Today is my last full day at the writer’s retreat, and I’m sad to be leaving. I worked hard, got abundant and extraordinary feedback from P., and pushed Madwoman to another level. I have the vast majority of what I will need for this book roughly together, although I remain open to its continued growth and transformation. This project has been so stunning, so illuminating. How the book itself shifts and changes and expands as my knowledge and insights and openness grow. A life lesson, for sure.
I drafted a new piece of the book very early this morning, in the wee hours. Nodded off for a short nap and then took a hike down along the Clearwater River for about an hour. It was a glorious sun-filled cold day with sharply drawn white cloud puffs skating the sky and dancing their reflections on the smooth river. The water moves swiftly but except in the depths, where it swirls and froths around rocks and snags, it deceives with its clarity. Beneath feet of water, the sandy, rock strewn bottom appears mere inches away and the rocks fairly glow, red, orange, amber, pewter, brightest yellow, even blue. Though the river is filled with fish, as evidenced by the occasional angler drifting by with lines trailing behind like miniature earthbound contrails, I rarely see them. The occasional glint of a flank caught by the sun or the splash of a momentary leap, but its crawfish type critters I see most and their shells along the bank give evidence of raccoons, perhaps, or mink, otter, something of that kind. I could look it all up, of course, but prefer the mystery for now.
I got chilled and returned to my cozy room to read Laura Flynn’s Swallow the Ocean. It’s beautifully written, and her mother’s growing madness certainly resonates with my own experience. It’s a gripping story and also a wonderful study in technique. Each time I read something this good I feel drawn to it and critical of my own skill and story. But we each have a truth to tell. Laguz, the rune of deep water, running water of unknown depth, tells me to that there is an unseen power (the unconscious) at work and that I should listen to my intuition and emotions.
“Down River” by `James Wheeler is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Nov. 7, 2016