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 perhaps six months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Wellspring

"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.  I have no notion of loving people by halves.  It is not my nature." -- Jane Austen

People, places, literature, life -- I've lost the ability to love all of these by halves -- by measure or reason or restraint.  I woke up one day about six months ago -- and where I'd had blood running through my veins the day before, I now had a kind of river of life, electrified in its own way, a map of the world and what coursed through it as pure energy.  And, having spent my life as an introvert, treasuring as much invisibility as I could claim -- I became something else entirely.  I met people easily, effortlessly -- waiting in line at the coffee shop, the airport, the movie theater -- and they all wanted to tell me their life's stories -- their secrets -- their most pressing worries -- their greatest regrets -- the events that changed them forever -- the realizations that broke them or granted them wisdom -- the ways in which they fell in love.  I'd tapped into something elemental -- a wellspring of being -- that overflowed with profound compassion.  And it felt ageless, boundless, transformative, eternal.

My friends noticed.  Pragmatic scientists accused me of having an "aura" -- bohemians suggested I had somehow reversed time -- and my family members began to say "use your powers for good" each time I walked out the front door.  Friends whom I'd known for years told me they had fallen in love -- and strangers wanted to touch my arms, hold my hands, stroke my hair.

And the mystery is ongoing -- with no reasonable explanation anyone can locate -- except to say, "you've changed."  It's true.  The dress rehearsal of my life seems to have ended, suddenly and without warning or reference to the hour.  And the real adventure of life has begun -- where I cannot measure the intensity of my connection to everyone I meet.  I cannot love my friends by halves, nor parcel out the joy that overruns me.

The poet Dylan Thomas wrote, "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/ Drives my green age."

It's a mysterious force, indeed -- and I hope it never leaves me.

8 comments:

  1. I'll have what you're having.

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  2. I've never heard of this happening but I wish it were happening to me. I still feel like I'm in the dress rehearsal of life.

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    1. If I'm any indication, Anna, the dress rehearsal can suddenly and resoundingly end. What comes next, at least for me, is like awakening after a many-year sleep -- with each new experience an astonishing discovery. A great way to live!

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  3. Lane, I don't know if you remember me. It's Brad P. I heard you give a talk on Cape Cod this October. Your post doesn't surprise me. There is something completely unique about you. Kind of fascinating to hear this is a recent phenomenon from your point of view. I suspect you were always magnetic, but maybe more so now.

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    1. Hi Brad! Yes, of course I remember meeting you. I hope all goes well in NYC. Your observations are most generous. It truly seemed as though I walked through some kind of magical door in early July, and I've felt fantastic ever since. No explanations have been forthcoming, so I'm surmising that I will be filled with this rather astonishing sense of well-being indefinitely. Keep in touch!

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  4. I'm trying to imagine what being "electrified" feels like.

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    1. To me it feels like pure energy. It feels as though I'm humming in tune with the universe, somehow. It's an extraordinary feeling, I must say!

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