Of Furling, Unfurling, and the Great Mystery of Timing

Well, it’s been almost seven months since I lasted posted, way over my deadline. Whoops. Fortunately, it’s not like I’m not getting paid for this or anything so no harm done.

I lost my voice there for a while, during all the aftermath, and didn’t feel like writing anymore so in the end I just didn’t. Simple enough. But lately I’ve been getting the niggle again, to express myself in this lovely, endlessly adaptable language we all share, which both surprises and, I admit, relieves me.

The whole process reminds me of the snails I used to love so much when I was growing up. How I’d place one on the palm of my hand and then sit still and watch it’s slow and graceful slide across my skin, the waving, tubal antennae that I’d gently touch just so I could see them telescope down into themselves, tucking away for temporary safety into the snail’s translucent little head.  And then I’d wait, breathless, and count the seconds until they slowly, magically…for no apparent reason that I could ever ascertain…start to telescope back up again, a glorious and tiny display of snail-curiosity and snail-hope reaching back out into the world and waving around, feeling outside itself for the next thing.

(Here’s a lovely little video blending the grace of snail-world with an original piano piece. Really, it’s endlessly amazing to me how whatever moves you, there’s someone else out there who’s moved by it, too.) 

The returning of my urge to write feels a lot like that, and I don’t understand why now? with the timing of this anymore than I understood it back with the snails, but there you have it. I guess sometimes we don’t really need to understand, things just happen when they happen anyway, and every exhale is always followed by another breath.

Well, except one exhale of course. Let’s not forget that one.

Anyway, yesterday morning I walked out of the house to head out into the world, my antennae waving around in the air above my head, only to be greeted by a sky full of the undulating song of Canadian geese in flight.  It stopped me dead in my tracks as I gazed up and watched the dark, flying V’s approach and pass over and then recede again, their song receding with them. Then as suddenly as I was frozen I felt myself released, so I started for the car only to find a little Mallard duck couple waddling up the driveway toward my feet which instantly froze me all over again.

They didn’t stay very long, this pair. I spoke soft words of welcome and affection to them but all they really wanted was bread so they eventually turned around and waddled back down the driveway towards the next door neighbor’s house where their panhandling is usually rewarded.

Really, it’s such a complicated zone, this transition area where the wild and human worlds meet, full of so much error and so much tender longing. I admit, it can be difficult to know what’s right sometimes.

And then, with their departure, I felt myself released again and finally reached the car to head off deeper into a day where my antennae telescoped up and down, up and down all day, with the contact.

Frankly, I find that the human world doesn’t maintain the same cautious distance that the wild one does. At all. When I’m around people the antennae-hits tend to come with more velocity and frequency, which is harder for me and which I’m working to find a fix for. There are just way too many frozen moments at this point, way too much time spent waiting to internally unfurl again, which has got to change if I’m going to get anything of substance done.

There’s much to learn here, clearly, but today at least I’m writing again and it feels good. ‘Nuff said.

p.s. Happy Birthday sweetheart. Today is a very, very beautiful day for me because you were born. May it be even more beautiful for you.


13 responses

  1. Hi Sweetheart,
    I am having such a great Birth Day Celebration all day today…starting with how you wrote Happy Birthday on my cheese stick, I found in my lunch box. Your antennae did good on that, and so much more.
    I listened to Bob B. on the way to work…wow! Everyone has always said we were born without an ‘owners manual’…turns out there is one! I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with you…my partner, wife, lover, friend, teacher.
    The Hubster

  2. Dia!!! Yea!! I was thrilled to receive this email!! I’m guilty too of not writing much lately. I retired my newspaper column last year and have been lazy about blogging…moving, surgery, vacation…all good. But I’ve been out speaking and visiting some who were in transition. And of course that always stirs up the flow again. So, thank you for this! Bless you!!!

    • Becki! Always great to hear from you girl. Life does get in the way of blogging at times, doesn’t it? (Surgery? Moving? Definitely makes it harder to carve out a time to write.) But really glad to hear that you’re still out speaking and visiting those bedsides. Was it hard to give up the column? (I know I don’t deserve an answer after how long it took me to respond to this, but if you have time!)

  3. Be assured that the “frozen moments” are of substance as well. As you just demonstrated in your post, they nurture your writing. Moreover, as some famous person said (Viktor Frankl?), one of the things that give our lives meaning is having experiences. And speaking of relief, i’m relieved that I can bask in your writing again. Karen, of offbeatcompassion.com

      • My dream is that Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died, will become a cult classic. But for now, every time when even one single copy is sold, I say to myself, “Wow! A possibly complete stranger actually wants to read my book?!” Like writing, there are periods of high activity and just plain quiet. High activity does not necessarily mean sales. it could be blog post swaps, helping a bereaved person after I give a book reading, getting quoted. Instead of thinking about book sales (though I do that too), I try to think of it as the “book journey.” My first bookaversary” was April 23rd. Latest part of the journey: am looking for a narrator for an audiobook version. Current writing journey: second book, a series of compassionate sci-fi short stories.
        So! Dia, it’s your turn. All your fans are waiting. 🙂

      • Ah yes…the dream and the journey. The important thing is to enjoy the ride, no? Well done on getting it written and getting it out here. No small feat! I’ve just downloaded it onto my Kindle and look forward to reading it once I’ve finished re-reading Dune. (I LOVE sci-fi! Very cool that you write that, too!)

  4. Dia! Welcome back to writing!

    I’ve been pulled inward myself, but the cadence of your writing, like the geese you wrote about, made me remember all the odd little connections in our lives. (Not just the you and I connections, but those especially.)

    Good to hear from you! ❤

    • Sweet! Yes…all the comment technology works and everything’s showing up on this end. It’s MY response mechanisms that have been down for repairs. Sorry to take so long to reply! Things are actually going fairly well here…I’m coming out of my shell and life is a little busier than it has been. Which is great but it creates a whole new hurdle to writing that I didn’t have to deal with when I was just a crab in a hole. 🙂 BTW did you ever finish your dissertation?

  5. The beauty and elegance of your writing makes it well worth a good wait. I love this paragraph: Really, it’s such a complicated zone, this transition area where the wild and human worlds meet, full of so much error and so much tender longing. I admit, it can be difficult to know what’s right sometimes.

    So true.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s