73. Giving Thanks for My Life and Work

BLOG 73—(present reflections tied to August 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel-writing journey)—Long days and nights of summer mist; consistent poetry workshops on Mondays; daily walks in the woods, every day with more strength and presence; evening feasts to cicada rhythms with visiting family and friends; swimming in the pool; tending to the garden; and meditating, healing my hips, and writing my novel’s story led to a special  moment on August 18 on Skimmilk Farm in New England…

Jean Pedrick and I at Skimmilk Farm (photo of a black & white picture taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000).

… that special night I finished my novel, which back then was simply called Duende. This 80,000 word manuscript began merely as a short story with no goal other than to follow the hunger that lay inside my aching body back in 1996, yet four years later it became my novel. I let out a sigh of amazement as the stars filled the skies on that August night on the farm. And not only was my novel finished, I was also healing my hips and beginning to walk again.

“Last night I finished Duende,” I wrote back then. “I completed my book at about 2 a.m. and then sat in front of my mesa, my altar, taking in the message and love of Duende, the spirit that rests in my bones, that is my bones, wanting to speak. As I wrote the last pieces of my novel, I felt the hunger, the altogether chaos and wildness of that earth-honoring self that I was, that we all are. I sat with that part of myself that surrenders to knowing, to truly understanding; that stands in the middle of the jungle, in that space of not separating from the jungle that is my body, that is myself, crawling its vines, its seemingly chaotic and random living through me, through us…that part that doesn’t try to figure out and dissect what is (for that will kill us), but surrenders to not knowing all the answers; because to know it all would be to separate ourselves from source that is so much bigger and vaster than ourselves and

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Jean Pedrick and I at Skimmilk Farm (photo of a black & white picture taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000).

yet is ourseleves as well. To contain this vastness would be to kill ourselves, to destroy the very part of ourselves that yearns to fly and live and truly taste the truth of our existence. This, I felt, was the duende that led me to write my novel and the very story that wished to teach me and others about an essence of life that we all have access to.

Back in 2000, I thought I had finished my novel, yet there were many more layers and chapters to write. I don’t regret any of the lengthy process of it. Not one bit. Not the years with several agents who shopped my novel to big publishers with optimistic reviews but no takers. Not the years of rewrites and further rewrites. It all became a part of a journey home to duende, to this spirit inside me that I continue to celebrate every day. The end of my novel then, and the publication of my novel more than a year ago became, in essence, the beginning of my true, fully-realized life.

Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I stay home nursing an intense cold. But I’m grateful.  I am grateful that the life I live now comes from deep within me, that it comes from my spirit, my essence coming first in whatever I do. There’s a sense of peace in this, a sense of knowing there is nowhere I need to go, that the richness of each moment is here, inside me, and around me. If I honor my creative spirit and surrender that which guides me in each moment, all will be okay.

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Photo of a photo taken by Carl Hyatt in 2000.

A few weeks ago, I also offered a Shamanic Writing Workshop with Burt Kempner, a fellow author, and remember feeling gratitude for having completed a successful class. At one point I was with my partner, Gorky, and he was sharing with me how wonderful the class had been. As he said these words, I began to cry a sense of recognizing that I had come home; that I was doing my life’s work on this earth, even if it was bit by bit as I worked a so-called day job. What a gift to be with someone I loved and to share in the harvest of all that I had worked so hard to become!

On this day of Giving Thanks, I give thanks to the fact that I not only published my novel (after completing it 20 years ago!), but that I can share my work and my life’s passion with my partner, family, and friends, near and far, who have seen me grow into the person I have become (and thanks to those who dropped off Thanksgiving food to me!). What a blessing to be surrounded by love and also be guided by a vaster universe that weaves its magic through me and all of us!

Blessings to you All!

Give a gift of magic, spirit, and returning home with Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, for these upcoming holidays! It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

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44. Giving Thanks to Divine Unity

BLOG 44: November 24, 1989—It was Thanksgiving, but 18 years ago, at my parent’s house in New Jersey. My days and nights were filled with dreams, wide-open dreams and experiences that revealed the magical possibility of our humanity inside a deep purging.   

My body—in its pain and opening—had become a vessel through which ancients truths could emerge and awaken. I was in bed, unable to fall asleep on Thanksgiving night because my body was speaking to me. I could feel intensely that my reality was a memory of shapes that move, shift, and change like reality shifts into dreams and dreams into everyday reality. I had never experienced this before…that all was malleable, that everything was fluid, that the physical and emotional were all the same…that we are a kind of liquid of sorts, and that if we could see that, we could experience the potential of magic.

During those days, I had also been reading a book by Lynn Andrews, and it prompted me to dream about and reflect on a character in her booked named Agnus, who carried a “marriage basket.” In my dreams, she represented the Virgin Mary, and the marriage basket was the “Holy Grail”, the child within her that is the “Unity of All Things.” Mary gave birth to Jesus, but more symbolically, as all women do, she gave birth to the feminine and masculine within herself. In doing so she created a child that was in the image of God, and she, in essence, through giving birth, became, the unity of all things.

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Those days 18 years ago offered some deep reflections that, in this simple blog, may be hard to fully express. But what I saw then, and I see now, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving—a holiday first shared between native Americans and North European settlers who gave thanks to the native people for showing them how to grow and harvest corn and other crops to survive in new lands—is that we are so much more than the extreme masculine energy of competition and winning, and the extreme feminine energies of pity and plight, and that it is time for us to give birth to the magic child within us, the unity of all things.

In the past months, so many of us have felt the fear, pain, and horror, of change as the extreme masculine has reared its ugly face during the elections and at Standing Rock (where thousands of native people and supporters are fighting to protect the waters, as they are brutally attacked and their graves and that which they hold scared are desecrated). We have also seen people speaking up with more courage and heart than ever before to protect each other and the earth.

And now, as we all come together with loved ones during Thanksgiving, and we give thanks for that which has blessed us, it may also be a time to plant a seed for the spring—a seed that gives birth the unity of all things. Maybe this time of upheaval is a chance for us to look at the separation we have been living—the extreme masculine and feminine energies we have been carrying—and to give birth to the divine unity that we all are. Maybe we are being pushed to see who we truly are: fluid, divine beings with malleable colors and shapes that we can creatively rearrange to create a beautiful painting and landscape we can all celebrate.     

*My recently-published novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of coming home to this divine unity. Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Duende-Journey-Michelle-Adam/dp/099724710X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474233011&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+duende  or at www.michelleadam.net