Winter is my writing season. I’m used to being a workhorse through the summer months so I can sit at my desk and tease out prose through the rainy months. I look forward to it all year. When the leaves turn and autumn creeps in, I start planning for Nanowrimo and then a three-month storyboard binge in my studio.
Not so much this year. This time around was deadline after deadline after hard push to meet the threshold of an unexpected set of opportunities. A girl does what she can, right?
I skidded into December with my hair on fire and a gnarly case of burnout. Then with a couple few days of rest I went right into pitch sessions, and haven’t stopped. My support system is really encouraging me to accept every invitation, send out every query – even the ones I know I’m probably not a fit for, because “You have to practice. It’s all practice for the real pitches. Say yes, and learn from it.” I mean, it’s not bad advice, as advice goes, but it is overwhelming when you’re not in the practice of being around people or being put on the spot.
Also, I still have books to write, and contractors and contracts to manage for my businesses – so it’s a lot of energy I’m not in the practice of giving. So much so that when Nanowrimo ended, and my first set of concept materials were out – I turned and looked at the mess that is my home. It was/is a horror show.
I’d dropped everything to meet the deadlines. Cleaning, cooking and basic maintenance fell to the back burner.
Empty Amazon boxes were piled by the door. I was out of clean laundry, even underwear. (Yes, Natalie, I’d already did the forward, backward inside-out trick and I was still out of underwear. PLUS, I’d purchased a bunch of skivvies just for Nanowrimo so I wouldn’t run out.) I stood looking at the mess my life had become while my hands were so full, and my brain was on overload.
That’s it. I’m over it. I grabbed the empty amazon boxes, the three bags of manuscript drafts, all the junk mail, and any empty packaging lying around and dragged it all out to the field. I lit it on fire (the recycle center is an hour away, and most of it wouldn’t fit in my little car anyway.) Once the fire was going, I ALSO TOSSED ON ALL MY UGLY PANTIES. Yes, anything I didn’t actually want to wash because I was already half a dozen loads of laundry in the rears, I just burned it all.
“Why do I have those panties? I don’t even like that pair… they ride up into my teeth” Toss ‘em.
“How many times can you bleach period underwear before it’s like, girl, just let them go?” Toss ‘em.
Add a few holy shirts (No, not the Mormon kind) and a pair of yoga pants that were worn a bit too thin in a few places.
And so went the next few weeks of catching up on cleaning, clearing, and making space. Building boxes to take to Goodwill, and dumping junk in the bins for the landfill. I’m still behind. I’m still overwhelmed. I’m still trying to get caught up on the last six months of rapid movement meets loss of all patterns and routines – but I’m getting there, slowly. I’m sourcing contractors, hiring support services, and scheduling out some resources to help re-position.
As I shift and re-settle, though, it’s becoming evident that this might be my new routine… for a while anyway. I’m realizing that what I was, and how I’ve been going about this last leg of the race isn’t going to work if I plan to move forward. A new structure needs to be put into place to build up and out on these incoming changes and this wonderful growth spurt.
They aren’t New Year’s resolutions, per say, but I’m finding that a week and some change into 2022 I’m all for, dump it, drop it, toss it, clear it out, and move it aside.
That goes for the second-hand dollar store flatware I’ve kept because I hate running out of clean forks. Wash a fork, Athena. Put down your manuscript edits and wash the forks. You don’t need to hold onto stuff because you THINK you’re buying yourself time to focus on writing.
The shift is going to have to happen on two fronts. 1) I can no longer clutter my life and energy with what is not adding to the fun or quality of the experience 2) That includes the de-cluttering of mental obsessive focus on my work that sidebars/derails/eliminates all other details from my frame of reference, including but not limited to: day to day upkeep and maintenance, wellbeing, and health routines, and yes – even romance.
It’s time to make space for fresh, delightful, and blissful experiences, patterns, and ideas.
New Year, new rules: Dump it, drop it, toss it, clear it out, and move it aside.
This includes releasing all relationships that are pulling my energy backward or down. Dump it. This includes midnight ruminations on crappy things I’ve said or done or wished I could have responded better to. Clear it. This includes ideas and thoughts that have kept me pinned to the old versions of myself that are no longer relevant. Drop it.
It’s radical. It’s the Swedish Death Cleaning version of my living space and my habits, and my thoughts.
