My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have several months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Language of the Heart

Jo-Ellen Trilling has painted this captivating work, Prayers from Earth.  I love her vision of the physical and meta-physical intertwining here, the prayers interweaving with the vermicelli, shaping the noodles into a script that we can, very nearly, read for ourselves.  She writes, 

I am compelled now and forever to check the vermicelli stuck to the bottom of my pots in case there is a message spelled out.

A joyful and poetic capturing of the book.  Thank you for honoring us with this work, Ms. Trilling!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Magical Life

Paula Rae Gibson has captured the nature of Mariela here, in the exquisite vulnerability within this portrait.  She lives and breathes as part of a heightened world, in which the spirit is magnified, and hopes are writ large.   She wears a luminous halo above her head.

Mariela's was a magical life, replete with frank yearning and unearthly reverence, both collecting in the air about her like an aura.

Thank you, Ms. Gibson, for sharing this sensitive, captivating work with us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Face of Love

The Icon Prize is privileged to receive this transcendent portrait by artist Miguel Martinez of Taos, New Mexico.  (Mr. Martinez is represented by the Michael McCormick Gallery in Taos, for those of you who want to see more of his luminous work.) How remarkably this woman's gaze captures the wise spirit of Anna de la Senda, generous, serene, a witness to the beauty surrounding her.  Her eyes contain a reflection of that which is eternal and beloved.  I recognize her, though I've never met her outside of the fictional realm of The Unfastened Heart.  What a bright, shining gift!

Anna de la Senda lived for love.  Not her own, but other people's.  She took on counseling patients of all ages and attitudes, of all dilemmas and doubts, and she spoke with them in their living rooms about the health of their concealed hearts.  In return, they paid her with what they could, with cash or avocados, with money orders or cotton cloth.  The currency didn't matter to her.  What mattered was the healing of the brokenhearted.