I woke with one of my dearest authors friends, Sandra, in the middle of my chest, on my mind, in my waking prayer. I hear her ache and frustration about a well seemingly run dry. Waiting for the rain or underground cistern to break open, even a trickle would do. I want to provide sanctuary for her to run and skip and gulp in Spirit, wind, water. She is a fabulously artistic, an old soul housed in a young, lovely and restless body. She feels the pulse of a ticking clock, taking each strike as jarring punches to the stomach. Yet, I know her well enough now to be sure she yearns for Thin Place, afforded us on the wind-swept shores of the Pacific Northwest. How I wish Sandra could be there with my other writers. I want this for her, for us.
We women authors who’ve had the sublime delight of writing with, snuggling in, laughing and cooking and drinking together while cooing over one another’s stories and prose, thought our pages hardly counted as prose then, but now we long so for these pages penned by one another. We each took our turn dropping our outer garments and eventually even our petticoats, baring our little girl souls to trusted women like those in ancient cultures who receive a new born and hold her to their bosoms, training her up in the ways of the land across the years. Then in celebration of her beauty and bright future, one day the maiden stands inside a circle while her sisters, mothers, aunties scrub her in mineral baths in preparation for her wedding, dancing and singing, then massaging fine oils into her silky smooth skin. We braid a crown of flowers for her hair, feasting on sweet figs and pastries. We hold each story with utmost care. We too have each stood at the center of the circle. Have felt warm gnarled hands on our chilled skin, massaging out knots and grazing over scars and blemishes, celebrating beauty. Daring to believe.
We love one another’s characters as if we had birthed them ourselves. Dulas we are.
We suffer ambiguous, complicated grief in our distance. We wonder what is wrong with us. I have much to learn about surviving the push and pull, on again-off again of this global artist community in shared reflection of the Master Creator. So many days I feel left behind, lost in obscurity and mediocrity. I’m easily convinced that I’ve been forgotten on this solo journey. Surely. All I know to do is what I’ve always done: when I miss my mother, I dry the tears, pull myself up from my curl of despair and cook Mama’s recipes or something like them in my kitchen. And look for someone who is hungry.
The distance is what makes me write. Otherwise, I can believe that I would never step away from the immediate physical comfort of women. The romantic part of me wants to believe in a steady gushing stream of maternal bliss, but we know none of us could survive it. Especially, we introverted ones who choose the quiet over a room full of people just about every time, whether we love those people or not. Even when they are our very own Vixens. We know we are better is small doses.
Still, we need one another’s words. We need the other’s presence—voice—on the page. Being together in real time and space, touching one’s cheek, is just the sprinkles on top. We need to be reminded of where we belong, what holds us together; and most of all, how profoundly loved we are.