So I’m playing Advent music in May– Bach, melodious, mellifluous astounding Bach, who wrote “soli dei gloria”– to the glory of God. This music opens my heart to the world and the morning– a good state to be in as a writer. And let us not forget that Bach’s exuberance fertilized his very life; he sired over twenty children….
Last night for some reason I was up late talking with a friend about the Big Bang theory. Then even later I read about Natural Selection on Wikipedia. I along with thousands, millions of other people, have noticed that natural processes and laws have lives of their own and it has made me wonder. I am stranded at the moment somewhere between Intelligent Design and Evolution, feeling that in many respects these things are mutually exclusive after all.
Not long ago I was mourning the end of my participation in the Episcopal Church. Many things falling away in my life, some kind of interior natural selection process of its own, has led me within, rather than without where– behold– there is poetry, the sense I make of the world, the drive to create. I have been steeping myself in art, writing and writing, listening to music, singing arias I’m trying to get under my belt to infuse myself with art and become one with it.
This has been a fascinating journey. my thoughts; things only have the meaning we bring to them; nothing has objective meaning– all “truth” is relative. When I look at the Cross, it has the meaning I bring to it. Obviously in the Christian world view it is imbued with meaning but I’m talking about the process by which things become meaningful to us and we then incorporate them and incarnate them in our Selves.
The making of everything, that everything makes itself and replicates itself, to me is art. So it is that the morning, as captured in the moment before it changes, is a painting– apple trees in bloom, the trees unfurling– the grasses soaked by yesterday’s rain and sleet now nourished by water and emboldened. There are the mares and within each mare, the foal: it’s all astounding.
My body was once inside someone else’s body and before that it was an egg in waiting. I wonder when self-awareness begins.
One litter of kittens morphed into little cats yesterday– tiny, creeping things, nosing their way around in a larger box. The other cat, a pale beauty with an enormous belly, lies around purring, waiting. What is the trigger?
So many things are coming into the world. Next door there are people leaving the world, passing away, shriveling up, leaving behind a husk to be discreetly carried off. Where there is life, there is absence. Where there was a being in a body with a mind on fire, a composer, Bach, Mozart, someone writing a poem or singing an aria, suddenly nothing. I have a friend there, a woman from England, who was my roommate. She sleeps away her last hours, as it should be. She should go in gentleness, unaware. Across the street there will be ten babies born today.
Despite the fact that “Letters to Juliette opens this weekend I’ve stopped worrying and mourning over my memoir. There is more of opera in the memoir than there is of the Juliet courtyard, although how fabulous to be kissed there so very long ago. Critics bashing the film have done their best to demystify the myth of Romeo and Juliet and the courtyard, the bronze that is touched for good luck and the mythic balcony of balconies– but let them.
I love that place clear across the world. It has enriched my mind and heart for nearly four decades. It has the meaning I give to it– for me, a sacred place, where love took a risk and claimed me and I gave myself back– to the risk, the myth, an adventure.
So, I’m pressing on. I’m revising my chapters, pasting them into Word, printing them out, reading them to someone and continuing to edit my book proposal. Then I’ll delete my trial version of Word and install the version I bought on e-bay so that my attachments hold their formatting.
Our sensibilities and vision and voice bloom, in cosmic terms, as briefly as the season of the crab apple blossoms. Creating should come before everything: making art in the moment, I believe, is when we are most fully alive and in harmony with all.