For the next year, Niki, Jenny, and I plan to avail ourselves upon The Mother’s Wisdom Deck  for inspiration—why reinvent the wheel? Each week we will pull a card from the deck and use that as our theme, letting whatever thoughts, stories, photos, drawings, quotes come into our lives that week add meaning to the attribute.

jenny's painting of Inspiration

Jenny’s painting for the card Sappho-Inspiration

Today the card I pull is Inspiration.

Here I am, awakened to a world of fresh snow that’s already melting, making abstract geometries on the roofs in my cul-de sac. Today is the day I try to put into words what is ineffable and undeniable—how inspiration comes into my life, and with what mood I welcome her. This dance with the divine moves all over the place, tango, twist, slam, swing. Today: a slow blues number. I dance resting my forehead on the shoulder of my shadow, claiming her back as my beloved.

It feels naked to write like this, as if in a private journal that inadvertently became public. I have no voice I need to assume—journalistic or otherwise—accept my own. Out here in the blogosphere there are no stars, out here there is an immaculate silence.

On the perimeter of my life, I look for a way back to the center. Some days I feel bereft, lonely, almost forsaken as the whirligig of the world whizzes by me. The image of a bedraggled deadhead in a parking lot, holding the crooked, hand-lettered plea “I need a miracle” hits close to home.

But it’s not a ticket I am looking for. It is the search for what Robert Frost describes as: “What was that whiteness? Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.”

a photo of my daughter inspired by a dandelion

                photo by Kellie Mendelow Photography

For me, this deck is a way into that something. It enacts the clarity of call and response, a way to live the questions. It offers the irrefutable sense that I am on the right path, doing what I am meant to do.

What gives you the confirmation you need? What’s the sign that affirms your choices, banishing regret? How do you replenish your inspiration supply?

altar with prototype of inspiration cardEven before we created the deck, I would pull an angel card every morning. But as my heart grew to encompass my children, I loved Niki’s idea of a card that would have that mother-child relationship embedded inside it. That’s why for the past year, every morning I start my day by pulling a card from our deck. Since we still don’t have the printed deck in our hands yet, I am using a lovingly hand printed prototype that Niki gave me as a gift at the Blessingway for my daughter Oriah.

I treasure the moment just before I pull—the pause—all possibility transformed into a still point. For a few seconds, I am mindful. The shape of my inspiration infusion awaits, ready for me to call it forth. Named, it takes wing.

I return to my card again and again throughout the day, in those in-between pauses. A constant reminder of the bigger picture in the midst of all the smaller stuff. Deeper forces are at work, the cards say. Bow to what you didn’t know you knew.