“Buried under all the mute experiences are those unseen ones
that give our life its form, its color, and its melody.”
~ Amadeu de Prado (from ‘A Goldsmith of Words’)
Each dawn I step out, expect cooler air, humidity lifted. It’s fall. October. The turn past my least favorite season should’ve happened already. But not here, not yet. Tho once a couple weeks ago it felt like it may.
I’m usually in Santa Fe wearing jeans by now. But this year I’m delayed a week. One part of me thinks it okay. That I have no time for studio tours and hugging aspens. Basking in the golden light of sunshine through fall cottonwoods. Driving with friends to my favorite river valley for studio tours. Tasting heirloom apples from all over northern New Mexico.
And my Soul reminds me the silence I crave will greet me each dawn and night my first ten days, as I’ll in the country outside town. No dozen a/c’s vibrating around me. Swarm of traffic, mowers, or leafblowers. That I can look up, see multitudes of stars, the Milky Way coursing over. No lights glaring in my windows. And it will be fall. It’s time to go.
What happened was a new project. After weeks delay and no progress with my web designer. The audio program I had fun creating, that needs to get into the world, still going nowhere. My publisher recommended someone to help. I usually shop around, bootstrap when cash is tight. But after days of back ‘n’ forths with this guy, I made the decision to redesign the whole site vs. patch everything in. It was a hard decision. I love my site. It reflects me in so many ways. But it can’t give me what I need. I put aside The Writer’s Block Myth book I’m writing, and turned to web content and instruction.
4:30am after my decision, I woke questioning the choice. In angst, I asked for guidance. Then questioned what I heard. Was it me or *real.* The little voice answered, ‘I’ll give you a sign you can’t miss in the morning. Go back to sleep.’
I woke not feeling like a walk. I typically stay in when I feel this way, but I looked out the window, saw a weird fat river of cloud running in a straight line, and decided to go out for the fresh air, look at the sky. Above me, on an empty field, stretched a giant wishbone. Down to the slight curve after the fork.
As days melted past, my personal deadlines slipped to the next day and next. I forgot the wishbone, began to question if I’m pushing the river because of physical world needs. Because I know breath in creating something new is a good thing. Even teach the necessity of it. And despite waking to new insight & inspiration each morning, real world needs butted against feelings I may not be doing enough, fast enough.
Something poet Maya Stein wrote this week has stuck with me. She says that as a poet, she gravitates toward the grey areas of things. ‘I’m drawn to ambiguity and paradox,’ she says. ‘I’m fascinated by neither-here-nor-there, by not-only-but-also, by kitchen-sink moments where everything’s in the mix and the boundaries are hazy. I’m far more intrigued by doors than I am by walls.’
I’ve gone back to that paragraph again and again. Feeling there’s something more than the big Me, Too I’m to get. Just now I understand what it is. . .this new website that’s sucked days and hours of thought, that’s caused me angst, is a door. The boundaries are hazy because it opens to big, new territory. And that can be scary. Right now, I’m not in control. But it’s all part of the big cloud wishbone I saw stretch across the sky last week.
On the little tag hanging from the eyelet of my new shoes: Asics is an acronym from the Latin phrase, ‘Anima Sana In Corpore Sano.’ A sound mind in a sound body. I’m taking that intent under my feet. Counting to twelve, keeping still, as Pablo Neruda says.
I pack tomorrow.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whale
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
~ Pablo Neruda (Keeping Quiet)
Another Small Journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
Tell me. . .what would you have wished for had you seen that giant cloud wishbone?
I’ll tell you a secret. . .even as big as that wishbone was, I looked a long time, hardly believing it.
I’m writing a book about the creative life for people living in the real world.
The Writer’s Block Myth
Get Past Stuck, Complete Your Projects, Have Lasting Creative Freedom.