Thursday, May 17, 2007

Writing Among the Bones

What does it mean to go down into the plutonian realm? What does it mean that I must keep two golden coins in my mouth? What am I to bring up from there? What will I find there? I can be honest, I know. But it is terrifying to go beyond all compass points. I once wrote that the writer needs someone in the room next to the writing room because there must be someone to hear the screams should the pen lead the writer into deep and drowning waters. There are good reasons to stay out of the writing room; there are good reasons to avoid the plutonian realm.

What will I find there? What is under this veneer of calm, uneventuality? In solitary moments I fear that it is nothing---that there is truly no underlying structure, form, organization. But the myths are our gateway to faith. As my good friend, the astrologer Claire-France Perez once told me, faith is a feminine (yin) trait. My faith in myself is shaky, yet oddly stubborn because though I have neglected my inner yearnings for many years, I have known that I always carried them with me and what I have desired most is to one day have the strength and the ability to express them. What a silly pair of words for it: “inner yearnings”. Because that isn’t what I mean at all. It is the feeling and not the thing itself. The weakness of this realm is the inability to put words to its most basic components. At its most basic it is simply this: truth expressed in story. That is what my “inner yearning” is. This morning I once again saw it reflected in my mother, though she never had the strength to face it full on. Can one ever face it full on? Or must it be like the sun, our earthly eyes diverted lest they be blinded? That is, after all, the nature of the moon. The moon glows by indirect light. The night’s darkness gives us a veil for our more savage strivings. Ah the sweetness sweetness of what lies above. I have dwelt too much in reason. And it is not the well-spring of my art; it is not the place of bounty. I am weak now from such a long absence from my source of strength. The gates of entry are hidden beneath branches and brambles and many distractions tempt you off the path. My love; I fear you will not recognize me.