12.21.2005

Divine(ing)

So, in the spirit of returning to my spiritual life, I pulled out my tarot deck for the first time in months last night. Actually offered to give Kristin a reading. And I pulled a card to meditate on and to guide me until the next Sabbat (Imbolc, approx February 3rd a cross-quarter day also known as Candlemas). So, bear with me for the next few days as I post about this as well as meditate on the Solstice itself.

The deck I am currently using is the Motherpeace mini deck. Wonderful. The circular design allows for a great deal of precision and subtlety.





I stole (and slightly modified) the following two paragraphs from here.
“On an inner level, the Star is a symbol of that part of us which, despite disappointment, depression and loss can still cling to a sense of meaning and a future which might grow out of the unhappiness of the past. The Star does not represent a fully formed conviction of future plans, or a solution to one's problems, or a guide to action. Like the cards of the Hermit and the Hanged Man, the card of the Star is a card of waiting, for the sense of hope is a fragile light which glimmers and guides but does not dispel the darkness altogether.

"The Star, the guiding vision of hope and promise, arises not from intention but out of the ashes of the Tower which has been destroyed. The Fool waits amidst the rubble, without any clear sense of how or what to rebuild. In the midst of this confusion and collapse of old attitudes and structures, the faint, elusive yet potent Star rises.”

In this deck, specifically, the woman has come to a place of warmth and healing even as it is, in itself, a place without answers. The rains wash the rubble away; it washes the ash from her hair. She can clean her eyes. She can clean her ears. She can soak the toxins from her body. She can relax; she can let even her cells expand; she can gather her strength for the next stage of the journey; she can get an idea of where she is going and what she can do next.

Here is a very old, old poem of mine that I think begins to touch on this. It’s a sestina, just so you know. Though, of course, when writing in forms, if I really have to explain that it’s in a form then I haven’t written the form well enough (which is possible since this is such a very old poem)

Luring Fantasy

Lately she's been giving in to the urge to sleep naked in the sun,
and allow her dreams to swirl slowly like a bed of restless sand
or submerging whales. Amazingly sunburn still manages to stiffen her skin;
but heat smoothes into the painful swells of her joints
and the one is worth the other, she figures; worth exposure to the beach
and surf's dance of argument and counterpoint.

Once she wanted to swim like a whale, move in a counterpoint
of desire and breath between clinging water and diffuse sun.
Everyday she sang to the whales, in early spring she saw one beached
and dusty. In a fur coat she stood on the gray and sandy
shore with her friends, shaking and stoned, smoking joints
and drinking, trying to remember how to breathe, how to feel her skin

again, how to move. She sleeps, she dreams of a covering of skins,
the soft and supple feel of a counterpane
of fur; the bones, sinews and joints
removed. She burrowed into it reaching for sun
as she now digs unconsciously into the sand
as if she were a whale, trying to swim through the beach,

through the hallowed loneliness of this beach.
When her friends had drunk enough and smoked too much, they tried to skin
that whale using beach-glass, the smashed rum bottle, even a broken sand-
dollar someone had found. She and her body were ineffective counterpoint
to their brittle wishes, so she huddled in her coat till the shrouded sun
set and they staggered away from the shreds. She buried the exposed joints

by flashlight... Mercifully she relaxes her joints,
her toes, her eyelids. She flings whales beyond the brilliant beach,
lures back dusty fantasies with the promise of a watery sun;
they start as tremors beneath her skin
as her lungs fill and release, her fingers ease, her eyes flick counterpoint
to her tissues expanding, to her breath pushing back against the sand.

When she finally got home that long-ago night, her eyes felt like sand
paper. She fixed another drink, but dropped it when a floor joist
creaked like whalesong beneath her feet. She stood by her counter, pointedly
ignoring the broken glass because it's liquid glitter reminded her of beach
sand. She showered the surf off of her skin
and wrapped up in a towel to sleep in the rising sun.

In sleep, with or without sun, what they stripped and buried in the sand
joins other broken, breathless whales under her skin.
Since that beach, she swims many pieces at once.

Posted by Trista @ 10:36 AM

Read or Post a Comment

Wow. I think sestinas are nearly impossible but this one I find brilliant. It's gorgeous, insistent but not repetitious, tight but still full of breath.

Posted by Blogger Nik @ 2:05 PM #
 

Happy Solstice! And wonderful poem, too. It's really brave and inspiring when you put your creative writing up.

Posted by Blogger starevelina @ 4:10 PM #
 

I adore your sestina. I've got one about whales, too -- the only sestina I've ever successfully written.

Solstice blessings to you!

Posted by Blogger Anne @ 6:57 PM #
 

Lovely. I love this part:

smoking joints
and drinking, trying to remember how to breathe, how to feel her skin

Praise!! I like it when you post poems:)

-Lauri

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1:06 PM #
 
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