Friday, November 17, 2017

The Fisher King

Excerpt from chapter 20 - two-thirds of the editing done.

She went to her bookshelf and found her copy of Parzival and settled on the couch to read.  She noticed all the writing she had done in the margins and her eyes fell on five words she had written in purple ink. 

“How can a question heal?”

As she leafed through her margin notations she again came to those same five words:

“How can a question heal?”

 Only this time there were some other thoughts jotted down:  

     The right question opens up the listener to new possibility
     Empathetic inquiry
     A beginning, an invitation
     A good question is one that hasn’t been asked before

Now she was getting excited.  It was as if this whole month had been leading her here.  There was something about the asking of questions, and also about the not asking of questions.  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, kind of thing.  If you ask a question your destiny will unfold in one direction.  If you don’t ask a question your destiny will still unfold, but in another direction. 

What was the question?

Who was being asked?

Who was asking?

What was the answer?

She scanned the book, searching for the passage about the king and his wound.  She found it:

“We fell on our knees in prayer before the Grail.  All at once we saw written upon it that a knight should come, and if from him a question came, our sorrow would be ended, but if anyone should prompt him in any way to the question, his question would not help, but the wound would remain as before.  If he does not ask the first night, the power of his question will vanish.  But if at the right time his question is asked, then the king shall be healed. “

So there was a time frame.  And a rule - no prompting.  Her angels were guiding her, not prompting her, to ask the question. Was it already too late?

This month, this day, had lead her to something.  Had she been on a grail quest all along?  And by all along she didn’t just mean this month, but these sixty years?

Finding this book, with these notes, was a treasure.  It had been there on the bookshelf all these years.  Her angels had reminded her earlier this morning.  There must be an answer in this book. 

She opened the book to the first page and began to read. 
She read all through the night – she, and Parzival, and the notes from her younger self, her forty-four year old self. 


On this cold November night she found herself in good company.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Don't ever let go of the thread

The Way It Is by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread
.
"Don’t ever let go of the thread. "
Her eyes welled with tears.
How had she forgotten this? 
“While you hold it you can’t get lost.”
You. Can’t. Get. Lost.
She was weeping openly now, but again felt like something huge had shifted.
She picked up her knitting.  The cat curled up beside her sensing this was not the time to yowl for food.
She slipped the right needle into the left and brought the yarn forward. 
Knit one front and back, knit to end of row. 
Knit to end of row.  And then?
Then transfer the needle to the other hand and begin again.