Many years ago, my psyche delivered a story to me; I woke with rudimentary threads beguiling — oracles, Venice, gypsies, water, tarot cards.
Storytelling is an ancient art, the psyche weaving happenstance and folk wisdom to electrify those listening. When I embarked upon my task of telling the story of Angelica Grastende in Destiny’s Consent, I was amazed at the conspirings of the universe to make it happen. Right on cue, the big computer arrived; the teacher was found.
I began, feeling a little foolish for writing about the Roma, people I knew nothing about — this is contra to all the rules hammered into would-be authors at university. Also, all research damned the Roma; they were thieves; they stole children; they were chauvinists; they were drunks. I felt differently and so continued my quest, not unlike the knights of old. Ideas and story mused.
During my life, I have learned to say yes to any ideas formulating; they are my intuitions, the whisperings of muses, of saints, of goddesses to guide me. As I skimmed the damning articles on the Roma, I chose to believe there was much not being said that was true about these people. After all, they were always depicted romantically. Guided by my psyche, I eventually found I was correct.
For example, when I read about the Roma using Tarot cards, I decided the iconic Bodhi Tree bookstore on Melrose would have Tarot cards. I did not do my usual debate about how far away West Hollywood was, the traffic, the inconvenience. I just went. When magic knocks, one gets on the ride. That day, as I was looking at the Tarot decks, I had another thought. Perhaps the Bodhi Tree will have a book on the Roma. BINGO!
As I continued to work, the magik hummed with its commencement. It continued and never stopped.
Years later in Cinque Terre, hiking from the towns of Manarola to Vernazza, I passed a man, who later passed me. The leap frogging became so unruly, I laughed and said to the man that I was obviously meant to have a conversation with him. We agreed to meet at a café in Vernazza for a coffee. I mentioned I had written a book. “About what,” he asked. When he found out it was the story of a Roma, he blurted out that the only book to read to understand them was…and we simultaneously blurted out its title. I believe he and I might be the only people on this planet to have found this little book. And we found one another. In Italy!
Sometimes people call it faith, but….I believe it’s more about commitment. When we commit to doing something we are presented with or inclined, we start an immediate feedback loop that strengthens quickly.
For me, writing is being so immersed in the flow, time mists into luscious fog. It is when we produce our best work of our lives. I call this ‘deep play’.
I am participating in it now by writing this to you.