Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Labor of Love

You can tell when a person is really putting creative energy into their work. I was looking at some of my tarot decks this evening, and the display of creative energy was obvious. There was one deck that was all about jazz. The suits showed energy even in the shapes and drawings of the pips, the numbers from one to ten, where even the little sign symbols were kinetic in their movements. Instead of kings and queens there were sax, guitar, bass and fiddle. You could tell the artist was listening to music while they were drawing that deck.

Another artist created an entire deck inspired by classical music with kings of suits being people like Beethoven and Bach, and instruments illustrate the suits.

There is a herbal tarot, with every card featuring a plant that shows us its beauty and also reminds us of the healing and restorative powers of plants, which, of course, was created by a well known and well respected herbalist.

There is another featuring chefs with suits like rolling pins, knives, plates and cups. The characters are all lighthearted and you can tell that deck was drawn by someone who loves cooking and knows their way around a kitchen. The love for the subject was evident.

Another artist who obviously loves cats created an entire world populated by cat people who were completely outfitted with clothing and gear that shows their world to be as colorful and animated as the world of people.

How many of us, both children and adults have found our imaginations running wild as we read the stories of Alice in Wonderland, King Arthur, or the heroes of Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythologies? As a result, their are artists who have loved these stories and rendered the entire tale in pictures, where as we shuffle and deal the cards, we find ourselves recalling the great stories.

You would have to call such works a labor of love. When we engage in a labor of love, the result of that creative energy is visible to all and it carries over from the artist to those who come in contact with their work. Everyone who engages in a labor of love enjoys it themselves and then their pleasure spreads to many others. How wonderful the world is when we are engaged in labors of love.

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