Things Are Flowing

D14C440D-5AA2-4F40-88D7-E434E5537362Thank you everybody who followed along during National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo18), as I wrote & shared snippets of #mywildnatureheartstory (soon-to-be a book ‘Vulnerable Mountain Heart’). It was a wild ride & I had a blast! It also really kicked me into gear getting my mountains of content organized. I think hanging out with rivers and creeks a lot helps everything flow better.

Vulnerable Mountain Heart is not a novel, but a mythopoetic story of my life and lessons, in particular over the last two years, as I transitioned from a non-aligned & unhealthy relationship, job, home, etc. to living an aligned life outside in the forest of the Nearby Faraway leaning into my powers and purpose, by way of soul descent & initiation during my summer vision quest, with plenty of adventure, stories of sacred wounds, self-abandonment, love affairs, and delicious poetry woven throughout!

I didn’t reach the 50,000 word count goal, (reached about half that), but more importantly I DID reach the goal of becoming clear about style, structure, and direction of it. I don’t know exactly what the final book will look like (these things have a life of their own), but I’m confident it will be beautiful, funny, and uplifting.

Through the next several months I’ll be jamming on it, getting it into shape. It’s one of my three winter writing projects, along with a new poetry collection called HEADWATERS & HEARTROCKS (aiming for release date of February 2019) and a semi-autobiographical mytho-poetic fantasy trilogy (for kids and adults) called THE RAINBOW 🌈 HOME CHRONICLES.

My non-writing projects include developing a Wild Nature Heart course curriculum, fleshing out the details of my 1-on-1 Nature-Based Soul Growth Coaching/Mentoring offering, and an Apprenticeship to Soulstice & Silence. More on these later. 😀🙏🦊💓🐢🐻🌈🦅🐛

(Photo: Canyon Creek, part of Trinity River watershed, Trinity Alps)

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WILD HOUSE MEETING

0560E649-157E-4E43-BED0-70AAD23E52D8National Writing Month DAY 22:
WILD HOUSE MEETING
(Word Count: 789)

I held my first house meeting with my new roommates. The purpose was to get to know each other and discuss respective chores. In attendance: rabbit, deer, quail, fern, hawk, bay tree, redwood, madrone, spider, oak, snake, thistle, poison oak, wind, beetle, and walnut. Fox came late.

Absent: Owl, possum, raccoon. (being nocturnal, they have a tough time with morning meetings). I hope they’ll read the minutes.

Turns out moon was there the whole time, but I didn’t see her-she had her new moon coat on.

We opened with an ice breaker: What’s your favorite thing about autumn? And what’s the silliest thing you’ve done this year?

Decision by consensus: We will each be ourselves and allow the other to be themselves. This is by far the largest home I’ve lived in and by far the most housemates I’ve ever had. In fact, so many that I haven’t yet met them all. I hope to get to know them intimately in the coming months.
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory

EVERYTHING ARRIVES ON TIME

50EF3733-27BE-4E1E-ADDF-696EF7789B6BNational Writing Month DAY 21:
EVERYTHING ARRIVES ON TIME
(Word Count: 980)

I stare at the beautiful thistle. “It’s the wrong season for this unfolding, this bright and painful apprenticeship to cracking and bursting forth,” I whisper heatedly in the blossom’s ear.

Because, damn, I could have used this purple body-heart wisdom when the harvest moon peaked over pine mountain high over strawberry fields last autumn, back in that simple season of music and fire, when she and I were young and in love.

And now? We haven’t really looked into each others’ eyes in months, and I’m dissolving inside. All I see is grey.

“Where were you when the caterpillar was wandering around in that big garden of our love eating the wrong things and stumbling over its entangled legs?

But the blossom answers, “Does the full moon ask why it wasn’t whole last week? Does the apricot tree complain of its flowering? Does summer arrive mourning winter?

Now, in the silence of summer’s eve the big hard sun calls forth new things, and I realize, perhaps everything arrives on time. Perhaps things crack in all the best ways. It’s a hard lesson, but perhaps the flowers know when best to bloom.

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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.

