Monday, May 05, 2008

She's Called Nova Scotia

Saturday, April 26 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

She's called Nova Scotia
And she so makes you feel
You've discovered a treasure
No other has seen
- Rita MacNeil

It's late Friday night. I'm on the phone with a close friend in Toronto, talking about my projected road trip east this fall.

"It would be great to go all the way to Nova Scotia," I say, "but it's so far. It just doesn't make any sense."

A point of clarification: I lived in Nova Scotia on Canada's Atlantic coast for fourteen months in 1994-95. That's where I wrote most of the first two drafts of my novel The MoonQuest, and it's one of those places I've lived (along with Hawaii, New Mexico and Sedona, Arizona) that has lodged permanently in my heart. I've only been back once, in 1996, and often dream of returning for a visit.

My friend hesitates and his late-night, fatigue-slurred words suddenly become clear and precise.

"Maybe," he says, "you need to go back because of The MoonQuest. Maybe you need to go back to trigger something that will take you and The MoonQuest to the next level."

I jerk up in my seat. I had never considered the MoonQuest connection when thinking about going back to Nova Scotia. It feels right, but...

An hour later, I'm lying in bed. With so much in my life in flux these days, I decide to ask for guidance -- about Nova Scotia and other aspects of my road trip, about the relationship that is still too distant to touch even as I feel it edging closer, about whether the house I'm renting will sell before my lease is up, about whether to store or sell my furniture... In short, I ask for guidance about everything, hoping my nighttime dreams will offer some clarity.

I toss and turn all night, never sleeping longer than an hour at a stretch, and wake up frustrated and exhausted, no wiser than I was at bedtime.

By the time I'm done with breakfast, I can barely keep my eyes open and so return to bed for a nap. Two hours later, I wake up from the kind of illuminating dream I had been seeking.

In the dream, I'm telling my ex about the phone conversation with my Toronto friend. As I recount the story, I get emotional and begin to sob.

I don't feel the same emotional charge when I wake up, but I have learned over the years that my conscious self is not always as open as it could be, that I sometimes require dreams and others signs to tell me what my heart desires. It's clear in this moment that, whatever the reason, my heart desires to re-experience Nova Scotia and the places there that so deeply fed me and The MoonQuest.

Whatever else this journey east from New Mexico is about, it's clear in this moment that Nova Scotia is part of it. As for the rest, all I can do -- yet again -- is trust and surrender to the higher wisdom that guides every moment that I'm open to it.


motherwort said...

As I have often joked with you the universe usually needs to slap me upside the head to get me to figure things out. If there was a remedial course in interpreting divine will, I'd need to take it, twice, at least. After many months of dreams disjointed by post-op drugs and the deepest hurt I ever felt, I have finally allowed myself to dream again and they are plenty full. Trust and surrender it seems is all I can do as well. You think the lesson has maybe sunk in t last?

Mark David Gerson said...

Alas, as I wrote in The Voice of the Muse:

"You enter into this lifetime in the leap of faith your soul takes into the being in your mother’s womb. You take that one huge leap only to discover that such leaps never cease being demanded of you."

Even if it's sunk in today, you'll soon be asked to go deeper...and deeper still...and deeper still.

Sharon said...

Nova Scotia is a magical place. It doesn't surprise me that she's calling you back.

There is something very healing about Nova Scotia, something that makes people dream and feel nurtured, something that feeds the soul.

I don't know you very well (I just know your book about writing) but as I read your posting on Nova Scotia, I had a very strong intuition that your next book will be conceived in Nova Scotia.

Peace and all good,
Sharon (in London ON but who frequently visits Nova Scotia)

P.S. Perhaps consider stopping in southern Ontario on your way to Nova Scotia!

Megan said...

Guess what? If you do in deed go to Nova Scotia I can almost guarentee you that I will be able to meet you. I have never been but a lot of my family has and I could use the time away! Do you really think this may be a possibility? How exciting! And I did hear that it is beautiful!

Mark David Gerson said...

Dear Sharon,

One intuitive sensing is interesting. But two? I received an e-mail from someone else on my mailing list saying almost the identical thing about book-birthing and Nova Scotia. We'll see... I've been looking for a kickstart to The MoonQuest's sequel, so maybe this trip will provide it. Or, who know? Could be something else altogether.

As for Southern Ontario, I'd love to. Not sure, though, that it's going to work on this trip. I'm open, we'll see about that too!

Mark David Gerson said...

Dear Megan,

Well, the NS timing isn't set yet, but I'm hoping to do a workshop in the Yarmouth area while I'm there. Stay tuned...perhaps you can combine a Nova Scotia visit with some guided writing.

Mark David