Confessions of a Tarot Deck Hoarder: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 7

The blessing of too many choices
can be a comfortable trap.

I make room
for the things that sing
to me in my key. 

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform

Liner Notes for this Groove:

“What kind of tea do you want?"

"There´s more than one kind of tea?...What do you have?"

"Let´s see... Blueberry, Raspberry, Ginseng, Sleepytime, Green Tea, Green Tea with Lemon, Green Tea with Lemon and Honey, Liver Disaster, Ginger with Honey, Ginger Without Honey, Vanilla Almond, White Truffle Coconut, Chamomile, Blueberry Chamomile, Decaf Vanilla Walnut, Constant Comment and Earl Grey."

"I.. Uh...What are you having?... Did you make some of those up?”

― Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

I frickin’ love tarot and oracle decks. Oh I know that there are people with a way crazier collection than mine, but many of those folks are professional readers. I mostly read for myself and a couple of my friends. I am trying to be very selective about the decks I pick up. Cool or pretty art is important but that doesn’t always guarantee I’ll get the deck. I’ve found myself opting to buy an art print from a deck instead of the whole deck if it doesn’t speak to me. But I’ve been pulled in by the beauty of decks like the Shadowscapes Tarot, the Spirit Keepers Tarot and the OstaraTarot. If a deck touches a bit of nostalgia I might pick it up too, like the Last Unicorn Tarot, or the Fairytale Tarot. If it makes me laugh like the Housewives Tarot or the Hello Kitty tarot, that piques my interest too. So when I saw there was a Philadelphia based tarot deck featuring Gritty on the Devil card, I did not fight my temptation too hard.

I mean... it's Gritty! And c'mon Will Smith as the Fresh King 
of pentacles? Cups represented by cheesesteaks, the ultimate
comfort food? Of course I was an early kickstarter for this!

Realistically, I know that it’s silly to keep around decks I’m never going to read with. And I have gifted people with decks I wasn’t giving enough love too, but thought they might enjoy. I think I’m going to enjoy messing around with this deck for a while, so that will curb my impulses a little. I’ve learned to be similarly disciplined when it comes to writing projects. I have a few that are floating around in my head, but I’m not going to get anything finished unless I stick with the ones I’ve committed to bringing to fruition. I’ll still write down ideas and inspirations I get, but if they don’t fit a project, they’ll stay in my craft pile until I’m ready to give serious attention to it.

So tell me dear Groovers, is there something you can’t help but surround yourself with? Or what’s new in your world. Tell me all about it in the comments section. As always, if you have a cyber home you want to continue the conversation in, talk to me about it in the comments and hit me with a link.

Song Choice: Philly Forget Me Not by Hall and Oates

Write Like a Lazy Corgi, Blogging Around with Rommy Week 6

I won’t waste my time
pushing a river uphill
when I can sail it.

This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads’ Tuesday Platform and Poets United's Poetry Pantry 441.

Liner Notes for this Groove:

Sometimes I am sure that my corgi, Kit, thinks that his leash is so I don’t get lost following him around. I thought my first corgi, Faye, was stubborn, but Kit is an exemplar of the stubbornness corgis are legendary for. You see corgis can be prone to chubbiness without enough exercise. This was never a problem for Faye, who was happy to race around her usual path as fast as her stumpy legs could carry her. Kit however prefers to meander instead of race, picking out paths for reasons only known to himself. He will not walk if it is too late and he has already settled himself into one of his dog beds for the evening (he has one on each floor of the house). He loathes walking when it gets above 80, but adores snow and the cold.

So recently, I attempted to walk him when the snow from the most recent storm had mostly melted. Predictably, Kit was mopey, even though there was a chill in the air. At one point on the walk he found a patch of snow large enough to accommodate a pudgy corgi and refused to move.

Now I know this pattern. I could beg. I could tug on his leash. If I had more upper body strength I could even pick him up and move him back to the sidewalk or grass. He’d only go back to the snow pile, or find another one like it, and refuse to move until he had felt he had sufficiently indulged in it. I’d only prolong the walk if I tried rushing him before he was ready. So I gave him what he wanted. I won’t say he cheerfully gave up his beloved patch of snow, but when enough time passed (and I wasn’t tugging the leash), he got up and trotted home.

I have to admit, I’m not too dissimilar to my dog when it comes to writing sometimes. I finally had an idea for a story. I (thought I) was ready to start and outline. And I stared at my screen…

And stared…
And stared…
And played suduko…
And scrolled through Facebook…
And stared…

I discussed the issue with my writing buddy who suggested I just try word vomiting what I wanted to do with this new story. Don’t commit to anything as formal as an outline or a summary. Just play with throwing some sentences around, put it aside for a few days and revisit it.

Now this I liked! With no pressure to produce a perfect outline, or even a coherent plot I just drank some tea and jotted down ideas that started off a little all over the place, but ended up looking like a chapter by chapter break down. I went over it with my writing buddy and we poked the thing with sticks to see what wiggled with potential life and what lay there. It was now much easier to pull together an outline and a couple of character profiles from what I had.

