I guess I always thought it would hit like a thunderbolt. Something so brazenly loud that I would know then and there that it had happened. A Sign. The Vision. Moses’s Burning Bush. It wasn’t until today that I saw that it just might not be that way for me. My way might be covered with decomposing leaves that needed a broom to reveal the path underfoot. Or it might be born slowly, like a high pitched whine that grows imperceptibly louder day after day until one afternoon before a nap your ear hears nothing but it. Or maybe it’s more like the dripping faucet at the far corner of the yard that goes unnoticed for years until suddenly one day in August you wonder why it’s so darn green over there.
So let’s just say that today, geese honking in the clean air over Tomales Bay, today there brewed a huge storm with mighty whips of thunder and lightening, and today was my day. Today was the day I remembered that I am a writer.
My burning bush came in the form of an email newsletter from Tom Killion, the humble and dynamic West Marin woodblock print artist. He announced a writing group taking place over the weekend in which he would feature as the guest; An Artist’s Eye, The Writer’s Voice was the theme. I brushed aside whatever morsels of doubt remained, that it was too short of notice or that I wasn’t prepared or what if I couldn’t produce a single legible piece of writing, and got myself to the Mesa Refuge with my notebook. And there, sitting in a room filled with words, surrounded by thinkers, writers and artists, every atom in my body set off buzzing and knocking against themselves in pure delight.
Between discussion, writing prompts and sharing, bit by bit each cell remembered what this felt like, and pushed one over the other to be the first to make it back to the mottled folds of my brain and take up their former residence. They sighed, an exhalation which said thank you, finally you have rescued us from the stifling monotony of small diced onions and needs more salt. I saw today that my clammy palm still clung tightly, (or was it gently knotted around my pinky finger?) to the long ribbon of that bright turquoise ballon, holding it for safe keeping through these many years of seeing only what was right at eye level.
Who knows if it was the sun glinting off of the water or the whoosh of the crows wing cutting through sea air, or all of it and everything else that made me lift my eyes. I felt that well worn ribbon between my fingers and yanked it so hard that the balloon popped and I was showered, practically drenched, in the glory of my own words again. Tonight when I close my eyes I will hear nothing but the methodic sweeping of the loyal housemaid, her new broom clearing the cobwebs from each dusty corner of my mind so that in the morning she can finally do what she has been itching to do, fling open the curtains and let streaming in the sunlight.