dedicated to Mary, Tanya, Heather and my Mom
When I sat down to write this morning, I looked at the collection you see in the photo and realized that I'd made a sort of shrine, and that gazing often blankly at these things helps me to center myself and channel all the energies I have in me and outside of me to create and to write. There's a card there at the back that a blogger friend who's become one of my best friends sent me. There's a little jade statue of the Buddha, and a tiny tin of holy dirt from a shrine in New Mexico that my friend Tanya brought me. There's a bit of driftwood from the beach in Victoria where I spent a week last year, a week given to me by Heather McHugh and her organization Caregifted. There's a little house behind it with the words A house without books is like a room without windows. These objects sit on a box of postcards from Penguin that replicate one hundred book covers, and in front is a glass coaster that my mother gave me years ago with a sweet saying. I always feel joy and content when I write, to tell you the truth, and that's true for both online and off-line writing, but particularly so when I sit in a sort of reverence and allow it to just happen. I hesitate to use the word channeling for all its over-used weight, but I'm not sure what else to call the release of fingers on keys, the rush of language and words falling into place. I'm not figuring things out, though, and it's not about me.
I get a lot of emails and telephone calls from people with little children who are new on the path of disability or epilepsy. I'm always struck by their bravery and by their sense of urgency as much as by their anguish. I recognize all of their emotions because I've had them or continue to have them. When I cast my memory back to my own early days with Sophie, I remember the visceral details of trying to figure things out, but I don't remember much of who I was or how it happened, or even how I did it. I want to say, sometimes, you won't figure things out, but even twenty years later, I don't have the wisdom -- or presumption -- to do so.
If I could, I'd tell them how not to figure things out, but I haven't figured that out either, other than to treat with reverence and love this place inside of me that persists in opening to possibility.