Saturday, February 6, 2010

Writing Rituals

It is Saturday, and I have been able to carve out some writing time this afternoon. The kids have been sick, so no sports to run around to. I did some food shopping yesterday, so that my husband and the kids can be relatively self-sufficient. A few hours of writing, some more rest and time for the antibiotics to get into the kids' systems, and--if all goes well--I get my choice of restaurants tonight to go out to for my birthday. I want cake. And the kids want to sing to me. It's been a chaotic week.

I place my laptop on top of the antique green sewing machine I use as a desk. From this vantage point I can survey the goings-on of the house. I am always on call.

I light two candles. One is on the altar to my right. The other sits on the corner of my desk. The candle holder is shaped like a Goddess holding up the moon. She is an Earth Goddess; Gaia; She is covered in vines, flowers, small animals and assorted greenery. On her breast is a crescent moon. She holds up the candle like a beacon--or perhaps a warning--enter at your own risk--this is my time. Tread lightly.

The rest of the family is playing Monopoly. This should keep them busy. But first, I fetch drinks for everyone. I make sure they are fed. I remind them where to find additional snacks. My son asks for a snack his sister has--I bring him one. "Mom, you are the best Mom in the world. In the Universe." I call him my biggest fan. I think he actually has a love-hate relationship with my writing, although he is surely unaware of this. He is proud of my writing. He really likes some of what I've let him read. He muses, "Wouldn't it be cool if you became a famous writer?" At the same time, he knows it is my passion. I think he tests my committment to writing versus my committment to him. He needs to know he is first.

I microwave my now-lukewarm coffee. Bringing it to my desk, I survey my various Tarot and oracle decks, wanting to pick a card to help me focus my intentions. I pick an oracle deck, and enter the slighly meditative process where I shuffle the deck, and try to get in touch with my intuition. The cards go shuffle, shuffle; cut, cut; shuffle, shuffle. A child comes up and asks a question about where I put something.

I've learned, over the years, how to pop in and out of a semi-meditative state. I'd learned it out of necessity. I plug headphones into my laptop, getting ready to stream some classical music right into my ears. It is an additional physical symbol that I am concentrating, and it helps keep the nosisy chaos at bay.

The phone rings. My son answers, and hands it over to my husband. A call from one of our credit cards--a missed payment? My husband sounds perplexed. He schedules these for automatic payment. I'm grateful he is on top of the financials. It's just not something I have the brain capacity to handle. He figures it out--he set up the current payment for next month, accidently. They will waive any fees. He thanks the credit card company for their "excellent customer service."

My daughter enetrs the room. She has left the Monopoly game. "I'm gonna play Barbies in here." she announces. I smile and nod. I still haven't picked a card. Shuffle, shuffle, cut. I use my intution and select a card from the fanned out-deck. The Altar Priestess. Presparation, prayer, sacred ritual. Uncanny. I place it in front of my candle, behind my cold coffee.

I begin to write.

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