“The wolf bones … represent the indestructible aspect of the wild Self, the instinctual nature, the criatura dedicated to freedom and the unspoiled, that which will never accept the rigors and requirements of a dead or overly civilizing culture. To sing means to use one’s soul voice. it means to say on the breath the truth of one’s power and one’s need, to breathe soul over the thing that is of one’s power and one’s need, to breathe soul over the thing that is ailing or in need of restoration. This is done by descending into the deepest mood of great love and feeling.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Winter has been a place of dreaming and writing, a land rich and fragile–as if to break out of it and write something different, even a blog post, could tear the fabric of that other world. It has been a retreat into the land of the novel, where I can tap my atavism and wilderness, my place to sing over the bones.
The freedive of novelwriting is a refuge, because the secret heart of industry is quiet. Quiet of the mind and heart. World-abolishing quiet, a quiet where I can forget, for a moment, the cruelties committed in the name of mankind; where I can forget the small, cumulative cruelties of everyday interaction; this quiet is what I crave to survive the moments between. It’s this streak of violent antisocialism that makes me long for a seasonal retirement each year as a lighthouse keeper. Attune to the seasons, write. Walk barefoot in my soul, be natural. Not think. Find synergy with the Great Hermit Spirit, Nature.
Writing is the next best thing to a semi-retirement from the world, but fully inhabiting the dreamscapes is dangerously addictive. I can live in one for a long time without much interaction with people. I’m coming out of my cocoon but oh so slowly, because it has been warm and kind inside, gestating a whole world to dream in. It has been wonderful to wallow there, just to work on one thing every day. The flipside is that it’s been hard to deal with real life between…to string a real-world sentence together, even. I’ve felt sensitive and over-analytical and I’ve been a quiet friend of late.
I know, deep down in those sung over bones, that true happiness lies in finding happiness wherever you happen to be. In accepting that music that plays like an eldritch soundtrack from another room: the worldly, big problems beating at the earth’s heart, the walking avatar of yourself, the yearning for the evasive solitude glimpsed in meditation, travel, wilderness. In reading. Writing. While cloistered bursts of creativity give me easy access to this place, I believe that with work this peace can become available in every moment. If I can learn to locate the quiet in the company of others, real life may become as seductive as fiction.