Why? Because it’s long overdue. It’s so overdue, the library just called to say, “Fuck it. Keep the book, you’d paid for it with the fees.”
The funny thing is, I’m kind of over that book, and I’d like a new one, please. A fresh, new book.
So here we are, January 11, 2022, and I’m finally asking, “Athena, what book do you want now?”
It’s a completely different set of options this year. The truth is, I might like to browse a bit and enjoy the energy. There’s no rush. I just want to see what’s on the shelf… but in the meantime, I’m going to clear up a bunch of space so I have all the room to fit something new and lovely into the adventure.
Here’s to an exciting new year full of possibilities and wonderful new creative projects and builds. Huzzah!
Also, the bridge I made this summer survived the storm melt and runoff!! (I won the bet!!)
I’ve tried so many times to write an update, but honestly, things are moving so fast, and so much of the information is not stuff I’m able to disclose yet, that I keep coming up short. Being unsure what I’m allowed to talk about has just kept me muted while at least a couple areas of my life have blown up in very positive ways in just the last few months.
I can comfortably say, I am overwhelmed with good happenings, although the level of work to reach what looks like a sudden break took decades.
Pitching in Hollywood is not at all like I imagined it would be. I probably sound like a newb for this, but - -everyone is so freaking nice. They have all been so utterly kind and helpful, so far above and beyond willing to help me reach a little higher into a field in which I know very little, that I’ve broken down crying more than once for the generosity and encouragement I’ve encountered from total strangers.
When I set out to begin the adaptation with the producer in October, I was on the fence. I wasn’t sure the adaptation process was for me (I’m a long-form prose writer—not a script person). So, it took a crash course YouTube cram, a new software learning curve, and a remapping of the first two novels on the storyboard wall – but when I was done, I was sold. I ended up LOVING the scripting process. Such a blast!
I have been living and breathing my characters and books for so long that this new way of stripping the arc apart, re-weaving the narrative, and deep diving into dialog I wrote more than a decade ago in the novels was like dancing with an old lover to a new song. It was a nostalgic, re-imagined love affair that reminded me why I love these stories so much. In that process I also realized, if I can fall in love with them all over again, it’s absolutely time to share them with a newer, wider audience.
Even Liam approves.
Then when I got my first materials request from the first big studio, I was over the moon, even more so when he said he couldn’t tell this was my first pilot attempt. (He was probably being nice, but I’m so new to it all I’ll happily accept that kindness.) The pilot has since gone out four more times, and I’ve booked pitch sessions and meetings to discuss those results. I’d had two other passes, but one of those passes included a long and beautifully written email on how I can improve my pitch, and an invitation to try again in the future because he liked my premise and the freshness of the concept.
Don’t worry, I’ doing everything by the book and yes, I have an attorney to help me with all the legal documents and worrisome bits of confusing language. He’s taking excellent care of my rights and my sanity. I also hired a consultant to help me tune the material set and make sure I’m not making any stupid, obvious newbie mistakes. He has been instrumental in keeping me off the ledge.
Moral of the story—I am not alone in this, and it’s really taking a whole village, many of whom have been cheerleaders since the early days. I thank you all so very much.
In all, it’s been an incredibly positive experience. Exhausting? Yes. I had no idea how fast things would move. Writing two separate pilot episodes, a mini bible, a pitch deck, query, and a two pager in 30 days while also managing a federal audit for the banks in California, and completing the paperwork for the publishing label transition was, well, a bit much. I burned hard, and nearly burned out. In fact, I’m still sort of recovering.
Both of my businesses are keeping my hands full in the best possible way. So, to counter all the excitement, I’m researching ways to help find better balance and mindfulness… working to improve my recovery time because I’m having such a wonderful time of it that I want to keep going. I absolutely want to write more scripts, push along my next big contractor gig for the banks in California, and launch Plague of Gargoyles this year.
Of course, if anything moves forward from here on the adaptations and studio request, I won’t be able to talk about it. So, if all goes well, this post will be the last thing I’ll be able to say until one day, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be able to present these stories I love to a new audience and share the fabulous adventure of the Muses on the little screen. How fun would that be?
In the meantime, the snow is scheduled to settle on The Elder Glade just in time for me to hunker down for my winter writing season. I’ll be here, in the woods, dreaming up the next big adventure.
Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays to you all. See you in 2022.
