External Equivalents for Truth
Spring came early this weekend.
By mid-morning, the temperature had climbed to the high 60s. I threw open the windows and turned on the ceiling fans to dispel the stale winter air. The toddler used his plastic shovel to chip away at the pile of slush that used to be his snowman. We covered the driveway with chalk drawings and played with the hose.
I didn't get to do morning pages or meditate, but I did get fifteen minutes to cut pictures out of an old Uppercase Magazine. I've been reading about archetypes in A Writer's Journey, and it's gotten me thinking about archetypes in artwork, particularly collage.
Years ago I read a book called SoulCollage, which recommends using collage to create a personal Tarot deck. This morning, cutting out one illustration after another, I gave each a label: Exuberance. Predestination. Perfectionism. Immediately I could see how the images might fall into suits, major and minor arcana.
Anne Truitt writes in Daybook: Journal of an Artist:
"An eye for this order is crucial for an artist. I notice that as I live from day to day, observing and feeling what goes on both inside and outside myself, certain aspects of what is happening adhere to me, as if magnetized by a center of psychic gravity. I have learned to trust this center, to rely on its acuity and to go along with its choices although the center itself remains mysterious to me.
... I have found that this process of selection, over which I have virtually no control, isolates those aspects of my experience that are most essential to me in my work because they echo my own attunement to what life presents me. It is as if there are external equivalents for truths which I already in some mysterious way know. In order to catch these equivalents, I have to stay 'turned on' all the time, to keep my receptivity to what is around me totally open."