#10 ~ time’s rush …
When she was quite old my grandmother told me that the years were passing for her much as the months had when she was younger. She said that it was because we fill our lives up with so much busy-ness, and as she was discovering that life was to LIVE and not to “busy away”, time was slowing for her again. Damu was heavy into Science of Mind … metaphysics. And, the grande dame was always up at 5 AM to meditate, every morn without fail, something I have yet to emulate! She had a very simple and clear perception of the world around her and fully lived her next 15 years, right up until she decided that it was time for her to go and leave the living to the rest of us.
Now people say that time’s rushed march is because of the earth’s quickening, the space-time continuum, the earth’s heartbeat is speeding up, the universe is expanding, a shift of our realty from the 3D to the 4D frequency, or …
All down for simplicity, I am tending to agree with Damu.
I was such an earnest lass when I first embarked upon this ‘journey-of-the-blog’ … ‘One Posting A Week!’ I exclaimed to myself. Then time began her reckless race around me and I found that it was simply impossible to keep up with that initial zeal. Living the life of one of us ‘normal’ human beings and not the life of a ‘writer’, things like mucking stalls and grooming the horse-girls, caring for our own wee farm as well as my ‘other’ work caring for other people’s animals … and then booking the gigs, learning new songs, recording and certainly the things like being away on tour with Paul (we are musicians) all began to take it’s toll on my time for writing.
The ‘busy-ness’ of life’!
One of the things I’ve been chipping away at in the little bits of time I steal is my next query, this one to a Literary Agent in the U.K.
“By mail only, send; (everything paginated and in 1.5 line spacing of course)
` A cover letter including; the title of the book, what it is about, the word count, what date it was started, # of drafts so far (finished) …. It’s history – what prompted you to write it, when did you start it, who has read it and what were their reactions, what derives from your own experience and what required research AND what is your appraisal of it’s current state???
` and … a detailed synopsis written in the 3rd person present tense (and essentially tells the 373 page story in 4 or 5 pages) with ALL detail – no suspense. Including the end.
` and … a 3 sentence description of the novel.
`and …….. a resume, regardless of writing experience.
`AND finally – the 1st 50, and last 10 pages.”
I think I am on page 9 … of that 4 or 5 page synopsis.
It seems that I have some whittling to do.
A few months back, in a rush between tending to the last minute details of our tour to the Northwest and tending to our dying goat, I sent my most recent query out.
One. Cannot. Rush. Through. These. Things.
It was just last week, realizing that I’d not heard anything back from the agency (not even the expected rejection!) that I checked my ‘sent’ box to see what date I’d sent the query out – and upon reading the first few lines of the email, nearly passed out.
One doesn’t usually get ‘do-overs’ when one is querying agents. They just don’t like that. We are, understandably, supposed to fulfill their protocol to a ‘T’ before sending to them. But this one is just begging.
In my hurry to beat off those strangling tentacles of time, I had written to this particular (big) agent that my novel was complete at … 373,000 WORDS. ThreeHundredAndSeventyThreeThousand words!!!!
That is like The Fountainhead … or Middlemarch … almost like War and Peace!! NO! My novel is NOT that long … It is 106,675 words, yet somehow I’d confused my word count with the length of the book which is 373 PAGES!! Not words! No agent will consider a first time author’s novel that is complete at over 110,000 words!
So – writhing in a wretched agony of embarrassment, I am writing another letter to that agent, trying to sound nonchalant while really groveling and begging for him to reconsider and to please, not discount this lovely story simply because it happens to have a complete nincompoop for an author!
Rush rush rush … all the more reason to find ways to slow down, to make the time stretch … get outside, breathe deeply and mindfully … explore the emerging autumn – the colors, the scents and the cooling air … take the moments to groom the now winter-furry girls, walk a sunset with Djuna and Paul, look up and trace the trail of the sandhill cranes as they practice their winter run with purpose, a mile high …
I was privileged to spend last weekend in the company of about 100 draft horses, Shires, Percherons, Clydesdales, Suffolks … the great work and war horses of ages past. I fell deeply in love with Sully, one of Wareing Shires’ 18 hand lovelies … there is nothing like the steady, slow heartbeat and embrace of the gentle souls of those great beasts to get me to settle.
And as the first rain of the season neared, I saw Tempest and Molly do a ‘happy dance’, the airs above the ground that they perform in pure joy, nostrils flaring and tails flagged high, on hind legs as they circle one another – or aloft, all four feet off the ground and squealing in play. Punctuated with equine giggles this one irrefutably signifies the change of season – Autumn is here. ‘The rain! It’s coming, it’s coming!!’ Having watched Tempest’s behavior for 20 years now, I’ve come to know that this is true – she used to live with 12 other horses in a large, grassy pasture and, breathlessly captivated by the web of magic they wove, I watched them all perform the very same dance together, just prior to the first autumns season’s rain.
These simple things – inspirations, really – help to bring me more into presence, aware of the life coursing all around that shelters and fills me with peace, with energy … They just make me stop. Stop spinning out of control as they stretch the ‘busy-ness’ out, and slow my perception of time’s rush.
Or perhaps it’s just that those inspirations actually build more time! Yes! If we can stay inspired, we can ‘make’ the time to take the time – to do those things that get wrestled away from us when we’re spinning around while the universe expands and the earth’s heartbeat quickens …
As I’ve written this piece I’ve been able to revisit the sureness that – for me – the act of writing is just as calming and slowing as any of the other of my life’s joys, all of those inspirations that fill life with beauty. I won’t wait so long to ‘make the time to write the next one …
How do you find your own way to the calm, through your own busy-ness and into just living life?
What inspires you? What is it that makes you thrive?
Now, I’m going to take the time to go and find another moment – I hear the Sandhills passing overhead…