So much love,
It’s been a tremendous year. As an old version of yourself is dying, falling away to be replaced by a newer iteration, it’s time to check in.
I was born as the sweet corn was coming on and the first harvest wheat was making its way to silo. Many summer birthdays were spent first in the Rocky Mountains regions of roadside farm stands, fresh produce and corn shucking contests. One birthday I even spent with the fire department in Hyrum, Utah as they fought to extinguish my sister’s house fire despite the exploding ammo storage. (The firefighters kindly shared my birthday pizza and cake after the house was saved. Well, mostly saved.)
Then in later years in Alaska, my birthdays were spent standing hip-deep in Prince William Sound, catching my salmon limit in six casts followed by hikes into the wild where I pondered never returning to civilization.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I ventured into alcohol and thus spent the next decade of birthdays swigging fine Scotches, sampling new whiskies, and making the exotic dessert birthday rounds. Some of those desserts were even food, or at the least they were usually wearing something edible….
Nowadays, it seems birthdays slip right on by. I’m only reminded by whichever social media platform I actually used my real birthdate to register, that I am in fact getting older. As if my drooping jawline and plumper corners, even the anti-gravity super lift on my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder were not reminder enough.
I don’t mind the crows’ feet. Truly. I wouldn’t trade my smile lines in for all the money in the world. I don’t even mind the strip of white hair that’s filling my right temple when I’m too busy to dye. I do however, take deep offense to the random long black chin hair that wasn’t there the night before but upon waking realize it has sprouted like a fucking Gorgon scalp and overtaken my face. I guess I should be grateful, it’s trying to hide my growing double-chin.
Time gets us all, right? So, when the reminder pops up on Facebook, or my Google account, it gives me a chance to ask myself if I’m happy where I am or if I need to make changes.
Did I improve upon myself this year?
Did I improve upon my world?
It’s a simple test, really. Two questions to gauge my annual metric.
I still crave August shooting stars, fresh corn in salty garlic butter, handmade ice cream and the county fair. I still look for new imports to tempt my palate; whiskey, that is—not men…mostly. I still hunger for fresh salmon baked on alder planks and Alaskan summer evenings of the midnight sun. All these are the joys of being a late summer birthday baby. When the lavender is cropped, and the communities gather for festivals and harvest. There is a sense that we are united, that bounty is plentiful and connections are rich—all before the winter drives us inside to our deeper thoughts and silent insecurities. Nine dark months of winter ruminations.
Did I improve myself?
Did I improve my world?
My metric has never been about justifying my right to be, or validating a sense of purpose. It’s never been about whether I am deserving of space or love. To be fair, when I was younger, I often confused the exercise with worthiness before I learned what worthiness really meant.
Therefore, the two questions were always about—movement.
Movement forward, sideways, up or down, round about or zigzag… but always shifting point of view, location (both inner and outer) relative to what I think I know or understand. Movement is growth.
My mentor once said, “A stagnant character is a dead character.”
I’ve always wanted to be a dynamic character. Not because I’m afraid of dying—but because I’ve always feared not living all the life I could get my hands, mouth, mind, and spirit upon. Hells bells, I want a life I can throw my body at that swoons my brainpan with all the infinite potential of creative delights. Hedonist. Sybarite. Explorer. Chaser of kites and kittens, fairytale lore and frenetic squirrels. Builder. Creator. Grand duchess of the what-if.
All the makings of movement, creativity, and discovery.
But movement, progress, shift in perspective and point of view… the ever-reaching stretch for vision, understanding, and scope comes with a cost. That cost is only now becoming something I can consciously, in my 43rd Note to Self, quantify and thusly - willingly choose.
Before the cost seemed happenstance. It felt like a lateral, outside my periphery, odd confluence of bad luck. The cost, because I didn’t know what it was at the time, seemed arbitrary, and as though I were a casual victim of the price of something I didn’t quite recognize as a product of my will. I chalked it up to Universal commerce, the unseen feather on Maat’s balancing scale.
Did I improve myself?
Did I improve my world?
The price is the willingness to die, to let death, to invite ending. The cost of movement, transition… of living a fully enriched experience, is the consensual unbecoming of one state in order to embody the richness and comprehension of another.
This is not a suicide pact. It’s not a bargain to do violence or harm—it’s an understanding that polarities are poles…and that life happens between. We die a thousand deaths a day; shedding cells, rebuilding muscle and tissue… ideas and concepts, habits and paradigms, and relationships (inner and outer). We la petite mort three times a night, if we’re lucky….
