Tuesday, July 10 ~ US-93, north of Kingman, Arizona
I'm in Sedona a few days ago when, for the first time since turning it into an eBook five years ago, I begin rereading my book of writing practice and inspiration, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write.
The idea is to update and repackage the eBook to restore some of my focus on teaching writing.
The more I read, the more excited I get. Not only is it good -- better than I remembered -- it ties in perfectly with The MoonQuest.
If among its other themes, The MoonQuest is a call to live more authentic lives by telling our stories, The Voice of the Muse is the primer that shows how to do it.
I continue my reading with that thought in mind until, somewhere on the highway out of Kingman, I hear the voice of my muse (ie, Evan Almighty's boss -- see Use Me).
"Forget the eBook," the voice says. "Publish it as a book. Not in a year. Not in six months. Now. Start the process now."
"You want me to do what?!?" I shout. "But The MoonQuest-- It's just barely out. This is insane!!"
"No more insane than building an ark," it replies.
Thursday, July 12 ~ Mono Lake, California
I wake up this morning in Hawthorne, NV in fear. It seems to be one of those unfocused, nonspecific fears, but it's likely related to the whole Voice of the Muse thing.
I struggle out of the womb-like safety of my hotel bed, into my clothes and into the car.
As I climb the Wassuk Range that separates Nevada from California, I open the car window. It's the first time in weeks that morning temperatures anywhere have been cooler than the low-90s, the first time opening car windows has been a comfortable option.
It rained last night in Hawthorne, a brief but pounding thunderstorm that soaked the streets and flashed electric bolts of white up in these mountains.
As soon as I lower the windows, the umistakable scent of sage -- heightened by the moisture -- blows into the car. I breathe in the cleansing, purifying smell and let it wash away my anxiety.
Now, ten minutes later, I'm parked on the side of SR-167 across from Mono Lake. Like some latter-day Avalon, Paoha and Negit islands rise up out of the lake's morning mist.
The stillness is complete.
I don't know what's ahead -- with my books or in my life. But in this moment, embraced by the mountains, enchanted by the lake's Camelot-like formations, and having written these words, I am at peace.
Thursday, July 12 ~ Oakhurst, California
I spend most of my day at elevations exceeding 9,000 feet -- in the skyscraping heights of Yosemite National Park. Now, most of the way down the mountain, I sit at an outdoor cafe as dusk drains the last color from the sky. With the final glimmerings of light go the final shreds of my resistance.
I feel both the insanity and the perfection of this divine directive to publish The Voice of the Muse.
I don't know how I will produce and pay for a second book while still paying for and promoting a first.
Yet, as God did with Evan and his ark, the God within me and the sentient spirit of both books will provide all the resources, inner and outer, that I need.
As long as I say Yes.
As long as I surrender.
And I do.
Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Yosemite Nat'l Park; #2 The road to Tonopah & Hawthorne, NV; #3 Mono Lake, CA
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Posted by Mark David Gerson at 10:44 PM