Are you ready at a cellular level
for the fact that
you can not change the course
of all that has been set in motion
long before you even knew about motion
or had met the course
but now your heart has had its recognition
and as the river moves forward
the realization hits that your heart has already
grabbed hold, when you weren’t looking. . .
waiting for you to catch up
~ Kathryn Schuth
Are You Ready
Just out of the solidity of immersion in a completed work I’m fully familiar with, I’m not ready to step back onto steep learning curves or dive out into air, which is what it often feels like before pieces of the Vision coalesce in the world. So I’m taking you to my (once) home in Asheville, when I was writing a novel.
First, pause a moment at the top of the Charlotte St. ramp, gaze upon the gray, blue, purple waves of the Blue Ridge. When done with awe, turn away from the downtown skyline, drive past the gas station and Starbucks on through the remnants of a neighborhood where signs and parking spaces squeeze amongst the trees beside large and small homes. When you get to the tiny rock house on the left that once housed the art museum, see the rock wall with pillars like giant beehives, the park beyond with genteel old homes on its far border, turn right. Go past the 10’ tall crucifix and stark white Jesus on the corner, the miniature Spartan cathedral behind it. Wind up through the narrow lane chiseled from a broad boulevard by plump medians and painted lines. Past stately residences with lawns and hedges. Past condos where the view of the valley and mountains beyond are the sole possession of empty rooms, saved for a few human eyes now and then. Past the entrance to the huge rock edifice and red roof reminiscent of a cottage gone crazy on steroids, to where the road veers right up into trees promising wilderness. Here the bank drops to a deep overgrown ravine on the left, and driveways snake up the hillside on the right. Turn at the second left, curve and coast down through a procession of remodeled 50’s ranchers. At the yellow mailbox beside wintering plants, turn toward the house with artsy bronze chimney stacks under two ancient oaks. A brick rancher morphed with tall ceilings and large spaces, dressed like a cottage.
Inside, walk through the neat, light filled rooms with comfortable furniture, handmade side tables of lovely wood, all color and texture designed to please. Pass the abstract paintings on the walls, shells and stones amongst art pottery and glass. Go to my office where the art turns personal and symbolic. Where photos of me in Hawaii and Santa Fe, my spirit-homes, are pasted on walls without fanfare. To where my everyday life’s divided into stacks. Spiral notebooks with sturdy cardboard backs, colored flags at the edges, their pages filled with scrawl in blue ink. Pictures, papers and periodicals for research and reference. Notes and books on the business of book marketing. Folders for my daily current events. My lives most recently passed, such as producer of The Honeybee Project, tucked away in file drawers. The files and artifacts of my previous lives – business woman, artist, project manager – all moved to the basement.
At night I turn my computer off because its moonglow shines into the hall outside our bedroom. My husband doesn’t mind, but it teases me. Perhaps I’m missing an email. Perhaps this thing stomping my brain can’t wait. Perhaps if I just got up I wouldn’t feel as tired as I feel in that moment.
Often the book’s characters talk to me at night. Whisper I’m doing okay telling their stories. I know come morning they’ll hover at my ear, or catch me in the shower. That they’ll forgive me, wait, when I neglect them for long stretches. I never tell them they aren’t my bliss because that’d be a lie. I look forward to the discoveries in knowing them, in their stories. I could never tell it as good as they do.
And seems I’ve done a circle, because that last paragraph is where I catch up to the here and now. Big or small, things that give meaning, offer more to the world than the sum of me alone create solid ground beneath my feet. It’s when I catch up with my heart. We know how that happens, don’t we?
Another small journey to mindfulness. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
A secret: Surprise insight this very moment (gasp) I really want to do this hard stuff in front of me that I thought I was doing because I had to.
A favorite: Hearts, Stars, and Spirals, all kinds