I could wax on all inebriated and poetical, but I think you get the point, Athena.
You’re finally understanding how to calculate the price of walking away, leaving, starting over, speaking truth, hearing truth, making a stand, owning your space, valuing yourself, your voice, your process. You understand the power of naming your own price, and holding out for it. The fee for changing your mind, your will, your ownership of self from day to day may very well be the loss of relationships, trust, face, money, respect, image, and imagined power or purpose.
The choice of one thing, of the new point of view, risk, adventure, personal growth is the END of what was in its place before.
Athena, you get it now. Sometimes the toll of improving yourself is the agreement to accept the end of all you were, even all that you thought you’d become. It’s the return on personal investment tax.
A remaking fine. You’ve had a dozen of these transitions already, but never with the ability to consciously sit and sort the probable fallouts in relation to the goal. You’ve never put it in mercenary calculations before or counted your match sticks and measured the distance to the horizon line so thoroughly. You were always a gut-creature. You moved by instinct and a hungry bid for breath of life. There was so much world to fit on one tiny plate. I don’t know what’s more terrifying from the outside; she who breathes feral-like into the fire of personal transformation—or she who strategizes, and organizes. She who holds the scalpel to her life with determined focus.
In survival mode it’s nearly impossible to think in terms of:
Did I improve myself?
Did I improve my world?
For sure, there were birthdays when you asked the questions and were met with the dissatisfying realization that all you managed to do for a whole year was keep your head above the waterline, treading as fast and hard as you could and you still couldn’t do more than just break even on your own scale.
Other birthday years as you stood in line at the county fair or dined with friends, you were overjoyed knowing that you had passed the bar for the year, and that a new bar had been set for your own internal challenge twelve months hence. How fun!
But every time you already knew, you could not remain the same woman from one year to the next. You could not repeat cycles that weren’t working, maintain relationships that held you back, or accept habits within yourself once you’d identified them as detriments.
Sure, you had to identify them first… then be willing to murder them gently and put to rest an old version of yourself—there to zigzag, remake, remold and become new. Sure, you’ll look indecisive, transitory, scattered, and overwhelmed—but that will pass as the trimming begins and the dead parts of your old self fall away for fresh growth to emerge.
So here you are at 43 and the questions have to be asked.
Did you improve yourself? Yes. Yes, you did—and you will continue to do your best to improve upon the bar every yearly return.
Did you improve your world? Some, but not as much as I would have liked. Still, you’ll continue to do more every yearly return.
That’s it. You do what you can. You improve when you can. Your bar is yours alone. Your judgment of that scale is between us. The tally of costs, the prices accumulated for loss of old will never compare to the tremendous value you will add to your life and to the world by investing in the renovation to let go, free up… to welcome change.
You created movement in your life. You walked away when it was needed. You held your ground when you had to. You used your voice without regret, and made your positions known; not just once or even twice, but on many fronts and for many ventures. You spoke truth. You accepted the truths that were spoken to you. And you put the scalpel to everything that is no longer supporting your growth and movement forward. Mercilessly, I might add, and without hesitation. I am proud to say… I didn’t recognize you in those moments, which goes to show how far you’ve come from the dithering wobbler waiting for permission to command her own journey. Like, who the fuck are you? I dig it, sister!
This meant the transition of your dream, the transition of your writing career, the transformation of creativity, the shifting of your physical shape, the rethinking of your property and even your finances. Closing down shop, shuttering boxes of books and preparing to find alternative paths to answer the questions next year with even better results.
Just in time for your annual birthday return, when the sweet corn comes on, and the grain harvests are prepped for silo. This year as you broke Lammas bread you gave thanks to the newfound determination you’ve discovered to dance with more personal integrity, to show more grace of spirit, and claim the things you truly want —even if that means sacrificing some comforts, or letting some treasures go. The results will be worth it, Athena. I promise.
Happy 43rd birthday!! Many happy returns.
P.S. Just be prepared that when you wake up on the morning of the 6th, that fucking chin hair will need to be plucked again. WTF? Oh, the indignities.
