Sacred containers

Join me on a dream dive: a tarot journey for writers

Join me on a dream dive: a tarot journey for writers

This week, to ground the roiling of my writing thoughts, I drew a tarot card to direct my focus. Of course, the image that came forward was the Nine of Swords: the card of midnight worries and the unsettled mind.

There are moments when the cards mirror my creative state so uncannily that my first response is, “Well, tell me something I don't know!” But in this case, after a second look, I remembered that this Nine is also the card of dreams.

My dreams have gotten loud as I’ve sifted through boxes of memory-triggering artifacts in recent weeks. I haven’t felt clear on how to write about the memories — where in the narrator’s awareness and understanding of her story does she speak from? I’ve asked. I suspect my dreams have been trying to show me potential answers to this question.

On finding the message in the mess

On finding the message in the mess

This month has been about looking back. Not the sort of reflection that happens on the page, but the kind that has to do with checking in and taking stock.

The process of gathering specific memories and corroborating them with family and friends for my book project has been going on since February, and now that I have quite the growing information cache, I’ve needed to step back and consider it all at once. I don’t want to lose sight of what my intentions were when I started this exploration, and at the same time, I don’t want to miss opportunities to let the material point me in directions I could not have known about at the outset.

On creating sacred containers for our words

On creating sacred containers for our words

I keep two slim journals on top of a bookshelf in my bedroom. The large floral designs on their soft covers remind me of the first stories I wrote in my classroom Writing Center when I was six. My teachers made blank books by folding legal-size copy paper in half and fashioning the covers from wallpaper samples. I loved these. Every time I pick up one of my journals, the memory of these other books comes back to me: small and simple, but to a budding writer, special — even sacred.