Flying Women, A Dragon, and a Bunch of Antsy Characters

Tuesday morning. I should have gotten up at 2:30, when it was clear the itch in my brain had escaped and was running down my legs and out into my arms so that it was impossible to keep still in bed. I twitched and sighed all night.

I got this idea that I needed a Dragon. Doesn’t every woman? My inner voice harps, “Be your own dragon.” Well, yes, sure, but this dragon is different. It’s a Nuance Naturally Speaking Bluetooth Dragon. I am not ready to create voice-to-type blog posts or novel chapters yet, but have sent out several Dragon-assisted emails that passed muster (not perfect, but close).  I’m thinking ahead for the future, which in my experience arrives a lot quicker than you planned. Now that I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, I plan to become adept at voice-to-type before the osteoarthritis that has already made writing by hand uncomfortable stakes a claim on elbows and shoulders. Right now, writing to a keyboard is a joy, but when I’m cranking out stories at 95, maybe not so much. Of course, by then, the technological miracle of voice-to type will probably be like a Stone Age tool. Who knows? Maybe I’ll speak to a holographic image — let’s make him a hunky stud muffin while we’re theorizing — who will sit adoringly at my wrinkled knee and listen with perfect recall, processing words into strung pearls while we sip morning-glory tea or some other honeyed delight.  Ah, the future. I want high-tech and high touch.

This morning, though, there’s a bunch of frustrated characters laid out on the dining room table, flat as flitters on their index cards, waiting to jump up into their dimensional selves if only I would quit screwing around: Bree, Jess, Rory, Bo, P.J., Lilla, Ellie, Grace, Mary Alice, Troy, Ryan, and especially Evangeline are ready to boogie.

But they’re just going to have to wait a bit while I explore the sublime, which I found this morning. A new, much anticipated, book arrived at the post office yesterday, and I opened it for the first time while brushing my teeth early this morning.  I discovered this new gem by Terry Tempest Williams from writer/editor Lanie Tankard’s guest review on writer/teacher Richard Gilbert’s wonderful blog, Narrative.

It is the province of mothers to preserve the myth that we are unburdened with our own problems. Placed in a circle of immunity, we carry only the crises of those we love. We mask our needs as the needs of others. If ever there was a story without a shadow, it would be this: that we as women exist in direct sunlight only.

When women were birds, we knew otherwise. We knew our greatest freedom was in taking flight at night, when we could steal the heavenly darkness for ourselves, navigating through the intelligence of stars and the constellations of our own making in the delight and terror of our uncertainty.

What my mother wanted to do and what she was able to do remains her secret.

from When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

Of course, I have dropped everything else to read. Wouldn’t you?

The Open Gate

Open Gate
 All we have to do is walk through the open gate into the sunrise.

Buck and I received word today that a dear friend died. Kathryne (Missy) was a friend to Buck since he was a youngster in college. Her son and Buck went to the University of Florida together; he, Buck, his wife and I are close friends, too. Kathryne's longevity was a gift to us all. To me, she also represents a paragon of southern gentility, a true "steel magnolia." I know that Buck prized Kathryne's friendship for many reasons, not the least of which was her unfailing kindness and her wise eyes.

Another treasured friend wrote me today to tell me that her long-ill father, Nicholas, had died. She asked me to "send good thoughts for his energy to find its new dance" and that I "light a candle, turn up some good music or take a deep breath of Autumn air and send Nicholas on his mighty way." Marvelous words.

I walked to the gate in the cool fall air early this morning. Goldenrod is blooming, along with tiny wild lavender asters and gayfeathers.  Morning glory necklaces adorn the trees and fence rows.

Tonight I walked outside and looked up at the night sky, Celtic music piped through an ear bud straight to my cerebral cortex. I noticed for the first time that stars really do dance. Like small children, all that energy just has to go somewhere. I took a deep breath of cool air, and came back inside to post these words and photos.

I hear Buck drawing the bedroom drapes. He and Maggie are now walking by to go to Maggie's "cookie" jar for her nighttime treat. I am going to lie down, turn out the light, and remember that lovely visit on the South Carolina coast a few years ago with Missy and our family of friends.

September Morning Glory

A five-pointed star embossed on delicate petals; the exquisite geometry of Nature.