The puzzle of morning is which piece to start with …
the frame is so far away that we can’t see it,
like looking across the vast desert
and wondering if that is a mirage or a real oasis …
The puzzle of morning is which gorgeous piece to start with. They are all right choices, one cannot go wrong, but some will make a smooth flow while others leave greater confusion for a while. And I like how routine — or sacred ritual — or both — provides a template through the scattered pieces on the table.
The puzzle is begun. Do I want to continue working around the edges or take a chance and create a larger section of detached pieces who create their own whole but sit in the middle or to the side without physically touching the frame? The center morphs and grows, expanding. I know it will touch the frame at some point, and the image is already complete in vibration, on an invisible plane it is whole, but for now I choose the pieces, put one down because it doesn’t quite fit, it doesn’t go “here” but it will fit later — all the pieces will make sense when the puzzle is put back together just as it was originally dreamed into being.
Meanwhile, enjoy the mystery, the journey, the process of knowing each part of one’s self and all those connections that reassure as well as surprise.
I can’t remember what it was like not to be writing, not to be working on a creative writing project. I know I spent decades with zero creativity of story or thought — except in sporadic diary entries. Those “Dear Diary” entries that helped me tell “someone” what I was feeling, but I didn’t go the next step into trying to understand on a deeper level what I was feeling or doing.
That’s why I believe we need to be helping children learn how to process their experiences and themselves and others. Not because I am in a position to physically help kids — I’m not — but because we all have a child inside us who is still confused or wounded. It is that child I seek to connect with, to describe through creative writing that might illuminate a hidden treasure in the dark corner, to help find the pieces of our/their lives that are mishapen and seem not to fit into any larger framework at all. The frame is so far away that we/they can’t see it: it’s like looking across the vast desert and wondering if that is a mirage or a real oasis, a mountain to climb or an illusion in the mind.
But I am realizing now how one piece of my life fit into another, how saving a creature’s life ended up saving my own, how change created opportunity. And if I can see the connections, so can others. Pieces of the universal puzzle. Putting it all together for healing our planet.
Writing has been a mega-rambling flow of words these past few days as my scattered energy catches up to my body here at home. I’m landing, pausing, holding the space of after-journey so that the nuances of it are unafraid to show themselves. Those nuances are like fairy hitchhikers I didn’t know I’d picked up on the way, hiding in the cracks and crevices of skin and cell and senses that perceived more than I consciously recall. These are the hitchhikers that create the Essence of Experience, the ones that tag along just out of visual range peripherally like our shadow or the dust motes always present but unseen except through direct light when they become magical beings from galaxies far away … or from that hidden table in the corner of the room.
Warning: A couple weeks of driving over 3,000 miles round-trip can have this effect!
Eureka Springs, AR
I felt a kinship in Eureka Springs, in the center of town, the valley filling my senses and grasping for my feet to extract root-like tethers so that I would remain longer. The lush greens and black bark from excessive rains held me in thrall while the exquisite winding roads and steep stairways kept me curious of what might be around the next corner even while I yearned to sink into the space of the momentary pause A walking town of inclines and buried history in the tunnels and mountains cradling the lives of community built around healing and healers. Springs are abundant (at least 62), the gifts of Gaia’s womb bubbling up and rushing down to greet the seekers with mystery and gentle wisdom where cure is not synonymous with healing, and faith is the earthen pores beneath bare feet. I was born about 60 miles north as the crow flies and Eureka Springs feels as close to birth as any town I’ve walked; is it possible for roots to stretch so far? The hills of natural healing methods passed along for generations of mingling blood and culture. My toes tingled and I raised my arms overhead in praise of photosynthesis-generated emeralds, pouring rain, trees dripping, autumn leaves of past and present underfoot for miles it seemed, a place out of time where caves remember tunnels — or the other way around — and the dank earth is the chalice of all life. If I lived and died there, could I become the sapling growing out of the hillside that is feeing the wandering deer skipping silent among the trunks, nearly hidden? Tiny homes of rock sit like the fairytale cottages of the Grimm’s from long ago and far away, yet right next door in psyche. Many could be replicas of that which enticed Hansel and Gretel to enter. If I entered, would I ever leave? Or would I become absorbed into the mineralized space of springs and hills and fall into the great crevasse that will open one day and swallow the town whole? Taking it to an inner land to be discovered in 100,000 years by another incarnation of civilization? Earth and Water create an oasis that I am craving, and a friend from far back days of transitional innocence was on the journey with me as memories played hopscotch with present lives so different. I can dimly sense a character emerging who was born and raised in Eureka Springs … does she move to the town in my novel? And is she past or present, ghost or substance? The mudslides meant that the streets are slowly buried and levels of ground rise up until the second story becomes the first story, until doorways and windows are portals to mystical tunnels where water floods, gushing inside the walls and creating dreams and demons for those who cannot help but listen, each generation touched by the rivers within the walls. These are tunnels of dead-ends and prohibition, of ghosts and gambling, of hidden passages and buried treasures from sinkholes filled with past life treasures and decluttering debris.