As a testament to my distraction, I finally noticed today that, in the month of May, I had only posted twice to this here soapbox I call Irish Gumbo. A pity, really. Judging by the torrent of thoughts and ideas rushing through my noggin these past twenty-nine days I would have guessed my real output to have been much higher. Alas, that is not the case.
I haven't met my usual standard, methinks. Much of my writing occurs in my head, long before it hits the page, digital or otherwise, but it still makes it to some form of reality. The month of May has been for my writing self a mirage. A phantom. A figment. There has been much to say. I have created fiction, non-fiction and that intersection of the two called real life. Short stories, novellas, novels, anthologies, all have been cranked out in my Gutenberg mind.
Sadly, dear readers, as you can tell this fecundity has not made it to the page. The noise and clatter of the world has pulled me away from my explorations, and I regret that I have not set aside more time to the transcription of the stories in my overheated mind.
There has been intense and prolonged change in my world, stretched out over months. I have moved long distances physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have questioned many things in my life, seeking right answers to very hard questions. I have sought to overcome a stretch of unemployment that has now run close to eight months. Mentally, I am in a high state of attenuation, my mind and heart strings over the fretboard.
A chance encounter with a local bookstore/small printing house owner delivered unto me the opportunity to perhaps have some of my work professionally edited and printed, ideally in a small run. The past two days, I have had the good fortune to devote long stretches to editing my own writing.The effort I have been blessed to expend has left me with a sense of nervous excitement at the possibilities that may open up before me. This is a good thing, and perhaps the closest I have come yet to really being published.
What I need is time. I need more time. I haven't thought this big in a long time, and I don't want to stop. But time is crucial. It is not an infinite resource for those of us fated to walk this mortal coil; the imperative is to make the most of the moment before us. This I want to do, dear ones. I have to make the most of this moment of 'compilation' even if it means 'creation' must temporarily rest.
I want to make beautiful things, my lovelies. Creation is sustenance. Never in my life has it come so clear to me that now is the time to make what I want to do and what I need to do coincide. Wish me luck.
29 May 2012
22 May 2012
It was a few days ago at breakfast that the white hole opened up in the center of my mind to pour forth a new light of wonder into my dormant heart. Across from me sat Love; I walked over that bridge Einstein had created for me and into a new creation. The river gushed forth to sweep me away. I was near speechless, on the verge of tears of joy. Love in all its glory seized me by the heart and refused to let go.
That river of the mind found its temporal twin today, under a sky of pure cerulean punctuated by the commas of swallows swooping through the air. It was pressure in my mind and heart that pushed me out of my new home with cameras in hand. The pressure, the call to find some water, or train tracks or something like them. I found my way down to the banks of the Missouri river where it flows past downtown Kansas City.
It was there that the great blue and the breeze and the slow dance of the river made it clear to me that change is inevitable and often necessary, ever the more so in the case of finding peace within ourselves and love without. It is up to us to guide that change where possible, and go with it when it is ever so larger than our hearts.
The Missouri showed me this. Mighty bridges cross it. Its banks have been shaped by the hands of man. There are gates and valves, sluices and levees placed in an effort to manage cosmic uncertainty as manifested by water. On a peaceful day, under a bright blue sky, in the company of the occasional branch floating lazily along one might be tempted to believe that this placid river could not possibly ever be out of control.
But look closer. Look at the marks on the riverbanks. The driftwood here, the odd bit of flotsam there. See the rusty barrel five feet above the water line, the faint red paint set off against sun-dried silt baked to the color of pewter in the Midwestern sun. It is then that the old high water marks make themselves known. The depth gauges painted on the piers of the bridges suddenly come into focus. They look worn. They look used. Obviously, something swift and fierce has passed this way.
That swift and fierce thing swept over me again today, out there in the sun. I stood still, camera poised to capture an elaborate combination of light and shadow that had caught my eye. The instant the shutter clicked I flashed back to that morning at the breakfast table, across from Love, and the switch flicked in my heart. The white hole opened up to pour forth its energy of creation and it spilled down into my heart there on the banks of the Missouri, flowing down the levee and into the water, the circuit, it closed and the energy of the earth, the sun, the river, the Universe it poured back into a thousand fold, I knew it, I knew it there and then, I felt its majesty, I felt love all around me with my feet on the ground and my head in the sky and my heart in the hands of another, knowing beyond a shadow of all my doubts that we must tear down the dams we build in the rivers of our heart, risking the flood for the fullness of being…
08 May 2012
I am not a child of the sun, I am a creature of the light.
So Seeker told himself whilst waiting patiently under the argentine refulgence of the new sun in his sky. Insects hummed in the sea of grass surrounding his place of repose atop a low hummock, perhaps the highest spot for what could have been miles. Dry whispers rose to his ears from the wind rustling in amongst the stalks encircling him. The sounds made him smile. They reminded him of home, long ago and miles away beside the great ocean that had nurtured him in his days as a younger man.
The sea. His heart stirred. The sea was far away now, and would be for months or perhaps years. Seeker’s eyes drooped, drowsy in heat. He made himself draw in a deep lungful or two of air in an effort to maintain awareness. The wind carried no salt tang here, only the wheaty burn of sun-drenched grass and trees. He considered that for the space of ten heartbeats. Exhaling slowly, the aroma of the grass sea permeated his body, his aura. His vision began to blur. The jade-green waves in his blood were fading into an ebb tide, while on the horizon of his consciousness a new swell appeared. The color of red gold, millions of tasseled stalks replacing the foam-spattered breakers he used to know.
Seeker stared into the middle distance. The threadbare sleeves of his camouflage shirt rasped over his sun-brown arms. The fingers of his hands traced over the outline of the chevrons he had ripped off long ago, tossed into the wind. The stitch marks plowed little divots in the faded olive-drab fabric.
A keening filled the sky. It was no gull he heard, it was a hawk. The red-tinged bird looped in a slow figure-eight while riding the wind. The bird traced infinity against the cerulean sky. Seeker’s face split into a smile. The warmth rising in his chest matched that pouring down from the sun.
“I am not a child of the sun, I am a creature of the light”, he said to the hawk. “I was not born of the sun but I seek it in shadows cast and the passage of a star that has brought me here to the shores of a new sea.”
Seeker found himself light, feeling as if he might be swept away by the prairie wind. The wind and the light had brought him here, and inscrutable though they might be, they had good reasons for doing so.