In the last week I have been rushing frantically from pillar to post.
I have now arrived at this post.
There is a reason I have been frantic.
I am a writer. And I have only so many years left to write. Or weeks. Or days. I am going about God’s work. I am co-creator with God.
Lest you believe I am being sacrilegious, let me try to explain:
Writing is a sacred calling. I have been called. And I am going about my Father’s business.
Damn. There you go. You believe I’m being sacrilegious again.
Let me try to explain:
With my writing, I honour God. The God within me.
Damn. I still sense I’m not getting through to you.
Let me try again.
A week ago, I made a trip on dangerous roads to visit John in not-quite darkest Canada. I went because I like visiting my brother, and because I was writing. My next novel will be set in Manitouwadge. My muse had already determined that would be the case, so I had no option but to satisfy my muse by visiting the venue where the protagonist will be encountering his next mystery. My next novel will kick off on Friday, April 19, 2013, during a hundred-year spring blizzard.
That was not my choice. True, my muse had previously determined the date. But the prime mover, the Creator, invented the blizzard.
On Friday morning, in the deep dark, I lay in bed, jolted awake by the wind howling around the house. And one of the novel’s characters knocked on the window. I did not like this character. Let me repeat. I. Did. Not. Like. Him. I tried to deny him entry. Even though he is one of the good guys. But he poked and he pried and he slipped through a crack in my defences. So now he’s in. Inside of me. Collaborating with my muse. He has gained a foothold in the novel.
Then on Monday night, I made a trip to Thunder Bay. I went to observe a lady, Susan, open the doors on her vast storehouse of knowledge about plants in hydro corridors. I now know more than I ever imagined I would know about poverty oatgrass and bush honeysuckle and Cornus stolonifera.
Why? you ask. Why did I want to know that?
I don’t know . . . yet. But my muse made me do it.
I may not use that knowledge for another ten or twenty years, I may never use it. But it’s there now, inside of me, waiting to be used.
This brings us to yesterday. I came back to Thunder Bay to hear a man called John descant on his lifetime of experience with butterflies and skippers and moths. I still don’t know what a skipper is, but I will find out. And sometime in future, I must have a lepidopterist as a character. Lepidopterists are such fascinating creatures.
How lucky am I. To be exposed to two people in the space of four days who have such a passion for the worlds in which they are immersed, who have selflessly shared their visions and their wealth with this poor disciple. How can I not pass on some poor fraction of their passion and their vision and their wealth to my fellow creatures.
To my fellow creators.
For we are all creators. Co-creators with God.
When I awoke this morning, in still-dark Thunder Bay, my muse spoke to me.
Get up! spoke my spirit. You’ve got to tell somebody about this marvelous, this exciting, this utterly complex and gorgeous and mysterious world we live in. You’ve got to write. Boot up that laptop and write. Now. Don’t wait for daylight. Write now.
I trust I have explained myself . . . adequately.
Oops. I almost forgot. How do you knock a caterpillar out of a tree? You hold a white umbrella upside down under the branch and you give the branch a sharp blow. The ‘pillar, surprised and unprepared, falls down into the bumbershoot. Unhurt.
Why a white umbrella? The better to see the ‘pillar.
If you try to lift him off with your fingers, he’ll grip the bark with his hundreds of little feetsies and if you persist, you’ll rip his little feetsies off.
So be gentle with caterpillars.
And with writers.
They are both delicate breeds.