So much value, placed upon
what lies just beyond our plans:
waving my handkerchief,
running along, till the end of the sand.
Joanna Newsom, “Occident” (Have One On Me, 2010)
A woman dressed in an old-fashioned pale green nightgown and red slippers stands on the beach, waving a handkerchief and looking off toward the left-hand side of the card. Her hair is in a long braid that reaches past her waist and she lifts up the hem of her long gown to keep it out of the water and sand. There is a golden coin in the sky behind her handkerchief. Another golden coin lies on the ground, next to a human skull and some other bones poking up through the sand. The sky is purple and blue, and a ship is faintly visible in the distance.
The Page of Coins is a treasure hunter, searching the beach. She has one guiding coin in the sky, and one in reserve in the sand beneath the bones. For this reason, she can represent someone who is yet to come into an inheritance, or someone who does not know the extent of the gifts she possesses. She also embodies the unfounded optimism referenced in the song “Occident” – building cities in the ocean’s dangerous reach.
On the positive side, the Page of Coins is down-to-earth and genuine, with a buoyant attitude. On the other hand, she can lack foresight and place value upon the wrong things.