the name.

There is a time each day, that I did not always know had a name; the blue hour. When the sun has set, or has yet to rise, when the earth is still, and the pause of what’s happened and what’s to come holds its breath. In that very space a few days ago I woke to a word— ‘solstice’. Some voice outside my chittering mind spoke clearly, found the quiet it needed to speak in that solemn hour. Summer solstice, the longest day, winds into winter, the shortest, and in between those two I have lived, suspended and twisting in the winds of evolution that I asked for and then avoided with equal energy.

And so, blue solstice, the tightening under the hush of the coming of the sun. The ache of what has been traveled. The not quite dark of the waiting for it all.

Those many months and turns of the moon when I spoke out loud my wish to be whole by the age of 50. A deadline that came and went, and now I suspect why. I could not skim this hour, or sleep through it, meditate its passing or wield immunity to its building light.

The path to wholeness was going to be traveled chronologically. Logically. With sighs of selfies and gathered stones of stories of what I learned.

At least that’s what I believed.

the mirror and the empty book.

It was almost 30 years ago I wrote that fable on the beginning page, and read it in front of a large group of classmates I did not know at the university so far from my home. It was important to me to stand and say those words out loud, words that were written in one hurried take, as if those truths were like the mercury I played with from a broken thermometer when I was young. Quicksilver, fascinating and dangerous.

The mirror has worked, off and on, in the years since. The empty book filled with quotes of other mystics, and lists of my intentions, wished for then lost and grieved. Endlessly seeking to find someone to write the pages, forgetting what I knew at 23, the book is to be written by you, not for you.

And then, my sister asked me a question, just before I turned 48, looking ahead to my 50th birthday, what would I like to do? Did I want to take a trip? In that moment, a voice, maybe from under that enormous oak tree, said no—no I don’t want to take a vacation. What I truly want is to be whole. I want to rest from this lifetime of trying and seeking and working so hard to matter. So I do want to go somewhere, I want to go back to everywhere I lived, and find what I left there. I want to take back what is mine, that I gave away, and gather it all together again.

I didn’t realize until writing out that old fable again, I was going on a quest.