Emily Dickinson wrote…
The moon is distant from the sea
and yet with amber hands
She leads him, docile as a boy,
Along appointed sands.
I can visualize her taking a break from late night writing to look out her bedroom window beyond swaying branches and sliding clouds at that moody orb begging to be personified. She sees its face but also its soul with a shape and light and purpose that illuminates her own. There’s supremacy in its position suspended between heaven and earth which offers her some influence too, at least, with words. She has never seen the sea…yet is well versed in waves and tides and depths and even foreign shores. She might really be alone but for the companions her musings make, such so-called isolation filled by a myriad of encounters in a life traversed though not traveled, only seeming to stand still if the movement of her poetry isn’t considered.
It’s amazing where her imagination takes her and also what it brings her, like a window not only for looking through but opening.
Opening. Eyes seeing more than meet them. A heart loving beyond reason. An intellect curious for more than it can get hold of. A soul reaching into the memory of every where and time. Opening. Into a poem, a play, a story, a sermon, a song. Even a newspaper article. There are the facts and what is done with them, experiences and what is made of them, opinions and what is freed or enslaved by them. Then there are visions, exploring the less obvious, paradoxical and creative.
A spider’s web sparkles with dew to strangle a fly, the wind blows to caress the trees and bring them down, water washes what it can also drowned, snow blankets the spring that wants to rise up.
A writer lifts her voice in silence, sails away without leaving port, realizes she may never return, cries without tears, and smiles without anyone to appreciate how wise she looks when she does. She thinks and therefore she is, falters and therefore she isn’t, feels her destiny so it only matters that she keeps on writing. The window is wide open and she leans out as far as she can without falling into the prickly bushes below.
Because even in retreat she needs to let her spirit go, telling stories she feels compelled to tell, into the past as if it was the future, studying like a scholar and dreaming like a fool, taking chances without risking anything, looking up for something to show her the way of shining on her own appointed sands.
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