Ryan and Katie

#mywildnatureheartstory

THE TRUTH WANTS TO FORM A SYLLABLE INSIDE ME

D39F759B-1AAE-4815-A0FB-14DAF074067ETHE TRUTH WANTS TO FORM A SYLLABLE INSIDE
(Word Count: 956)

I’m stuck down in the canyon—and the truth wants to form a syllable inside me. It whispers my real name.

And I discover: I had abandoned myself. So many times. So many years. And it hurts. Everything hurts too much. Everything is on fire.

I am too thirsty. The fire says, die here or climb. It is not a koan. Die here or climb.
I think about what I should write in my journal should they find my body. But I think—If I abandon myself now once again, I will abandon everybody I claim to love. And I can’t love without taking myself into the big heart. So I begin.

My body moves up the mountain and I find there’s nothing pulling me up except one thought—I have too much love to lie down here under the big hard sun and give up. The way love finds me comes in the shape of hot desert heart rocks that appear as I climb my way out…hand over fist over hand over fist, claiming my life with everything that is still alive in me.

They are screaming my name with a strength beyond muscle, until I finally reach the rim of the world.

The desert and the mountain and the heart of the world have tattooed the shape of love in me and I know now with a vibrating certainty: I will never abandon myself again.
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory

AN APPRENTICESHIP TO VULNERABILITY

C8C8741B-E991-4174-9454-4580A00C13A6National Writing Month DAY 17:
AN APPRENTICESHIP TO VULNERABILITY
(Word Count: 956)

“I began the new year with skin exposed to sheets of rain
and trust exposed to the elements—an apprenticeship to vulnerability.

A break up, a break out, a break down, a break in.

I suspected a master craftsman lived within me, soothing a tenderfoot’s tender heart, pierced with perceived ruin. One of those end-of-the-world moments. It’s often the end of the world as we know it. And then…the new one.

I pitched a tent under a semi-shelter of long redwood limbs. The rain and tears came in buckets for days and nights without end. Then colors returned.

For the moment, I was dry. But I found there’s no protection for my heart because there’s nothing to be protected from.

What did I know already that I didn’t want to know? That I was scared to know? At some point I knew my heart could hold it all and more. And much more. It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times since.

On day 3 my fear dissolved in the coming clouds, knowing once again that water rolls through a parched land as tears fall as rain. On day 4 and 5 my pain became a glorious lotus bloom.

I had forgotten—Love will always be bigger than fear—and then I remembered. And then forgot again and then remembered—this is the dance.

It’s the same trust that sees even the darkest shadows radiate like a beacon signaling home—My own and others.

On day 6 I vowed to keep cracking—to meet the lightning bolts hidden on the magenta horizon as my long-lost best friend.

Oh how we missed each other.

On day 7 I walked back to town, to the beat of my heart.”
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory

STEPPING INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE

002C9459-1B00-4313-BB70-5A4C5219010ANational Writing Month DAY 16:
STEPPING INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE

“I can’t really count the times I’ve stood at the base of a mountain and thought, “How in the hell am I going to do this?! It’s impossible.” And then I go forward anyway, step by step, sometimes with much pain, often with unexpected joys. And I somehow find myself at the top, overlooking the verdant valley I was once in, looking to the next stage of the journey, asking, “how in the hell did I do that?”

The answer of course is step by step, sometimes hand over fist, sometimes face-planting with tears, but all the time, trust after trust.

This lesson has found its voice in many other circumstances. Yes I walked the entire range of the Sierra mountains, west to east and south to north, I’ve climbed hand over fist up out of a desert canyon, near death with exhaustion and dehydration, I’ve burrowed through dense forest and thorny vines and mud bogs, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I’ve met the big projects, I’ve dropped into that dark well of deep grief and the black holes, I’ve explored connections, and I’ve struggled with that enigma, my own powers, and I used to tremble with doubt and fear and resisted each stage of the journey, but then something shifted and I finally learned—it’s the step by step, it’s the Big Trust, it’s the self-love, it’s the being done with self-abandonment, it’s the forward motion of my longing, my vulnerable mountain heart, my true belonging.”
(Total Word Count so far: 16,455)
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.

#mywildnatureheartstory