Quest 2016 continues today with a prompt by Todd Henry.
Henry asked questers: It takes bravery to know your strengths and operate diligently within them. Are you running your race, or someone else’s?
Motherhood and Racing
When I was a sprinter, my sixth grade coach nicknamed me the silver bullet. Having lived the body metaphor, I recognize if you run a race at someone else’s pace, you risk burning through reserves and finding yourself without a kick at the end to surge ahead to win.
But motherhood–and fatherhood–call for other metaphors. How does a mother at the helm write or create and feel good about the time she’s invested to run or win her artistic race if it comes at the expense of the children or harmony in the home?
I venture to guess the clock of motherhood is different; crossing the finish line means crossing with children.
I’m in great company finding my way (to name just a few, my fellow questers Suzi Banks Baum, Brenna Layne, and Marisa Glaser Goudy); I raise my cup of tea to us as we articulate the metaphors we need to thrive.
I chose three cards: one for how to best support my bravery, one for how to best support operating diligently within my strengths, and one for how to best support trusting the mother clock.
How Best to Employ Bravery: Princess of Disks
The Thoth deck Princess of Disk looks pregnant. Deep in the woods she divines, listening, using a crystal wand to see into the world of the roots. Motherhood affords me the opportunity to ponder the family tree, its roots in the past and how my own children are growing towards or away from those patterns as well as how my husband and I are faring.
The Princess of Disks reminds me to keep “looking” with all my senses and to trust the connection with the earth, birth, and the rebirths raising children affords me to “grow” up a second time. She invites me to travel the spiral path in to the center of the self and back out again to bring back the light of one’s core lantern.
The Seven of Wands fell in the second to last post as well and is titled Valour. In the Rider Waite deck we see an image of a warrior trying to stay on top of challenges. Others with equally vibrant ideas may step forward as I develop my art and my writing. Can I keep to my own goals and trajectory? Perhaps I can learn to trust friction and challenge as part of that process. Or maybe this card is about opening to sparring on a physical level: time to take up that martial art class I’ve been thinking about.
How Best to Trust the Mother Clock: The Hermit
The Hermit card reminds me that no matter the maelstrom occurring in the domestic monastery, I have an obligation to my sanity as a writer and artist to take Hermit’s solitude daily. Here’s another image of the lantern (like the Princess’s crystal light wand).
As a mother I can’t run off to the monastery or escape for month-long retreats, but as my children grow into their independence, I can wean myself from hyper-vigilance, trust the universe a bit (and them), and disappear for longer and longer writing and teaching adventures.
The Hermit reminds me to rest in the velvet blue timeless expanse always available inside—even ten minutes will do. In it I will construct my lantern.
Today’s in-process drawing is a synthesis of the three Tarot cards I pulled today. The prompt with its reference to racing also brought to mind the glyph of sea goat, my Sun sign: Capricorn. Our downside is that we can be grumpy goats, serious and goal oriented. On the upside we plumb the depths of sea and climb merrily the steepest of mountains to summit.
While I can pretend I am not racing, I often feel I should be “further along…” “faster…” “better…” In antidote, then, in this drawing, I penciled in an aspect of Lady Frieda Harris’s Thoth Princess of Disk as nautilus (just for love of chambered symmetry). Lady Frieda’s diamond staff shows up here more as a green wand or green pen tip of sorts. The goat has wings and appears slightly astral to me. As for the mermaid tail, or sea goat part,—we just see tail…heart below the water line and headed for the darkest part of the sea.
While walking with my husband, I snapped this photo of an oil slick. When I sat down to draw, I love how its nested o shape with redwood leaf spine passing through inspired the segmented staff part of today’s drawing.
More about Todd Henry, author of today’s Tracking Wonder prompt:
Todd Henry is a foremost voice and authority on how teams and individuals can execute brilliant ideas every day. CEO of Accidental Creative and author of the books Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice (Portfolio 2011), Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day (Portfolio 2015), and Louder Than Words:Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice (Portfolio 2015), Todd travels the globe like a creative arms dealer to equip people and companies with the right systems and habits that lead to everyday brilliance.
A sampling of posts by other Questers responding to today’s prompt by Todd Henry:
As Water Falls, by Kate Arms *improv meditation vide0
A Prayer for Rising by Suzi Banks Baum
Only Connect by Brenna Layne
Photo Credit: goes to my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie for the enamel spiral of buttons photo…