Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver
Recap: I am haunted and obsessed. With Venn diagrams. With the female presence (ghost, deity, alien, dream?) that visits me the in-between of wakefulness and sleep. With the persistent longing to believe in and connect with The Something Greater than I Can Fathom (God, with a new wardrobe and fresh vocabulary?) With the compulsion to use my one wild and precious life to express in words what seems impossible to express in words. But I’ll try because I must. I was offered an assignment, and I said yes.
And after I said yes, the messages started coming.
I have told very few people about the messages. When they ask specifically what they are, I get all tongue-tied and shy and embarrassed, terrified these dispatches that feel to me like sacred gifts will sound silly or trite if I say them out loud. So I’ll work my way up to that.
It happens like this: I’m in bed drifting off to sleep, when a thought or word or phrase springs from the jumble of my random falling-asleep thoughts, repeats itself, then gets louder and more intense. It will not give me peace until I turn on the light, scramble for a piece of paper, and set it down in writing. This happened A LOT at the beginning. Sometimes it happened ten times in one night, when I’d have to repeatedly switch on the lamp, apologize to my slumbering husband, and scribble down what I heard. (Yes, even though it was cool and mystical and all, sometimes it was also way annoying…) After using up all the random envelopes and receipts and scraps available on my nightstand, I finally (duh) put a notebook there. I filled it up. I got another one. Filled that one up, too.
My next dilemma: What the heck was I supposed to DO with all of this? I started a computer document, and transcribed all the messages into it. At the time, I think it filled about 70 pages. The working title I gave it was “Conversations with Aphrodite,” because I felt the need to give my visitor a name, because I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology, and also because she talked incessantly about love and its essential importance to our survival.
Now, here it is, four years after this phenomenon began, and I am on the seventh volume of “Conversations with Aphrodite.” Current page count: 2,083. And I still struggle daily with with: What am I supposed to DO with all of this?
Then last Wednesday happened. Heartsick, I found myself blurting out my story right here, on my website. In some odd way, it feels right to share it here, in this place. With you.
And there is more to tell.