In the book I am reading now, Hideyoshi and Rikyu by Nogami Yaeko, there is a passage about the way Oda Nobunaga would reward his warriors. “When Nobunaga was in power the warriors who served him had wanted to receive rare and prestigious tea utensils that had been imported from China as a reward for their brilliant achievements in war…The warriors felt deep chagrin if Nobunaga gave them a castle instead.” Sometimes to achieve things, you gotta go with what motivates you. Kit will get a full walk in if I let him have his break time in a pile of snow. And I can start a new novel if I let myself play with ideas and fall in love with writing characters first. Otherwise, I’ll end up wasting my time scrolling through social media (ooh… corgi video!)

 So dear Groovers, have you ever relied on some off-beat ways to get you more motivated to tackle a big task? Tell me all about it in the comments section, or just catch me up on what's doing with you this week. And as always if you have a cyberhome where you'd like to take the conversation a little deeper, talk to me about it in the comments and add your link there.

Song Choice: My Life by Billy Joel

I'd Still Kiss Him Under the Bleachers: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 5

No shortage of doubt
lies in my pessimist’s heart.
You ground my storming
soul, once ready to give up,
until you smile and say, “Fly”.

This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads’ Tuesday Platform and Poets United's Poetry Pantry 440.

“Before Elle had come into his life, he didn't even know what tea was. Now it was a staple. Worse, he actually knew the differences in teas.”
― Christine Feehan, Hidden Currents

Liner Notes for this Groove:

Anyone who’s met me in real life knows that like Cinderella’s carriage, I turn into a pumpkin when it gets late enough—though usually I’m lucky to make it to 10 p.m., let alone midnight. So this one night my husband and I were driving home from our friends’ place well past 10. I was fading fast and asked my husband to find something on the radio. I don’t know how he did it, but he flipped through and found a Latin freestyle block. At the first few notes from Debbie Deb I started to perk up. When Cynthia and Johnny O started up the duet that always got me moving at high school dances, I was singing along. But not the husband.

See, while these tunes were a staple of my coming of age in Elmwood Park, NJ his teen years on Philadelphia’s Main Line didn’t expose him to much Latin freestyle, even if he had bothered making it to a dance. But he knows what I like. He knows, like the character in the quote above, what the difference in teas are even though he’s a dedicated coffee drinker. And he knows how important writing is to me. I’ve had more than a few times I’ve felt discouraged by lack of support from places I thought I’d get it from (Yo, maybe wait until I leave the room to discuss how you can’t be bothered having my book in your house? K’thanks). He’s not only been the cheerleader I needed after moments like that, he’s also there backing me up when I need quiet time to write, and making sure I have the tea I need to get to the word count I want.

So I never made out with him under the bleachers while dancing to Clave Rocks. I doubt he knows the tune to ShowMe, let alone the words. But this pumpkin made it to midnight that night. And you can sure as hell bet I kissed the prince.

This movie is a favorite of both my husband' and me.

So dear Groovers, is there something you learned more about or some skill you picked up because of a significant other? Tell me all about it in the comments section, or just catch me up on what's doing with you this week. And as always if you have a cyberhome where you'd like to take the conversation a little deeper, talk to me about it in the comments and add your link there.

Express Yourself: Blogging Around With Rommy, Week 4

I can only art
droplets of my own heart’s blood
to paint full color.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads: Tuesday Platform and Poets United Poetry Pantry 439.

Liner Notes for this Groove:

You might think that studying Japanese tea ceremony only involves the study of tea.

*tries to refrain from laughing and spitting out a perfectly good mouthful of tea*

If, as Mary Lou Heiss said, “A simple cup of tea is far from a simple matter”, preparing a bowl of matcha in the traditional manner is exponentially more complicated than that. Firstly, aside from learning how to whip the perfect bowl of tea, you get an education in appreciating pottery, incense, calligraphy, confection making, flower arranging, poetry and kimono wearing. All these related arts have their own sets of rules and traditions around them.

Take kimonos for instance. You should choose your kimono based on the season and the type of gathering you will be at. But even within the rules, there is room for a self-expression. My tea teacher had a kimono I loved, white with a pretty geometric pattern sprinkled with tiny books. I say had, because last Saturday, she handed it down to me. Now it is a casual kimono because of the print, but I’m going to love wearing it because, well, I kind of feel like it’s another way to bring a bit of who I am to the art form that is Japanese tea ceremony.

I cannot get over how cute this is.

It’s true that some of the best art really requires at least some (if not all) of the artist’s heart to bring it to life. And by heart, I mean feeling. Anyone can truthfully describe a laundry-list of observations they make. Even if it’s all technically correct, it’s about as moving as a dead battery. Show how those things make you feel. As for me, that element of a perfectly suited for me kimono will likely make me smile bigger, and possibly give my wrist a little more happy energy with which to whip the matcha.

So Groovers, how do you like to express your unique style? If you have a cyberhome, elaborate on that in the comments section and be generous and share your cyber address so we can stop by and say hey. As always you can just chat about what’s new with you there too. 

Song Choice: Express Yourself by Madonna