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.
My 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.”
“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.”
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,
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