Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg keep going back to New Mexico – I keep going back to Radcliffe Avenue in West Vancouver, B.C. The Radcliffe with towering evergreens supporting the entrance to this one long block breathing along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Just off Marine Drive, Randcliffe is part of Millionaires’ Row. When distinctive for its magnificent cedars, hemlocks, and firs anchoring gardens braided with ivy, salal, and morning glory it was worth more than a million dollars to me; it was my Cameron and Goldberg retreat. I’m speaking about a time before the tree butchers arrived to sever the spines of enormous thick trunks. Trunks that grew glorious branches where eagles surveilled the sea and birds built homes. I’m writing of a time before the roots of the trees were surgically removed; a time following horrific cracks breaking the sound barrier as the trunks were reduced to stumps. A silent sky prayed above the scream of the chainsaws.
Me in a body fighting hopelessly to leave an earth struck with random acts of senseless proportion. I too screamed to extinguish the sounds around me and wished myself blind to the free firewood lining the street.
The magical lighting cast over the street as the hours changed hands on the clock had been cut off branch by branch, bird by bird, until it instantly ceased to exist.
The atmosphere that made Radcliffe desirable and completely one of a kind, precious and luxurious was now extinguished. No more light filtering through layers of branches, no more dancing rays entering our house through the cottage-style windows. It was FINAL. Majestic, strong, healthy, evergreens felled under many headings: progress, greed, don’t want shade, don’t want to clean up needles on the driveway. Twenty years later the slivers still burn under my skin.
Yes, ‘Nat’ Goldberg says that if you let go in your writing you naturally go for the jugular repeatedly until you clean up unfinished business.
She adds, “Writing does not need to be logical. Home does not equal your street address. Food does not equal mashed potatoes. Vehicle does not equal truck. She states: get out of your house, get out of your mind. Everything changes: remember that as you write.”
“Plot is cause and effect and – karma. If something happens there is a result.”
“Stress is an ignorant state: you believe everything is an emergency. It’s a dis-connection from the earth and a forgetting to breathe.” (I want to disagree with this and cannot).
“Writing is a moment moving through us.” (N. Goldberg)
“Write your art out: write your heart out. Learn to Love & Embrace Uncertainty.” (N.R. Rigets)
Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets