“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” +Paolo Coelho
On yesterday, Tuesday, August 9th, I went home for lunch. I had invested a large portion of the morning photographing and roughly cataloguing a red clay painting exhibit called Red Clay Invocation. I had two fat packages in the mail when I got home -one I was expecting, had arrived early and one from my editor and long time friend. I had no idea what that one was. The expected one was a small Dior notebook. It appears that Dior and I share a refined taste for floral print and fashion design. I opened the other package. It held a couple of magazine pages, an American Art Collector magazine and a handwritten notecard with a beautiful print on it by Zoe van Djik entitled Dismantling White Nationalism and Protecting Democracy. My Editor/Friend said she was going to send me the two pages but decided to send the entire magazine. The cover art was exquisite. In the note she went on to talk about the fall garden, mowing fields, and celebrating life in gratitude on the farm.
I returned to the studio later in the afternoon in a spotty torrential summer rainstorm. Sitting in the car waiting for a break, I pulled out the magazine and went through it. Loved it. When the rain let up, I went inside. For some reason, maybe it was the rain, I couldn’t get back on task. After bustling around a bit, I sat on the church pew, took out my phone and looked up a case from the late seventies where a young Black man, Tommy Lee Hines was wrongly accused of robbery and murder in Decatur, AL. A lady name Peggy Ann Towns has written a book on it called “Scapegoat: The Tommie Lee Hines Story. I was fascinated, not just because of the story but because it stirred memories of my childhood where his name was a household word for that period in time. Even more profound was that it the case and all of it trimmings once again revealed where America was in her progress…or lack thereof. Sleep eventually took me under.
A loud sound of something falling, quickly ushered me back into the waking world. I sat up and took in my surroundings. It had been one of those stupid naps. You know the kind, when you wake up just…stupid. I surveyed the room for movement. There was none. What had fallen? My studio is like the back of my hand. I know where stuff is and nothing should be falling anywhere. When my senses returned, I walked in the direct from which the sound had come. Near my desk is a row of tables. On the floor over from the tables against my psycho cycle wheel was a fat white envelope. It wasn’t there earlier. I picked it up. There was no logical reason an envelope of that weight should have jumped off of a flat table. It was an envelope from my editor, almost identical to the one I’d opened from the mail just over an hour before. Same size, same address to and from, same handwriting, just different colored inks. The previous one from the floor had 1.80 on the postage paid and the one from earlier in the day had 3.60 on the postage paid. I’ll let you unpack that as I look over my shoulder. A lump welled up in my throat. A revelation was unfolding
I pulled out the contents and sat down at my desk. There was a handwritten note penned in green ink on beautiful pink floral stationary paper and the final edited pages of a novel. This book is a long time dream I’ve dragged around for years like a too-old child. The co-editing process was done over a year ago and the note was dated August 10, 2021. A year ago today. The last part of the note talked about harvest time and the farm life. Often during the year and years previously, something would happen in our world to point me in the direction of finishing the book. It practically begged for me to complete it. Procrastination is a helluva drug, I’m telling you. But this, this I took as a direct divine reminder to finish dressing it and release it into the world. Too many variables over too many boundaries for my sometimes hyper-logical mind to rule out as coincidence.
I walked over, scooped up my computer, found the document, and began to write. Yes, it had been waiting for me. Felt like cooling water on Alabama summer simmered skin. Yes, all of this could have been done already and possibly have been about the work of doing its work. Nevertheless, I am where I am and I’ll take it from here. The past is where it is. I immediately affect the now. The future is still being written. I am reminded to keep the pen in my own hand. We are each in charge of the script for our lives. We decide if we’ll write ourselves in for a leading role, a supporting role, a bit part, or an extra. We can begin that today or a year from now. Mostly it’s a matter of when not if. It’s truly on you as the deciding entity beyond any the factors that can easily arrest your development. Your path is your path, your vision yours. No one can walk it or see it like or for you. Get out of your way and trust the process. You’ll receive all the help you need. I’m no longer just a believer, I know.
“Deep in every heart slumbers a dream.” +Christian Dior.