Living my Eight of Disks week, I find myself in hibernation with my darling Flamingo writing group (though we will Come Out: we are appearing this coming Saturday for the first time as ourselves, The Flamingos, at Four Eyed Frog Books in Gualala. At our Meet and Greet, we will talk about writing, how we formed as a group, and how our group might give back to the writing community).
I thought about this question from the writing prompt for the Eight of Disks I gave you last week:
What, if you examine the trunk of the tree of your current life, do you know you still could stand to shield before revealing it for others to see?
The answer for me would be The Fool in the Corn, my new poetry manuscript. I’m still in the “cupped leaves” stage of the process, the poems now in the cupped hands of my trusted rings of readers I’ve sent the book to for feedback. As I learned while writing my first book, poetry book publication is just one tiny step at the end of a long rich private psychological, emotional, and spiritual journey (of course when the physical book arrives, the public journey begins).
As all writers must do, I find a way to remain anchored here in the present raising the three children while on invisible psychological pilgrimage to the land of an Illinois commune I lived on as a child. I’m sorting through the ethereal world of a shifting reality comprised of what my parents believed back then and what the followers and leaders of the commune parsed out as truths. What did I make of it then, and what do I make of it now?
Delineating and making up believable worlds is the challenge of being a fiction writer…delineating and outlining the fictional worlds in relation to the actual worlds of one’s past is the challenge set for the memoir poet. At least that’s what I think I’m attempting. I’ve felt some trepidation as I go about revealing, naming, and inadvertently widening the cracks in the surface of that past as if all the molten core will rush out at once and cover over the ground I thought was there all along. Taking it slow and releasing a little bit of pressure at a time has been critical over the last two years of writing these poems.
Coming to sit in a house above the ocean with my trusted Flamingoes makes such tracking of truth and release possible. I gain inspiration and fortitude beside my fellow feral, sensitive foragers, each with her own basket, gathering what she needs to proceed and go the distance in her word-work.
We soak in hot tubs under stars, we watch the fragile lurching of the canopy of deer at dusk, we share the nightly meal and harvest of words. We walk, we cry, we laugh. And we laugh some more. This joy carries me through the rest of the year and the inevitable trips to ER and urgent care on behalf of the children, the tending to my marriage and my public life of teaching, writing, and consulting.
Tarot Tuesday’s Prompt: The Nine of Disks
Oh, I love this card in the Rider Waite Smith Deck: woman in cloak, hooded bird on gloved wrist. I would wish an unfettered, unhooded bird to land in pure trust, but I get the metaphor of wealth here, that this woman is rich in many ways, grounded and rooted, grapes behind her, the leisure to pursue and manifest the invisible realm of soul work and its flights with a physical bird on the wrist.
I think of this card as a beautiful manifestation of the Hermit Card (the Major Arcanum IX). This woman has had time to manifest enough daily comfort—tending of finances and tangible projects–that she has time to pursue and tend the spiritual realm as well. And the reverse: time spent in humble patterns of listening to internal guidance have manifested a means of earning a living and bringing abundance into her life in a satisfying and playful way. The Thoth deck titles the Nine of Disks, Gain, and the Voyager deck, Harvest.
While the Rider Wait Smith Nine of Dicks presents us (as an image of harvest and wealth) a hooded bird on wrist of woman in grape arbor, which images from the tapestry of your life do you associate with a feeling of internal abundance and luxury? External abundance and luxury?
Alternately, imagine a scene of your choosing in which you feel a deep sense of internal and external luxury. Where are you standing? What are you holding? What do you see all around you?
Consider your Hermit self—how has your Hermit self helped you attain the harvests in your life? How could you strengthen your relationship to your Hermit self, even amidst a busy life of duties and responsibilities? What does your Hermit self have to say to you about how your work or projects can bear fruit?
Feel free to respond in comments here or to join the conversation at Tarot Tuesday’s Facebook page to share your word or image response.
The photos in this post are by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie.
I recently blogged at Tarot for Two about the image of hooded bird in The Hierophant and Art and Temperance.