Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unlocking Words

Blessed Samhain/Happy Halloween to you!
Have fun this evening, take care and take a moment to remember your loved ones who have already crossed the veil.

Most years Billy takes the boys trick-or-treating, while I (with any littleuns too young) stay home and pass candy to the ghosts and ghoulies who come knocking. I love passing out candy in my neighborhood- in some ways, it seems like trick-or-treating is a dying practice, and it makes me feel good too keep it alive. Plus, I feel neighborly.

This year however, I will be leaving the lame bowl of candy on the front porch, because Billy and the boys will be trick-or-treating with their cousins, while I drive to a friend's for some Samhain celebration with only ONE child to be responsible for. Hopefully I'll get some relatively uninterrupted adult conversation, and actually be able to reflect on the turning of the year as it draws to a close, and we enter the fallow time.

* * *

Meanwhile, (perhaps suitably, for this time of year) I have put down the enlightening non-fiction book I've been slogging through, and instead picked up The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

Surprisingly, I've never read any of Anne Rice's books before. So far, I am really enjoying this story. It is drawing me in, and opening windows in my brain that I hadn't noticed had shut.

You see, it's been quite awhile since I read a fiction book for pleasure, and I'd not realized how much I depend on it to keep a creative spark alive inside my head. I'm already aware that I need to write regularly to keep certain neurons firing, to make those verbal connections that give shape and form to the tides of my experience. But until recently, I hadn't really understood how very much reading for pleasure can have the same effect. In fact, I'm beginning to understand that neither can work effectively alone- I need to both immerse myself in the words of others, AND consciously create my own, if I wish to call the muse.

Since delving into Interview With the Vampire I've gradually noticed words coming to me unbidden, causing reflection. . . The words have nothing to do with vampires; they are merely subconscious thoughts and feelings that through words, are given the gift of life. Words give them substance and allow me to recognize them from the formless void within.

One thought that surfaced was a better understanding of my oddly polar existence as a mother: I am nothing before my children- a vast gulf of emptiness, their life force driving away my Self. Yet at the very same time I am everything, the whole universe to them, there is no one more important than I. I am a mote of dust in a forgotten corner; I am omniscient Goddess. All and nothing. It's a condition not unique to motherhood; indeed we are all a mysterious composite of dirt and divinity- but the utter surrender of motherhood has brought a deeper understanding to my contradictory position.

Or words unbidden in reaction as I step outside on a cool clear evening: reflections on the brittle beauty of crystal clear night air, a velvet dark sky and shining stars. What is it about a clear autumn night that calls to me, coaxes me like a lover, excites my senses? How can something so dark and cold stoke such fires in my soul?

Words, words, words. What would I do without them? How could I understand my own urgings? I'd be a painter without paint, a baker with no flour. A sunset void of colors. Tonight I am grateful for inspired words, unbidden.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing post! I've been neglecting you, and I'm sorry.

I know what you mean about reading, sometimes (like now) I devour books and I can feel how they affect my thinking. Sometimes books have made me braver, and opened my eyes too.

Your insight into the everything/nothing experience of motherhood is fascinating. I have no children and don't plan on having any (although I do love other peoples) so it's an experience I will never have for myself. It must be one of the most powerful experiences you can have, embodying the goddess!

I hope your Samhain party was a good one; we had a wild old time, I think we all needed to let our hair down with the thought of approaching winter.

Anyway, time for me to stop rambling! Thank you for continuing to visit me despite my neglectful behaviour,


Kit said...

Ha! No worries; I've been neglecting myself! (at least in blog world)

Thanks for the comment- and you can embody the goddess, with or without children- she has many aspects. :)

Of course I still visit you! Love your blog!!