I chose an ancient Sanskrit saying to begin Chapter 2 of The Lost Codex.

As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers
Seek teachings everywhere.
Like the deer who finds a quiet place to graze,
Seek seclusion to digest all you have learned.
Like a madman, beyond all limits, go wherever you please
And live like the lion, completely free of all fear.

lion-3260558_1920My protagonist, Katherine, will have to face all of these primal tasks in order to survive the outrageous fortune of my twisty plot – and her own inner saboteurs.

Which begs the question: How often, really, are we encouraged “to live like a lion, completely free of all fear”..?

I know for me, somewhere along the bumpy timeline of my youth, I got some clear messages: Sit up straight, eat your vegetables and stay small.

It seems as though some of what I learned came  from a lesser source:

Don’t complain, don’t voice a differing opinion, and do not – under any circumstances – ask for what you want.

I did learn some truly inspiring things, too: Use all the colors in the Crayola box – even Raw Umber (especially Raw Umber). Play dress up as often as possible. Be kind to your brother. There is no such thing as too many friends.

Nevertheless, I had to grow out of some small, safe thinking. I think I am still spreading those wings, in fact, in fits and starts. I gravitate to the path of least resistance. Which includes making abundant use of the TV clicker. I choose easy. I choose small. I choose fear.

When I visited Egypt and Sinai in 1999, I learned a few things there, on my own, making my way through the world. I learned a few things about being small. Such as this:

“Call out or be squished …

“I’d been squished before. I’d been ground down, shaped, changed until – looking ahead from the past – I didn’t recognize myself anymore. It had happened over time, while no one, not even myself, had been watching.”

And this:

“A trace of Sinai lingers still, and calls to me here in America, in a life embraced by the familiar and the ordinary. It is saying, if I will listen, You. You there. Pay attention. You are more than this. Remember. Remember  …  And I remember Sinai.”

(Excepted from Lost & Found in Egypt: A Most Unlikely Journey Through the Shifting Sands of Love and Loss.)

In addition to some shameless self-promotion for my books, I offer those to anyone who might be feeling small these days. Too small.

Goethe said this about that:

“Whatever you can do,
or dream you can,
begin it.
Boldness has genius power and magic in it.”

I believe that.

In other words, …”Like a madman, beyond all limits, go wherever you please and live like the lion, completely free of all fear.”

Sneak Preview: In the next installment from Kyla Writes is inspired by Nobel Laureate Nelly Sachs, who wrote:

But perhaps God needs the longing,
wherever else it should dwell,
Which with kisses and tears and sighs
fills mysterious spaces of air –
And perhaps is invisible soil from which
roots of stars grow and swell…

Peace and Blessings, Kyla