Living my Nine of Disks week on writing retreat at Sea Ranch on the Northern California Coast, I found myself deeply connected to the card’s corresponding Major Arcanum, The Hermit. Though surrounded by eight of my writing sisters (a full flock of nine), I maintained a beautiful balance of solitary and social time. I rested, soaked in the hot tub, stared at the sky morning, noon, and night, edited my manuscript, and wrote new poems based on prompts during afternoon exercise sessions. I thought of all nine of us sitting around the dinner table as living manifestations of the Nine of Disks. All week, my sisters worked to shape and craft—make tangible to self and others–her story, poem, memoir, novel, journal, or as yet-unnamed form.
On the other side of the retreat, I spent a morning catching up with two of my writer/artist mother friends. I stepped out into the Sonoma County morning air to sweet Elizabeth’s garden, her guinea fowl scampering around the yard with his Dr. Suess spindly-haired spigot of a neck and his brown feathered body plump and loafed like an Airstream trailer. We looked for the Mom Robin (Not a Through Road: seasonal writing from an unnamed lane in Sonoma County) Elizabeth tells me has been generously sampling the blueberries, but she’s hiding from us today. We drove next to Sandy’s house where two of her beautiful sculptures placed in diagonal corners of the yard appear to converse above the tallish grass.
Years ago, our children played in the Sebastopol parks together and rowed their legs into the sky on swings side by side and walked into the same kindergarten classrooms. Now our children–willowy all three–use those same legs to venture further out into the world in larger and larger classrooms we no longer need to ferry them towards. Here we are with arms draped around one of the tangible manifestations of the quiet hours of invisible work we did while raising children and sequestering just enough time to do the work of bringing idea into form. The poem, Someone, appears in November Butterfly which can be ordered here, and the sculpture, bearing the poem, is available for purchase from Sandy Frank Fine Art.
What a blessing to revel in the passage and skills we’ve acquired along the way and to see our work blossoming in the communities we love.
Tarot Tuesday: Ten of Disks Writing Prompt
Today’s writing prompt focuses on the Rider Waite Smith depiction of the Ten of Disks; we see a curtain of falling disks obscuring our view of a family: seated grandfather, several dogs, husband with back to us, wife facing us, child clutching mother’s skirt. An image of easy wealth and prosperity, this particular card also gives us the opportunity to examine generational attitudes towards wealth.
If artistically inclined, sketch a physical representation of the generations in your particular family and how they relate. Do they face one another? Do the parents look back to see and value their own ancestors? What holds the attention of the children? Which colors would you use if you were to draw lines or figure eights of relation in the air connecting certain family members? Along the color lines you draw, write in the specific tangible objects or types of wealth exchanged.
Alternately, if you do not wish to draw, how would you describe in words the body language of the generations when gathered together in a room?
What is the culmination of your family inheritance, today—what internal and external riches have you inherited? Which patterns of relation are in place in your family? What do you wish to be the culmination of harvest you bequeath to your children?
The Ten of Disks corresponds to the Major Arcanum, the Wheel of Fortune. If not financial, what other culmination of wealth, tangible, is in your life or sphere of influence or circumference (attic full of artwork, drawer full of rare seeds for the garden, wheelbarrows full of stepping stones for the pathway, pond full of carp, bags full of clay waiting to be shaped, blank books to fill) could you stop to enjoy at the moment? Make a list of your hidden or overlooked bounty.
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 photo at the top of this post is by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie; middle photo by Elizabeth Brennan and the photo of the sculpture is by Sandy Frank.
Here is a post up at Tarot for Two that addresses the Ten of Disks:
In addition to her Not a Through Road blog, Elizabeth Brennan also blogs and collaborates to create prose poetry at Perhaps, Maybe. For a list of the posts Elizabeth and I have collaborated to create, including links to short recordings of some of our readings of those collaborations, visit this link on my site.