Buddhist teachers for over a thousand years have told us: Drop the mind. Mind being the chain talker inside your head. It is not you. A beautiful simple strong person emerges when mind releases its choke-hold on daily life. You know the mysteriously calm smile on the Mona Lisa’s lips? Mona dropped her mind.
Tuning in to the magic that surrounds us helps subvert mind’s noisy rule. What magic, you ask? Where do I begin…
For me, landscapes sing. And they deliver truths. Not wordy truths. The messages feel more like pings in my ribcage. Ah, walking beside a torn up elm, difficulties don’t stop me. Yes, touching goldenrod in a stand of old brown nettles, life and death co-exist perfectly. Clarity, staring just left of a sun setting over the flatirons. Let it go the muddy banks of South Boulder Creek sing. Ha, when I lie down discouraged on the grass, abundance. Everywhere. Even in this lonely chest.
The magic is always just tuning up. I feel like a radio receiver. When I am lost in chain-talking, I can’t receive the universe’s continuous messages. If I am busy believing what I think, all the beautiful music gets lost.
Insight, revelation, synchronicity-and what we long for most-connection, are our daily bread. And that is magic. Claire Martin, the heroine in my new novel Tributary, increasingly discovers the magic in her world, with the help of a Voodoo mentor, a Shoshone leader, and a giant pile of disappointments. (Few understand this last-that disappointments helps dislodge your chain-talker. Disappointments can boot it out of Dodge!)
Real magic happens every moment. Real magic silences the chicken-scratch of the mundane mind. Every novelist and every kid in a field with free time knows it-something comes from nothing. Every moment. What is more magical than that?
My special thanks to Barbara for writing this guest post. I look forward to reading her novel, Tributary, on which Sandra Dallas commented as follows: “You’ll love resolute Clair Martin, the equal of any man–or religion. Clair’s strength and survival are the heritage of western women.”