Tenacious Magic ~ Chapter 12
Time is tricky * a strong memory surfaces * practical advice * soul retrieval * hooves and temple bells * positive test result * The Goddess speaks
Welcome back to Tenacious Magic, an emergent novel I am writing and publishing serially every Friday.
Today’s installment takes us back to my life and times in 2010. H and I have been working together for nine months now and as you’ll see, towards the end of the year, he suggests we take a break. This gives me some space to integrate and attend to my life, which is changing rapidly. In this episode, I will find out I am pregnant, which has been a big dilemma—whether or not to become a mother and the fear that if I do, I’ll lose my freedom and have to give up my passion for the mystical path. I couldn’t conceive of a mystical life for a mother, then. Now, of course, I can.
Nothing about my path slowed down or let up when I became a mother, but the forms certainly changed. Less sitting and more tending. Less journeying and more staying. Less transcending and more descending—literally into the viscera of life. When I started writing this story, I didn’t know it would have so much to do with motherhood. I knew—of course—that it would be an exploration of the alchemy of the masculine and feminine, but I was overlooking the archetypal journey into motherhood that happened simultaneous to the dynamic with H. I believe he opened the door to the feminine initiations for me, but I stepped through and was met by the wisdom of the Goddess full force.
What’s been very present for me this week has been TIME. I believe this story holds a key to the truth of time—how it flows and how we can be in a different relationship to it. I can feel the writing re-wiring me and it’s very uncomfortable. I do not think the process is complete—we’re midstream right now. I can feel it showing up in the way I have been fighting with timelines and linear time all week; in choosing which scenes to include and what order to present them in. It’s been showing up in this feeling—I’d call it a significant unease—I get each time I fret about the fact that my timeline unfolds over years, while Katherine’s unfolds over months. And it has shown up as racing the clock—I have felt a scarcity of time in pulling this week’s chapter together. None of these time challenges has been “real” in any sense of the word. They are fabrications—internal pressures, self-imposed limitations.
This morning, while driving home from school drop-off, I finally had a breakthrough. A voice said to me: “Time is not the enemy.” Whew, I felt that one. If I can relax into this river of a time-bending story, a new sense for time will break through—through our need to understand timing, the way we derive a false sense of security and control by constantly locating ourselves in time/space.
One thing that seems relevant to share is a subtle-state/dreamtime experience I had the other night. In my half-sleep I felt my mind being worked on—I know this feeling—it’s like getting an upgrade. It seemed to be a teaching on time.
I was being shown points of light and I was understanding that each point of light represented a memory or an event, in a time and place…history. I saw two points of light suddenly folded in one on top of the other—like you might draw two dots on a piece of paper and then fold the paper to overlay them. As this happened, I was shown that the events—though they “seem” to take place at different times (let’s say 2010 and 1922), are actually happening simultaneously and they can be experienced as simultaneous events. Further, with knowledge, one can travel between them…what we might think of as “time travel.” Moving between the points requires the ability to move through the “fold” of the paper or the loop of time that unites them. (A Wrinkle in Time, yes!) This journey was described to me as traveling through “the witch’s corridor.” I bet some witches definitely know how this works—it may have been them trying to show me. I hope they’ll come back because I didn’t get the whole download.
Come back, witches!
It reminded me of the Tibetan Buddhist feminine wisdom deities referred to as dākinis. Dākinis are luminous creatures, sky dancers, who can travel through time and space. When Padmashambhava brought Buddhism to Tibet, he enlisted the dākinis to help him hide wisdom teachings, terma, throughout time, to be revealed precisely when they are needed. This idea of planting wisdom in time/space always felt like a literal act. I never read this as myth. I’ve always known that he and his consort, Yeshe Tsogyal, both considered Buddhas in their own right, knew these techniques. They were…great magicians. She definitely had the key to the witch’s corridor.
So, as I move through time in this story, please bear with me. I will keep chipping away at the conventional adhesions of the worldview I was born into and internalized. I welcome you to share any observations or experiences you have in relation to time in reading this story…or in relation to any other aspect of it. Use the comments so we can all join the discussion!
Thank you for your support. I am so grateful. Our book club this past week was wonderful. If you missed it, but would like to hear more about this process and the story, you can join me and Holly McFarland on Wednesday at 7pm EST.
(Btw, the name is making more and more sense to me as I go—phew, it sure is tenacious, this magic. It ain’t going to let us go until we get to the end!)
Last thing, my soundtrack this week has been a lot of Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks seems to be very present with me for this. I’ve always loved their music, but as I really listen to it deeply I feel the witchy-gypsy vibes coming through and I have been bathing in them.
Now, on to the story…
…Now here I go again, I see the crystal vision
I keep my visions to myself
But it's only me who wants to wrap around your dreams, and
Have you any dreams you'd like to sell, dreams of loneliness?
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
And what you had
Ooh, what you lost…
—Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Brooklyn, Fall 2009
Out of nowhere H sends S an unusual email. It is a story, copy-pasted from somewhere else. The communication is unlike him, so she takes note. There is no explanation, just this:
A man and his wife have lived a beautiful life together. They are elderly now and the wife is in a nursing home with dementia. Every day the man comes to visit her. He brings flowers and her favorite fruit. He combs her hair, reads to her, spends time sitting quietly with her. He never misses a day.
After some time, one of the nurses approaches the man and says to him kindly, “Why do you come every day? She doesn’t remember you.”
The man’s eyes twinkle and his face lights up as he says to the nurse, “Ah, but I remember her.”
S is touched by the story, but not sure what to make of it. She doesn’t respond and nearly dismisses it. But then…she starts to remember. The remembering happens at first in her dreams.
In one dream, she is sitting at a small table with H in a vast and ancient library. Around them, the shelves are full of the most wondrous books: stacks of leather-bound tomes, grimoires, folios, ancient manuscripts, scrolls. They are young, maybe eighteen and giddy at the impossibility of staying quiet. They sit very close to each other, their arms and hands touching in moments. When they do, the shock is deliciously electric. They are flirting.
He pulls a book from the pile next to him. It is large, almost unwieldy, but she feels he is capable of handling the fragile text. He is reverent, wide-eyed. She’s never seen him this youthful and playful before (even in the dream, she has this awareness). On the cover of the book there is a golden ornament, a Tibetan knot. He opens it to an illustration of a magnificent walled garden with cypress trees under a full moon… She gazes at the detail, the pigment, the scene…and is drawn into the illustration as if it were a living thing, a portal. She realizes this is a magical book, a book of spells, and she looks at him questioningly. “Shall we?” he seems to say. They shall.