Nine years nine months eight days old. Birthdays are very important to Julia. So are bunnies, and when Julia went on a short walk by herself from the driveway toward the gate yesterday, she returned grinning hugely coming in the door with quick steps to tell Buck and me that she had seen two rabbits in the edge of the wood near the stream bed.
“They didn’t run, and I tried not to move. We just looked at each other,” she said, eyes large.
It was a simple day. I taught her how to play Scrabble. We used up all but one letter and even kept score. We played one game of no rules kid’s dominoes, stayed in the pool ’til we were pruny and feeling the sun, made grilled cheese sandwiches and ate frozen red grapes.
When you really let go of all the other things you had planned to do during a day and make a decision to be fully present with a child, it can be a profound experience. We discussed art, kindness, complexities of different learning styles, idiosyncrasies of teachers, the wonderful way of a mom with baked chicken and couscous, love for one’s brother and sister away on a trip this week, hopes for the future and sweetness of life.
In Andy Couturier’s book, Writing Open The Mind, he recommends using the Tarot as a creative tool for writers to help them drop into the deep subconscious. One day when I was reading one of my favorite blogs, 3rd House Journal, I noticed Leslee had a sidebar item called “Support My Friends.” One listing was for Sakki-Sakki, design and tarot. I ordered a set and they arrived two days ago in an intriguing-looking package mailed from Israel.
Young Julia had never heard of Tarot cards, but was captivated by the gorgeous images. The deck provided several hours of interesting conversation for us as we shuffled and turned over images, finally spreading out the entire set so we could look at each in turn. Her favorites were “Strength” and “The Empress.” Couturier describes the Tarot as an “unbound book,” a “map of experience in life and of consciousness in its weird and unbridled guises;” a “non-liner text.” He asserts that the associative power of the images combined with the ability to shuffle the images to make continually new sequences gives a “particular access into the inarticulable, druidic realms of our as-yet-unknown interior.”
Judging by the nature of the questions raised and the conversation which flowed as Julia and I looked at the Sakki-Sakki cards, I can see they may be a useful tool to hopscotch quickly over one’s Big Editor who guards the gate to the all good stuff in your head.
Julia, is a real person, a budding naturalist, artist, thinker and questioner. Her mega watt smile lights up any room. She is curious, adaptive, resilient, and knows more than most about how to love her family, friends, and fellow creatures.