I write across years, across pages, across oceans of memory. My poetry has been published widely in Canada and the US reaching a peak in 1996 with my poetry partner Linda Stitt in our book Bliss Pig.
Says it all, really, but then after some time, more writing. Through a vision, the plot and characters for my novel The Stain rose to consciousness. I put it all down nicely on yellow foolscap, then proceeded to move those pages around every year or so when a seizure known to many women took hold: deep cleaning. Yes, I stood looking at those pages, running my palm across their softness and wondering if I’d ever finish.
Cleaning or writing?
That became the challenge, so I dove in and began.
But in the meantime someone asked me for help with a book he was writing. I agreed, then realized he had no book but a pile of quotations he was attempting to pass off as his own! By the time I peered through his ruse many paragraphs of my own had leapt onto the page and slowly, through the next few years as I dashed between The Stain, fiction, and Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind non-fiction, I completed both.
Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind is an easy to read and understand exploration of the seam between Neuroscience and Visualization Meditation. I use as my example of Visualization Meditation the Tibetan Buddhist Icon Medicine Buddha, because with 45 years experience with Tibetan Buddhism, I know this practice best.
Now I am beginning My Impossible Life, a memoir of great adventure, great healing, much horror and, I hope, some wisdom.
No choice overall but the individual works perhaps offer some light. Bliss Pig danced into being out of the 8 years of performance poetry Linda Stitt and I jigged across Southern Ontario. Sometimes an audience of ten or twenty showed up. Good! Sometimes no one showed up and Linda and I proceeded to read: to each other. Our vow, taken as a sacred pledge, was to have fun in all aspects of the gig—traffic jams, late nights, torn stockings (in front of tv cameras no less!) lost on highways, turn out or no turn out, our pledge had us giggling and chortling with many stories to tell.
The why of The Stain comes from its genesis in vision. I am the happy recipient of a lineage of Scots visionary women, those who predicted accurately someone’s impending death, those who knew a traveler would return home in three days, those who saw beyond the veils.
So my blood boils into visions. Out of one such came the story, The Stain. It is built of the theme of Reincarnation and Karma and promises a thread of light, of insight, into how to reduce suffering.
The Memoirs are next.
Sitting, frustrated, crying aloud, talking to myself, elated, ecstatic, jumping up to dance, pensive, withdrawn, walking around the lake where I live these phases come regularly when I am preparing to write. Once I am “in” the work I am dumb to this world listening at the gate of another. I love the process, the inception, beginnings, fallings away, the false starts and rebuilding, the editing, editing, revising, revising, revising. Thank you for asking!
Charlene Diane Jones M.Ed, M.A. teaches Meditation at Stouffville Yoga Life; creates, produces and edits a radio show called Off the Top at www.whistleradio.com; and practices helping clients through her Spiritual Guidance practice. Ms. Jones currently puts time into her memoir, called My Impossible Life, due out early 2017.