February 1, 2017

Voice of the Tree

 “What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul? In the silence between your heartbeats hides a summons, do you hear it? Name it, if you must, or leave it forever nameless, but why pretend it is not there?” — The Terma Collective
What is calling me? Is it my writing? That is the obvious and expected response, but if that were the case, would I not simply write? When all the noise is silenced, is it writing that calls to me? When the meetings are adjourned and the lists are laid aside, can I really say that writing is the thing that lingers behind and whispers to not be forgotten? Were I to find myself in the dark forest beside the wild iris in bloom would I have been summoned there by my desire to write or my need to publish? No, if I am honest with myself, that is not the bell that tolls for me. I have stories to tell and worlds to create, but the sound is more primal than that refined process.

Shall I name it? Can it be named? If I listen closely enough, give it enough attention, what is that sound and the name by which it calls. The summons that counter beats my heart is less specific than the written word. Instead, I hear a pattern of three, repeating one upon another alongside the silence between heartbeats. Make. Buh bump. Build. Buh bump. Create. Buh bump.

But writing would be the simple answer, untrue as it is. Writing is the answer I have always given. Writing is surely a facet, but the whole is the desire to imagine and to create those things that can only be seen within the mind’s eye. The summons is to create from imagination in words and pictures and materials. The desire to pluck ideas from the forest of my mind and bring them to harvest.

And so I have named the summons that rings in my still places. Yet, while I disturb the tree of creation, bask in the shade of its leaves, and taste its ripened fruit, to this point I have still not filled a basket and taken that fruit to market. While I do not pretend that there is no tree, I leave it undisturbed for now, waiting for a time, less noisy than this, to explore its possibilities.