Once I was seated on the plane during my first leg of the trip, it didn’t take me long to pull out a book to read. I had been looking forward to that moment for two months. Well, I would have been looking forward to it if I’d had the time. I was so intensely busy I even let my dishes go and only washed them when I really needed to. Most of the rest of the house stayed picked up.
Do you remember me talking about the rocks in the jar? It’s a good thing I dumped out that jar before working on publishing the books because there is no way I would have been able to continue juggling everything, including this blog, and ready the books for printing at the same time. My two poetry books are beautiful. Through the work of Emily on the cover art and Janelle on the design, they look fantastic. The insides too, have been redone, cleaned up, added to, and even a tad rewritten. Christine’s book is completely new so I had to lay it out, work with her on cover design, and we worked on all the edits. It was a very intense two months of work. Well worth it, but not a pace I can readily sustain for a long period of time.
By the time I gave the woman my ticket and carried my bags onto the plane, I was done, 110% done. Not just done as in the books were at the printers being printed up, which they are, but emotionally and physically spent several times over. I have had an image in my head of myself all dry and cracked, bleeding and parched. Before I truly settled into my book, I talked to God about it and had the sense he was taking me here for awhile so he could rub some of that healing balm into my soul, that he would minister to me over and over again as only many repeated applications of balm would heal me.
As I’ve said in other places, printing one book takes over your life–three are insane. So now I am here in Indiana to rest. Brie, the woman next to me on the plane, after hearing where I was going and for how long, was speechless for a second and then exclaimed, “Why?!” But Richmond is a very pleasant town and a great place for me to rest and relax. There isn’t a lot of big things to go see so I can spend much of my time reading books I neither have to write nor edit. Heaven. I can write if I want, attend seminary classes if I want, spend time with friends, and cuddle a cat named Chub in what has quickly become my favorite house. At this moment his head is resting on my elbow (Carole and he just came to a good compromise on who got that particular seat on the couch–they’re sharing it.)
Yesterday I spent at Quaker Hill cuddled up on a couch downstairs reading a book about who really killed Humpty Dumpty when he fell off that wall. Thinking about it, I realized I felt so raw, I needed to escape into a book as a kind of protective layering. That and a lovely walk through the woods was exactly what I needed. Today I spent at Earlham School of Religion. It was really nice to meet some of the community there and see some of my friends who attend.
So thank you for hanging in here and still reading after this long break. I really do appreciate it. Now that the books are off to the printers, I will have a lot more time to write. When I get home which won’t be until late next week, I’ll post pictures of the new covers.
I pray you too, are all finding the rest you need.