“Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."― T.H. White, The Once and Future King
A writing ramble ...
Have you noticed that in the process of cleaning up you stir much dust and create more chaos? Well, that is what's true for us, for me as I pull the little stacks of papers, savored old photographs and greeting cards off of shelves, down from their place of display or hidey-holes. The going is slow and the dust is thick. The heatwave that warms the Pacific Northwest makes it easy to set up a table outside and rifle through the collections of six years. Later this week a pal is coming to help as much for support, it is as I told her, "Good practice for me to accept offers TO help." But really, I am making progress; making way for what is yet not clear ... a destination as in the fog this morning, on a walk at Sunlight Beach. With faith the place is somewhere. I step slowly toward it.
The woods, these woods that are and have been home for us these six years are beautiful. How do you say good-bye to beauty and comfort like this? Not easily, yet, there are reasons and inclinations that say it must be done. "Castor and Pollux blow me to Bermuda." Thanks to the ever enduring salve of story, that cuss written by T.H. White into the dialogue between Merlin and the boy Wart (the future King Arthur) is giving my imagination free passes to mythic time. Mythic time where cleaning and dusting, packing and saying good-bye and dealing with the chaos of uncertain next steps leave me. In chaos's place messages fall like leaves. Neatly torn, not cut, rectangles of paper with pencil-written musings fall as I turn one of the many-hundred paged novel The Once and Future King. In between bouts of sorting, and tossing I retreat to the vardo and hoist myself atop the futon where a book, or two wait to be re-opened. Sweet haven is the story, a treat that adds no fats or calories, I am happy to inhale.
James Hillman wrote, in The Soul's Code "Accidental movements neither hinder nor advance the main project. Rather they reshape its forma, as if the course and the boat itself were restructured by the soul's responses to the events of life. There is a craft of growing down; it's the wisdom of watching things with an eye to their effects." Hillman builds on his thoughts about accidents, "the accident (abuse, ptsd, etc.) may never be integrated, but it may strengthen the integrity of the soul's form by adding to its perplexity, vulnerability, sensitivity, scar tissue."
Those messages that fall like leaves so unexpectedly, this surprise is what I sit to describe. Putting this 'accident' into this blog gives me something, maybe as Hillman suggests an ingredient to strengthen the integrity of my soul. In this space of a Quonset Hut that has been my writing place these five years (we built it a year after we found this landing place), I do what a writer does. I write and pull the chaos and sadness into a clearing. Have I floated into a Ruth Ozeki novel? Like her characters in A Tale for the Time Being, the Japanese school girl's journal floats onto a Desolation Sound shore from somewhere in Japan. I find notes written by what appears to be a Japanese reader. I imagine she is a Japanese school-girl, too. The language is English as a second language. person. The messages: commentary on the story. An invisible personal book club meeting between sessions with dust and sadness. How accommodating are the Gods.
Yesterday I wrote rap after a walk on the beach with Pete and a priest. Tonight I sit to acknowledge, and make notations. My spiritual practice is writing, communication with the Muse and the mystery fuels this soul of mine. Oh yes how wild and unpredictable is this life held together with safety pins. Yes, circling back to our pinned together life. Effective for short runs, and amazingly enduring when those simple tools are given their due respect. They work, they take little space and one pin is worth a thousand explanations. The safety pin effect of notes falling from a library book is working its magic on my chaos. I need a shower, and across the forest just a few steps, there is one. Hot water awaits me. Life is chaos as much as order. Castor and Pollux blow me to Bermuda.
"The world is run as much by folly as by wisdom, as much by order as by chaos, but these accidents may still intend something interesting...The soul seeks to fit it into its form." - again from The Soul's Code by James Hillman
Link here to a beautiful composition "Writing as a spiritual practice" from Terri Windling where she creates a hologram of words, images and soul food. Tucked into the photographs I found these words from a poem by Ursula K. LeGuin,
"I must learn to live drily. What to carry. What to leave. What to drink instead of water. What to wash the dust away with..."
Hover over the beautiful art to learn its name and its creator.