As I recovered at a snail-pace from a cold last week, I did a lot of reading. There wasn’t much else I could do.
Internally though, I felt like a hive of bees. When the end of my life does come, I should have a gravestone that includes a To Do list:
- Ask for wings
- Visit son and make sure he’s okay
- Go scare the bejeebers out of the nurse at the hospital who wasn’t very nice to me
Who am I kidding? There wouldn’t be a gravestone big enough for my To Do list.
I may fight it, but insights and blessings have come from this period of taking in without putting much out. I’m beginning to think of this as my nourishing quiet time.
But I started out talking about reading. The book I most recently finished is by Terri Windling and is called “The Wood Wife”. I became interested in Windling’s books after following her blog the “Drawing Board”.
“The Wood Wife” drew me in and kept me thinking about the story, even while I was going about my other business. Perhaps part of what resonated with me is that the story takes place in Tucson, Arizona, the place I would have grown up if I wasn’t given up for adoption, a desert place so different from the trees and lakes of Minnesota that became my home. I wonder what I would have been like as a desert girl…
I haven’t read a fantasy since I was in high school, and I remember now why I liked them – the myths, the creatures, the symbology, the lessons to be learned, the struggle between good and evil. So much better than a silly self-help book.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. A Shapeshifter named Crow is asking the main character, Maggie, who she is:
“What’s underneath? The essence, that doesn’t change from shape to shape. That’s what a shapeshifter has to know, or you lose yourself. You can’t get back. You’re trapped in one shape, and you can’t get out.”
Aaahhh, I recognize this feeling of being trapped in a shape that doesn’t feel true, but that I’ve been wearing for so long, I don’t know how to suddenly switch to what’s real, if I even remember what that is.
And now? Can I name what my true essence is?
There are so many things we do that become things we are – mother, daughter, sister, friend, lover, employee, writer – so, so many. I could fill a page with them.
But at the core? The one thing that will always help me find my way back no matter how lost I’ve become?
I will call myself a storyteller.