Why do writers write novels? Because they love to write, because they have a story that's begging to be told, because they hold words to their hearts like glittering diamonds, because they have an itch that can only be scratched out in long silver sentences, because they want to celebrate life and love, because they have a question that nags and begs and pleads and refuses to go away, because they are immersed in a mystery that demands to be solved, because they need writing as much as they need breathing, because laying down words is like a powerful dream and an amazing drug, one that occasionally delivers aha AHA AHAHAHAHAHA moments that make you laugh and sing and chant and dance and jump up and down and hug yourself. Sometimes the discoveries are so absolutely jubilant and joy-filled that they go over the top and won't stop, like
today for example, when you finally finally finally finally after 17 long and torturous writing years finally finally see how the last chapters of the novel you have hated and loved and thrown away and dug out of the garbage and cursed and adored, when you finally see how the last part of the novel plays out.
At that moment, you feel like writing is a truly mystical and sacred thing, one that gives you a peek into the transcendent, one that explains how the word, how the very vibration of the words, are sacred things, and you understand why every religion has its BIBLE or KORAN, words spoken into sacred truth, how the Torah for example, is the very Tree of Life, and how writing is really and truly a great blessing and a privilege that we should never ever take for granted or deplore even on those horrible days when you can't write a flipping thing.
a book which you cannot pick up or put down, a 17 long year, gargantuan undertaking that felt so often like it would put me under, a marathon like no other I've ever had, an epic journey that I am still taking, a coming-to-consciousness about the very nature of reality, a binary back-and-forth which has finally become some kind of Unity of VOICE, a deep deep mystery that keeps unfolding, a story that gave birth to a nun in front of a mirror, a nun who in the words of her cousin slipped effortlessly into flaming flamenco garb, a nun who like me spent years in prison being punished, and then, just last month, she slipped out the door just LIKE
THAT, in one chapter, in plain old words, she went free taking me with her.
Today at my meditation table the mystery of it all and the last few chapters just exploded into my head like wild fireworks an explosion of light, light that is still burning in the candle that won't stop this morning, wax pouring out, light pouring too, just like that other morning in November 2010, when a candle burned mysteriously for hours and hours while I sat here and there in wonder and deep gratitude that this mystery -- of writing, of discovery, of love -- has been bestowed on me.