I have some very creative friends. Recently one suggested we do creative expressions inspired by the dealing of a tarot card — responding with a story, poem, painting, clay work, collage, whatever. She posted this Seven of Discs, which I believe is from the Via Tarot. There were some wonderful responses — a poem about the goddess dreaming the world, some prose about long-term projects, a collage, a photo, and other wonderful expressions. They were the sort of things that brought tears to my eyes, because there is so much creativity in this world. (And frankly, because I wish I were more creative, like some of my friends.) 🙂
While I was going to university, I got the Seven of Pentacles a LOT in my personal tarot readings. When I see this card in a reading, most often I talk about putting long-term effort into a project, the sort of thing that can take years. On the Hanson-Roberts deck it shows a man in his late 20s/early 30s, leaning on a gardening tool, looking at the seven pentacles on a bush, like produce in a garden. He looks tired, as if he is wondering when the work will be done. At least with a garden you usually have the results by Summer or Autumn, though with artichokes and fruit trees it may take a year or more. Sometimes the Seven of Pentacles comes up because people are discouraged by all the work, maybe even wondering if it is worth it all.
Thanks to Samhain and Thanksgiving, I’ve also been thinking about various ancestors. My mother and maternal grandmother were hard-working people, the sort who got up early in the morning and did things because they needed to be done. They were both gardeners, and had yards that were the envy of neighbors. They understood the value of hard work that didn’t have immediate rewards. And I know they didn’t get the recognition and honor they deserved in their life times for all their efforts. I am who I am partly because of those efforts. Probably a child is the most long-term, labor intensive investment most of us will ever make. I wonder if some parents realize that. Because it doesn’t just affect that child . . . it affects everyone that child interacts with, and their children, and their children’s children, and beyond.
So I created this photo as my response to the Seven of Discs. There is the afghan behind it, which I suppose is a relatively rapid project, because it only took months. The diploma took years to achieve, and reflects the effort of me, my husband, and my mom (because she gave me the money that made part of it possible). It also honors my grandmother, because a century ago she went to college and had to drop out after three years (before graduating) because of her health. The photos of my mom and that grandmother (whom I never actually met) honor these strong women. They helped me become who I am (though I’m still a work in progress).
This is a Thanksgiving thank you — to them, to family, to friends, to creators, to warriors, to workers, to dreamers, to all the people who put their efforts into long-term, labor intensive projects that have made this world a better place. Thank you!