The creativity projects have been put on temporary hold as I adjust to new changes in real-world timing and fluctuation. There are so many moving parts that I can’t even adequately update as it’s happening, but will certainly report out when the dust settles. To that end, I may not be on the Oregon Coast when all is said and done, though I intend to keep my property and come home as able. Like I said, lots of moving parts, and no real solid ability to lay down exact plans or even properly prepare. It’s a full-tilt seasonal shift on an inner and outer level.
I suspect there are many folx in these same situations as time and energy have shifted over the last year of quarantine. With changes in jobs, business, and relationships it would have been silly to think I would be unaffected even out in the wilderness.
It’s all good. Change is good. Life is interesting and I will adapt. It just is what it is for the time being.
As long as I can keep writing my books, and sharing creativity plans…all will be well. I will most certainly be available online, and via this website as changes occur.
Thank you for your patience and continued support!
It’s been over a year since I’ve seen you at the pub; you know, life and COVID and such. It was our conversation last year that inspired me to dip my toe into the dating pool after years of being single. Call me curious, I wanted to know if you were right that the dating world changes at a certain age (ahem; the forties are amazing, btw.). So, I signed up for two dating services for one entire year to see what would happen. (yes, pandemic and all).
You were right. The dating game at forty is a totally different ball of wax than it was in my early thirties when I was floundering around looking for a mate. The only trouble is, I am also a different person—so the problem has changed into a whole new complexity of variables.
Back then, I was looking for a partner, someone who could meet me step for step and not slow me down or derail me from my mission. They didn’t need to be committed to my mission and goals, just not actively working against my dreams. If I even got a whiff of it… I just quickly moved along. After a time it was just more energetically efficient and a much higher level of happiness to avoid dudes all together. A sad but true testament, because the ones that smell yummy and speak well are so entertaining to be around. Alas.
At the end of a year of dating as I close out my accounts this is what I’ve learned: the men I met and or chatted with were men I would have sold the farm and re-arranged my life to be with fifteen years ago. Nice guys. Decent fellas. Sweet and genuine as can be. Worthy and wonderful gentlemen, all.
But as much as the dating game changes in the forties—I am also completely revolutionized in what I am interested in or willing to pair myself with now. That old bar was set a lifetime ago. I hate to say it, but if I’d matched with any of those guys and sold the farm and re-arranged my life to mesh into theirs… I would have evolved out of them eventually if our relationships hadn’t been able to evolve along at the same time.
Because I am no longer looking for, or interested in a mere boyfriend, or companion, or partner. I’ve set my new bar at an “engaging empire collaborator”.
Whoa, Gladys, whoa. I know. I bet you didn’t see that coming. I didn’t. It caught me completely by surprise. Like, blindsided with my mouth full of bagel one morning while I was staring out the window with my journal kind of surprise.
Whaaaat? I’m open to the idea of matrimony again? What? The idea of family open to negotiation? World travel? Re-settling? All of it… the toggle popped and there was really only one thing I had an absolute about.
Happiness within to collaborate happiness with another.
I know Gladys, I know. It should always be about internal happiness. Obviously. But how many people are aware of what that actually means to them and what they have to do to make it real for themselves SO THAT THEY CAN GIVE IT FREELY TO ANOTHER?
Radical trust and collaboration, especially in terms of partnership and romance, means if you don’t have it to bring to the table—you can’t offer it in collaboration. You can trade for it, sure, but when you’re talking about the foundation of happiness: happiness cannot be given to you by anyone BUT you.
The love has to be within you and FOR you in order to give love with genuine and powerful freedom. If you give love you don’t have… what is that?
Really nice gentleman who could offer me their worlds, enable my dreams and support my future have all sat at the table with me as they spoke with language and vibrations that ached, ACHED with self-loathing, regret, and fear. (In the many ways that lack mentality shows up in energetics and material manifestations) They have been wonderful. Truly. Worthy of great bounty and dreams, all of them. They are humans having a human experience, right? We all are.
But as a collaborator looking for a collaborator—I’m looking for conversations and energy that are wired to possibility, potential, Yes+And, to build, develop, and create=create=create.
I’m not too ashamed or embarrassed to say, I plan to build an empire, and I think it would be marvelous to have a fellow builder along for the adventure. Imagine the worlds we’d manifest!
I know who the collaborators are not, when they roll their eyes at that statement or put qualifiers on what I can bring to a table. I know who the collaborators are when they engage with Yes+And.
