Today’s card looks like a tree on fire, red-tinged in the night. The guidebook says it represents either an actual maternal relationship or “the side of yourself that wants to love more.” It also is apparently about connecting with nature. I feel like my summer goals are always about connecting with nature–yesterday we spent almost six hours at a lake up in Putnam County, in the middle of a state park. The beach rings one corner of the lake and the rest is woods. We did some swimming and some digging in the sand, bought some ice cream from the concession stand, but we also saw a deer grazing on the far shore and a giant snapping turtle swimming in the shallow water. Some kid with a net and a bucket caught a bunch of baby frogs, only half-transformed from being tadpoles, and showed them off to the other kids on the beach.
Back In The Day, in this case meaning when I was like twenty-two and living in Somerville, I spent a while really interested in that Artist’s Way book. Just out of college, in a job that was perfectly fine but not what I wanted to do with my life, with this thing in the back of my head saying that I could be a writer if only. If only what, I don’t know, but if only something. So I did the Artist’s Way stuff, trying to find the problem so I could fix it. I loved doing the morning pages–just write three pages of anything at all, just clear out the static in your brain. After two weeks I realized that my morning pages were all about wanting and never about doing. I wanted things to be different, in eight million unspecified ways, “wanting it to be different” radiating out like spokes on a wheel or like poison gas. Having seen that, I couldn’t un-see it, and I started trying to make things different. (Writing still never happened, not in a sustained way, that’s a story for another day. But the push-push-push to do the things, that’s how I got the grad school applications in, that’s how I moved to California, that’s how I gained all the good things in my life that came after but also how I lost all the things I hadn’t appreciated enough when I was twenty-two and living in Somerville.)
Anyway my point was, there’s value in seeing the patterns. Whenever I’m in a loop of talking too much about “maternal relationships” it’s because I’m putting off a phone call.