wild and dreaming stories from the edge of the world


the child of pine and midnight sheds her lamplit skin

There is a pallor on the night horizon that makes me think the dark is haunted by dawn. There are crickets in my garden. I wish it was colder, with a wind going through. Autumn smoulders. It remembers summers in its vast golden moons.

I love those moons. And I love the night when it forgets the dawn, when the streets breathe silence and I can walk them alone, just me and the wind and the watchful nameless things behind hedges, behind stars. Honestly though, I don't love the daylight here. The beach, the buildings. I've been trying to, because we should love the place where our feet are, right? We should look for beauty everywhere. But I miss missing the wild.

I've also been trying to love the beauty in the stories I ought to write. The ones I know people want to read. And I can see the charm of wild-haired women with earth-stained hands and earth-stained old songs - that kind of story, drawn out of a cauldron, or echoing a bell at the threshold between worlds. But the best wisdom I ever heard about writing is, write what you know. That doesn't mean write what you have done in your life, it means write from your self. When you aren't listening to your own inspired, dreaming voice, you too easily get caught up in the voices outside - you get charmed, but there's no real magic going on.

There really is beauty everywhere. There's always something wonderful to excite the eye. But until you've held wonder within yourself and made it part of you, so much so that you can speak with its voice ... the whisper of leaves in cold starlight, the endless boneless sound of tide ... unless you are looking out from the inside of it, you've got nothing. It's got you, and any moment it can just let go.

It's easy enough to appreciate the beauty around you. But I don't think appreciation should equate to empathy. Presence shouldn't automatically mean home. When you lose your longing for your true home, you lose a bit of your heart. It's like settling for a good enough marriage, an okay job. It's like letting yourself write about a vision instead of writing your vision of it.

Maybe it's time I stopped looking for beauty everywhere around me, because to be honest it's cluttering me up with junk. It's inspiring my eye, but not my heart. Maybe it's time to honour fidelity of vision, fidelity of love.

2 comments:

  1. maybe, as well as "write what you know", the advice could be "write what you love" or "write what makes you feel alive"...

    also, i have wondered how many of us create out of a sense of not quite belonging/ being at home where we are...perhaps our creative impulses stem from heads and hearts full of other places, other times, other selves...from longing, from desire...

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  2. It's interesting that you don't fully love where you are. I draw comfort from that, somehow. As you know, I'm not fully at home where I am either, even though this place is full of beauty. It seems it's hard to have everything :) You gain something and lose something else no matter where you go...Just helped to share that. Working on acceptance and letting go.

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