Dear Gladys, not one of the nice gentlemen this year was an active collaborator. That’s not to say he doesn’t exist. I know for certain he does; we met in the dream world. That’s pretty real, right? Anywhoo, all joking aside, I owe you a great thanks and a few beers.
Without you asking the questions, and seeding the curiosity, I wouldn’t have gone looking. I wouldn’t have stepped out of the wilderness to pause at some watering holes and take in the new views. Without the experiences, I wouldn’t have realized where my new collaborative bar sits, or what I can and will bring to a negotiation table. I wouldn’t have realized the old fears no longer rule me, and the old desires no longer hunger.
Without venturing into the dating desert, I wouldn’t have known for myself how much I’ve changed, and how much there still is to create or experience—and that finally... I'm ready to dance.
Spring is coming early with sugar ants and eager daffodils. It’s pushing my winter creative thoughts into preparing the property for the work that needs to be done. Will I be adding bees again this year? More chickens and ducks, or fish? I don’t know. To be honest, this feels like the first time in four years since settling in, that there’s a change needing to happen. My inner season has shifted.
My garden starts popped up in a hurry, so my window sills are overrun with plants hungry for more light than the season has to offer. I feel it, too; the thirst for light, the hunger to be in a larger pot. I don’t know if it’s cabin fever from a year of all years, or if it’s a legitimate need to move my roots. Good questions to consider.
In the meantime here’s a little update: The Creativity Workbooks are nearly mapped.
After four years of research and rabbit hole diving, I’ve finally finished the premise, process, and arc of the workbooks; and rather than one as I imagined it at the start, there are now four, and likely more to come.
So, before I finish prototyping, I’ve decided to implement them in my life to see how much they impact a creative in motion. While I understand the biasness of the experiment, I’m still somewhat blown away by the ferocity of the creative surge. It has, to put it mildly, fucking overrun my life.
Here’s the interesting part though, it hasn’t overrun my creative works or projects, it has, quite literally rearranged my actual life. Implementing “holistic creative choices” in facets of my daily life which support my creative works and focus, has essentially hijacked my day-to-day brain and has re-structured my commitments, relationships, desires, and even my financial situation.
My creativity has never been in question. I’ve been a high-functioning creative for decades in one medium or another. What HAS been in question is the quality and consistency of my other life toggles, levers, habits, and energies that have been spotty and gummed up. When that flow gets sticky up it certainly impacts my creative productivity.
I had a breakthrough in September 2020 when the application of “active creative and holistic choices” in the workbook suddenly applied to literally every part of my day, not just the four hour window I have blocked out for my craft. When that clicked into place—the workbooks split into brackets, and the process evolved into something much more useful, much deeper and essentially much more spiritual and revolutionary.
So, the life reboot may have something to do with that sense of an internal seasonal shift. It’s been refreshing and much needed. My creative works barrel on, and my energy reserves are easier to refill and keep topped off with the changes made from the exercises in the workbooks. Huzzah!
That said, I’ll be working on the drafting the workbooks into print and getting them up for the public in the near future.
I hope this updated finds you all healthy, safe, and keeping on keeping on.
Here's a Valentine's Day pick-me-up for all you Twin Flame lovers out there. <3
I’ve always known you. I’ve always known you would never hurt me. I’ve always known I am utterly safe in your hands; that you see me as I am, and as I wish to be. Still, you take all of me deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
Last night when we met in the ether, I felt you like never before. You’re so close. The shape and weight and warmth of your touch radiated on my flesh hours after waking. My figure glowed in all the right places as I made coffee and sat near the window to journal. You were still very much inside my body, my breath, my mind. How do you do that? How is that possible when we’ve never met?
If I were a good Catholic girl, I might think I’ve been possessed. I’d worry it was the work of evil spirits; the way you draw my voice from my lips when you cup my spine and pull me toward you, the way I melt and bend around your frame as though I am cast in molten copper just to fit you, every part of you deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
My enjoyment of you goes beyond having a hunger satisfied. The electricity of your touch, your smile, scent, and even the rough tenor of your voice—it is synthesis, fusion. It is the harmony of Universal precision, and I cannot seem to pull away.
As entanglements go, it is delightful. When I fall asleep at night, you’re there waiting with a cheeky grin and outstretched hand. We adventure through the dreamscape and gallivant across galaxies. It’s often with a reluctance that I return to the 3d world at dawn.
