The ocean there is quieter than here, and on Friday the waves curled in glacier blue, and today, emerald green. The clouds were dark today and the rain held off until the drive home. I felt so cozy in my portable container with its four sweet wheels so happy to lap along the pavement and stop when requested, so we scurried along the freeway, my car and me, windshield wipers flapping, feeling connected with the other beings and containers purring, dancing, and flapping along too. Why is it when it is raining we feel closer to the other cars on the road? Maybe we know we are dependent on everyone paying attention. The cops took a break today, always a pleasure along 280 as one never knows whether they are going to be out enforcing the speed limit on a stretch of road that invites speed. Today they were not, so there was no feeling of sorrow at seeing somebody sitting soberly by the side of the road. I drove with great exuberance today, music inviting my shoulders and hips to sway, and, I was, of course, very attentive to the art and craft of driving aware. (I had a glass of wine with dinner. Perhaps you begin to sense my focus is a slightly loosened wheel, which is okay now because I'm not driving a car.)
What to say? It is quite a world in which we live. I was at one conference but Asilomar is a blending sort of place like the rocks, so I also participated a bit in Robert Bly's group last night. I love his head of white hair, his brilliance and smile and though he is more frail now that he was when he saved the men with Iron John, he participated in the ceremony last night honoring the directions and the earth. There was a man, also, a participant in the Robert Bly poetic celebration, standing outside holding a baby, a beautiful child, perhaps about eight months old. She already knew sign language. It seems children can learn sign language before they talk. Her eyes were huge and brilliant. The moon each night was a ship, a crescent of light and the clouds a massage.
What did I learn? The writing of children's books has changed in the last five years. Children mature earlier. I met the author of a picture book called Orphan Train. I was concerned about the subject matter for young children, since the book was suggested for children as young as three. I was informed that the "perfect world" in which I grew up is no longer the subject matter of books. Books are now "edgy." That was the word of the weekend, or at least how I heard it. Edgy. Oh, a "soft" book for children may occasionally be published, but "edgy" is in. Okay! I can handle it. I look around to see if I can serrate the outside of myself to resemble a saw. Smiling alligator teeth spring to mind. I really do want to be up-to-date. Edgy is in. I keep thinking of the chicken or the egg and which came first. Are our children edgy because of what we present to them?
Here is one look at the orphan trains of which I had no awareness.
I sat with edgy quite a bit, or at least in my unorchestrated moments. My only opportunities for the beach were to rise early and greet the sun as breakfast was 7:30 to 8:30 and then, the conference began, so I considered edgy on the beach in early morning light.
Edgy. Hmmm! The waves were surfable, but they didn't seem edgy to me, nor did the moon, the sunrise, the clouds. I was trying to be soft, so as to meet and understand as many people as possible. Melt has been my word of late. Can you melt into me, and me into you. Can we share a world-view?
I have a new favorite author, and new favorite illustrators which is not to say I didn't thoroughly enjoy all the speakers, presentations, and meetings, but Ellen Hopkins. Do you know her?
Oh, my! I heard her speak. I spoke with her over dinner last night. Ellen Hopkins, the book Crank. In my opinion, the woman is a genius, a kind one who helps young adults and all of us day and night.
And there are the illustrators of children's books, Ted and Betsy Lewin. Not all the books they've illustrated are still in print, but the work and authenticity that go into their illustrations is unimaginable. I am going to be searching for their books. They went to see the gorillas, those called by the human "natives," of the area, "these people who live in the forest." They stared into the eyes of these gorillas, and they who stare into space, stared back. They stare into the eyes of those they love. Imagine that, hours spent staring into the eyes of those you love, into the eyes of a friend, lover, child, plant.
Life is so rich sometimes I think I can absorb no more and then I do. I realized we are each funnels. We funnel up; we funnel down.
Sweet dreams and great love to all of you!!
"The world is not to be put in order; the world is order, incarnate. It is for us to harmonize with this order."