Christin's Words from Sunshine Hill

If it is to be music
you must be present to it, must offer to it
a profound self-remembering.
-from Altar Music

Friday, June 29, 2012

My New Novel on Kindle

This is a project I've believed in. It's a story I have loved, with characters that I grew to know over many years. It is the first of my novels to come completely from my imagination. In other words, its characters and plot don't in any way come from people or situations I've known from my own living. The themes, though, I have known. The silences of many midwestern men, I have known. The way life can make women harden and then break down the center -- that I've known, too. I know about running away when you just can't live another moment where you're standing. You'll be crushed, you think. You'll implode. You can't see any way out, and so if a crack appears, an aperture, the slightest opening, you'll rush towards it before it closes again. Just maybe, you think, there will be freedom on the other side, but there hardly ever is.

We suffer affliction; we forgive; we are forgiven--if not by one another, then by Life itself. The question always is: can we open to it? All of it? This story doesn't shy away from evil. These people know evil both subtle and obvious. They grapple with it. We wonder where the grace might be, from where the strength and light and faith might come to rise above or to embrace what is the perfect affliction for any given soul. It can break our hearts. It can reduce us to bone.

I suspect I wrote this novel to teach myself not to run away from what is most real in my life, but rather to face it, embrace it, learn from it, and be transformed. Over the years of visions and revisions (as the poet says) I've come to understand the challenge put to each of its characters. Their challenges reflect my own, as they might also reflect yours.

Author, Beryl Singleton Bissell writes after reading the book:  

The lyric beauty of Lore Weber’s writing transforms a disquieting story of abandonment and loss into one that shimmers with hope. A complex saga of several generations of women from four different families, the narrative peaks around the life of one young girl, Hannah, whose courage uncovers the mystery that binds these lives together. An amazing novel from a writer whose stories gift us all. – Beryl Singleton Bissell, author of The Scent of God and A View of the Lake.

GYPSY BONES has been published to the Kindle Store and is already available* for readers to purchase here.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summertime--Not Easy

Spring came and went while John and I were in Minnesota. The apple, apricot, plum and pear trees bloomed and their petals fell. The birds ate the tidbits that otherwise might have grown into fruit. I'm looking at those trees now, out the window of my writing room. Everything outside has grown raggedy, but nothing in me objects. It could rain again today, just like yesterday and the day before. Uncommon weather for June, prompting sleepiness. Summer is here, more like a Minnesota summer than what I've become used to in the Pacific Northwest. Did summer hitch a ride from Minneapolis and cross the plains and mountains with us?

Today marks the birthday of St. John the Baptist says my breviary. But isn't his feast normally on the summer solstice? In Ireland the bonfires of St. John's Day light the sky during the shortest night of the year. "He must increase; I must decrease," says St. John on the day the sun reaches its zenith and begins to fall again into the dark. Is summer an illusion, beginning as it does on the day slippage towards winter's dark begins?

Summertime: this I suspect--living is not easy.

Forgive me. I'm pensive. The days of grief unfold long, not necessarily sad, but with a kind of light that penetrates. X-rays. Do I have zen-eyes these days, these nights? Look at the plum tree. It's leaves are membranes; I see their bones. Will the time come that I can see through rocks? Through the mountains that surround this place? Liz's words, those last weeks, were bones of all she'd been. Skeletons of her deepest thoughts, her most profound hopes. "Liz's Last Words." I thought I might devote this blog to those in days to come. But, you can see, I'm not yet able to articulate blog entries. The place in me from which the words emerge is still too thin. There's very little substance to my thought. She has increased; I have decreased.

Such is as it should be. She'd decreased already enough to open and allow her immortal soul to explode through the penetrable tissue and bones of her spent body, for her soul and spirit to unite and become endless--for galaxies to whirl within her shining.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

VISITATION




The icon of Mary and Elizabeth hangs on my prayer wall now, no longer in Liz's bedroom. Our mother named us in honor of those woman-prophets of the Word Made Flesh. It was in the convent that my original name, Mary, was changed to Christin. With my own dear Elizabeth's passage into eternity, something significant in my own identity transforms, and as I've done in the past I will do again--allow my name to reflect that. 

Liz died on the vigil of the Feast of the Visitation, the moment of recognition on Prophet Elizabeth's part, that the Christ in Mary had come to visit her. At the sound of Mary's voice Elizabeth felt the quickening of her own son, "leaping for joy." It is what we are, my sister and I--witnesses to divine life in each other. 

Before she died, when her spirit/soul danced on the threshold between this world and the next, she told me clearly, "I will always be with you." We will always be in this embrace, because the worlds are not so far apart after all. If I witness from the perspective of my spirit/soul I see what she called "the small white sphere of [her] body" floating there beside my own. We are so much more expansive and inclusive than we think. This is Elizabeth's prophecy. And to honor what she is, what we are, what all of us are, once again I will change my name, keeping what I've become and adding once more the part I've always been. 

I am Christin Mary.