I wake up pulsating and mystified, glimmering with an afterglow of your soulful caress. Being intertwined with you is the most intimate and liberating part of my unconscious world. I’d dearly love to know what you feel like in real life. Are you flesh and mortal—enchantingly imperfect? Wondrously flawed and yet emblazoned with passionate curiosity and hopeful creativity?
I see you as a man in collaborative league with himself, in the most humble and discerning way. I see you as you are, and as you wish to be, and I gratefully welcome all of you within me deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
What am I to you? Am I earth to your roots? Oxygen to your fire? Are you gravitationally locked to me in the same way I am tidal gripped by you?
I pass the time thinking of you with whimsical interest and lustful memory. Then I return to my daily habits, smiling. The world with its clutter and noise is a simple distraction. The hours stray and the grind is met. At last I close my eyes at dusk and sink into you, filling you as you fill me—deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
And there is peace.
See you on the other side, Lover.
I made a wish this year. A wish that was shortly answered with an unexpected call from the Universe in the form of a premonition to prepare myself.
On the whole, I dig my enchanted little life. I adore my cottage and wilderness living, but I also recognize my season is changing. Any good witch knows…you can’t fight the seasonal shift. You can’t push it back, or run away from it. Seasons are a part of our nature.
My new season is loitering the garden gate. It’s time to put down my gathering basket, find some shoes (I think I have some shoes around here somewhere) and venture forth. To where, I don’t know. How long? I’m not sure. I only know the feeling of being asked to surface into the harsh light, and release a song, or word, or some kind of…flare? I don’t know yet. It’s unclear.
For now, there is enough time to prepare. There’s a transition window that is allowing me to pack and ready myself for this new sojourn into unknown realms.
The packing should be light. As I set about pondering what to take, I realized my life has become so simple, so uncluttered of old baggage that there’s not actually much to take with me—save a few relationships, and those could use some fine tuning and work before the journey. Mind, I’m still not sure where I’m going, but better relationship awareness is never amiss.
I sat on the deck hypnotized by the forest and closed my eyes. The creek burbled. The mossy maple limbs swayed and groaned. A crow cawed on the ridge above my glade.
I sat with it for a while. I have been truly happy here in the Elder Glade. I hope it will remain my haven for many years come; even as I venture out and touch the world again. I hope the glade will be mine to return to, snuggle in and recover as needed. There is a sadness in the shift, in the call to a diamond world I don’t understand yet. When I send my senses out to query the journey, it feels cold, hard, brittle and sharp. Each time I reach out to try and touch the path forward, I yank my hand back with concern. The diamond world is everything I am not. Why would I be called to that? I don’t know, but the pull is insistent. The calling is clear. It’s where I’m supposed to venture next.
The healing and whole-ing I’ve been able to accomplish during my enthrallment with this space has brought the most fulfillment to date, the most creative inspiration and output; the longest surrender and most delightful lullaby of soul. I hope this seasonal shift will allow me to remain connected to this sanctuary. It’s the first home I’ve felt havened by since leaving the wild Northern lights.
But the diamond world is calling. There’s a mission to be accomplished. The diamond world is not my world. I don’t know exactly how to get there, or what exactly I’m supposed to do when I arrive—but I’ll pack and be ready anyhow. When the wind blows open the garden gate and the full moon shines upon the wintered herbs—it’s wisdom to put your tools away and pull out a travel bag, else the shift will catch you unawares and leave you scrambling to catch up.
All I’ll be able to take with me are my inner and outer relationships. At first, I assumed I’d need a very small bag, but as I began thinking about it…perhaps a bag of holding with a bottomless space to fit all my loves—and there are many.
I love so many things, people, places, ideas, and dynamics that I cannot fit them all in a material space—only in my emotional carryon. I cannot fit my fairyland acreage, the mystical trees, my muddy boots, and my meandering mushroom trails in the sack, but I can fit my love for them and my treasury of memories within the pockets of my jacket, tucked in my bra, and stitched into the lining of my purse.
I will need them in the diamond world. More importantly—I feel like the diamond world needs that love and connection to these marvels of the wildwood. If I am to be venturing onto the cold sharp lines of diamond paths, I will gladly be leaving mossy trails and fern patches in my wake. My disruption will likely be noticed, and looked upon with mixed expressions as I lay lichen and snail trails, and scatter seeds to grow flowers and call in the bees.
