She believes her reading is done, that The Tarot Reader has moved on to someone else.

The entrance to the Vine House is the last part she completes, making the door green, adding its vines. She imagines The Tarot Reader’s candlelight over her shoulder, thinks it is one more piece of her Umwelt coming to life, another thing she has brought into being by wishing it so. She assumes she has painted the light by mistake or by choice or by whimsy. A hand touches Umwelt’s shoulder, making her shiver, hands her the last card: Seven of Selves ᴥ Ecstasy.