Saturday, June 30, 2007

Where the Seeds Are Found (Karen Mal)

So much emotion swirling right now, coupled with lack of sleep - I had promised M I would find something for her, buried in a stack of paperwork... and I stayed up until 5:30 a.m., reading through the entire file, even after I had found what I was looking for...

Long story short is that, 10 years ago, four women (one of whom was the hub connecting us all) engaged in an intense e-mail correspondence (amidst our real-life relationships) we termed our Village, meeting up around the "well" of the computer to share stories, support and sustenance. From March through September 1997, we each wrote (almost) daily, baring our souls... on pregnancy, motherhood, husbands/exes/boyfriends, books, music, food, fears, joys, transitions, rituals, spirituality, etc. - the sisterhood chronicles illustrated our abilities to be incredibly strong, as well as amazingly wise and riotously funny... and we always "threatened" to turn it into a book, changing the names to protect the innocent (guilty?... :-)

At one point, as a gift to all, I made copies of everything and, perusing the pages last night/this morning took me right back to that time, synchronistically a decade ago - it was exhiliarating, it was exhausting, it was fruitful, it was frustrating, we raised each other to new heights, we crashed and burned. Since then, the friendships have ebbed, flowed, lain dormant, re-bloomed... and reading the unfolding history made my heart ache - as Joni would say, "we can't return, we can only look behind from where we came". I *know* the growth, power and love gained in those seven months is immeasurable - I can't help but feel a twinge of sorrow at what is not, and will never be, again. We are different women now, and that's okay - it was a glorious time, and I am honored to include it in my life's resume of experience... <3

Where the Seeds Are Found by Karen Mal

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

POEM: The Layers by Stanley Kunitz
I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

QUOTE: "And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom." ~ Anais Nin


  1. wonderful post, sounds like one very good friendship

  2. Thank you, my friend, for taking the time, for risking the inevitable tide of emotions that accompanied finding that tome. Just reading your post here brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat, I can't imagine what will happen when I delve into the Village letters myself. It was an amazing time, and even when it was happening we knew how precious it was. I am so grateful that through it all I have held onto my friendship with you, that our bond has weathered the storms. The Village still exists, in our hearts & minds and memories, and in what is left still standing here today.

  3. Hey, Patty -

    Thanks for your comment - it was an amazingly magical time of deep connection with some very special women!

    Hey, M ~

    It was quite a wild ride, reading everything - I was laughing, weeping, nodding, shaking, biting off all my nails... at the depth of our wisdom. Amazing stuff in those pages - we were good... <3