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The Mystery of Transformation

Embracing November


Shadows gather in the corners of my house earlier these days since daylight savings time ended November 5th. It seemed abrupt when finally I moved the clock hands backwards, but the darkness had been creeping back, day by day, without me noticing. It caught me unawares.


I wasn’t ready this year to let go of autumn, but as flocks of leaves flit past my windshield, I’m reminded of the magic of transformation. So often personal transformation seems mysterious to others who don’t know or understand the difficult work, emotional stress, and sometimes heartache, forever carved into a soul, even after emerging from the struggle. It seems to happen overnight. But for the person going through it, the days seem endless. And, really, haven’t we all been in this place at one time or another?


As I say farewell to the golden light of autumn, I’m comforted by the fact that it is a farewell and not a goodbye. It’s not forever. And I can take a piece of it inside, in the light of a fire in the fireplace or a candle flame at the dinner table. My body, too, is warmed by the fire in my solar plexus, the place of energy and accomplishing. This is the true magic of darkness: from a place of rest and contemplation new life is born. Out of nothing, something. The womb. The cosmos. Our own inner turmoil.


With these ideas in mind I’m slowly greeting and embracing November, letting her teach me, once again, the value of going within. The stark branches now emerging from the shedding trees are a reminder to look hard at the bones of things, the reality underneath the gowns of red and gold. Winter wants me to understand, to truly know. At times her lessons might be harsh. Other times, she will offer a gentle, twinkling blanket of white to smooth out her rough edges. And here again, I’m reminded of the mysterious magic of transformation. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand what exactly is happening. The secret is braving the truths you will uncover, and embracing whatever messages they might offer. If you must face your own darkness, go gently. Be kind to yourself, and let compassion be your guide. In time you will find the light.

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Story Update: During the darker months, the fires of inspiration burn. I find my desire to create comes alive at this time of year. I finished another short story and have started sending it out to literary magazines. As responses come back, I’ll share my experiences, but don’t hold your breath. Most response times are between four and six months. Sigh. It will be a long winter.


Learning Curve: I’m teaching myself how to write a mystery story for an editor interested in one of my ideas. I’m reading “The Best Mystery Stories of the Year” edited with an introduction by Lee Child, 2021. I don’t write like a mystery writer, so this should be interesting. However, the craft of writing a mystery intrigues me, and I feel it’s something I want to learn. It could also serve me well in other areas of writing, and I think it will be a win-win. My writing teacher/mentor recently counseled: the craft of writing is cumulative. This soothes my perfectionist soul, allowing for growth and lifelong study. It makes me feel better about the areas of my writing that still need polishing.


Today’s Quote: “A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.” ~ Robert Herrick


Happy New Moon!


Now is the time to begin new projects, so if you have one in mind, carpe diem.









Until next time, don’t ignore those sparks!

Jan


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