My relationships to my people, my body, my spirit and creativity, my animals and the habits I sustain…all part of the light packing. Those relationships will continue to be nurtured, tended, and grown as all wonderful relationships should be. The perpetual caretaking of community will still be a priority.
However, my relationships to unhealthy habits need to be purged, released, and left behind. They should be dropped in the forest like so much mulch to be churned into the nutrient of the next cycle. Such is the way of the wooded life.
So, I expect in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be waiting calmly by the garden gate with my carryon full of relationship treasures, and my animal familiars. I don’t know what the ship will look like that’s coming to fetch us, but I’ll recognize it when I see it, no doubt.
I’ll try to clean up a bit, so as not to startle the diamond worlders with my unkept appearance, and shaggy shape. I’ve let myself become a bit overgrown, and ragged. I’m sure I have shoes around here somewhere? Do not let my adaptation fool you. Even if I manage to blend in, my eyes are full of wildwood promises, and my heart beats with the evergreen pulse of untamed trials. My song is ever the song of this little pocket of hinterlands. My words will ever be laced by the joys of this lingering dream.
It may be a journey of miles, or just of thought—but a journey it will be. It’s strange, I had a dream once, perhaps 15-16 years ago. I only just now remembered it. I was leaving the busy hubbub of city living and stumbled onto a dark and overgrown path into a forest. Everyone warned me not to go, that I would die and be eaten by feral creatures and digested by thickets overgrowing my flesh. “I have to go,” I told them all. “I have to. My future is in that dark unknown place.”
I ended the dream walking into a dangerous timberland Mirkwood. I knew I had to go it alone. I knew it was part of my becoming, even if it meant death—of ego or all that I claimed as myself. It was the path I couldn’t ignore.
Ten years later I did just that, wandered into the forest alone. Against all better advice and the fears others had for my safety. I dropped my stilettos and gowns, and handbags off at the secondhand store, and purchased seeds, and gardening tools, chocolate, and wine.
It’s funny now, looking back. I didn’t know I would be hiding out here for so many years, or that I would find so much bliss in the becoming. There was a lot of myself dying—but not of anything that I lamented becoming rid of—and there was far more birthing and anchoring, and blooming. I remember the girl who walked into the woods—but she’s like a fantasy, a memory of another world.
I don’t feel like I’m “leaving” my glade forever—but the land is no longer a Mirkwood. It’s no longer dark and scary and ready to devour me. This forest is an extension of my connection to etheric worlds, the conduit to peace and tranquility. It’s my source of happiness.
But last year, as I was wrapped in overgrowth, buried in moss, and trailing my fingers in the creek as I daydreamt and magicked my way through the ethers—I cast a wish up to the new moon, smiling at the idea of its seeding. What a wonderful adventure that would be, right? No sooner had I yearned, my eyes fluttered back to dreaming and the alders bent, the firs stepped aside and light broke through the canopy revealing a trail out of the bracken.
I sighed, and lamented…but not yet, right? Just a little longer, please? I’m so happy here.
The path resealed, and my dream continued, until the night of the storm when the garden gate blew open, and the full moon shone on the winter herbs. “It’s time, Athena.”
It’s my fault. I cast the wish. I knew it would come eventually. Once is an invitation, twice is a premonition—thrice is a shove. Wisdom lies in moving before being shoved.
I wondered if it was too late to retract the wish and go back to sleep in the bramble. I knew it was too late. More truthfully…I didn’t really want to go back to sleep. There’s an invitation, a calling beyond my boundary lines, just over the borders to the sea. An adventure stirring across the horizon that whispers to me promises of yet more magic to come. That magic is hidden though, in the diamond world, trapped like a bee in an amber prison. It may take a bit of woodland charm to set the poor creature free; nothing a little fairyland enchantment can’t fix, I imagine.
And so…I’m packing. Singing the songs of relationships to keep, and magics to take with me, and wondering what this new adventure will bring.
It was impossible to predict, plan or even project through 2020. Hot damn if I didn’t try, though. I even hosted a 2020 planning workshop last January. Go figure. That said, I was in good company with much of the world scrambling to re-structure, re-think, and manage the almighty pivot. During the quarantine I wrote, sculpted, and plotted new creative community collaborations. Those should be rolling out in the near future. Until then, Happy New Year!!
May this year bring love, light, and all sorts of new and wonderful adventures for us all.