Writing Within the Seasons
Contributor
Written by
Jane Galer
November 2009
Contributor
Written by
Jane Galer
November 2009
Writing Within the Seasons This is the time of the storyteller. The work of deep ancestral knowledge. The Celts believed that the new year began with the full moon of the last harvest, Samhain. The crops were in, the stock secure, it was a time for remembering, for gathering around a communal fire as the night took over, stretched, and time slowed and invited reverie. Writing within the seasons isn’t nature writing. It’s connecting to the promise of the season at hand. Recognizing the flow, the order, within the cycles of the sun and moon. Now, as we approach the winter solstice, our writing should reflect what we have stored away, and how we can relate our own current story to the mythology of our family, our community. We want to let the ancestors speak, step out of our selves and reflect the collective myths. How do they serve us in the winter of our writing lives? What are the important lines we need to add to their history, how shall we honor our deepest resources? Perhaps this is the time for the most concentrated journal writing. A time of summation, but also of questioning. There is time now, in the dark, to look back, to fold and refold the talent that we call our own; to spend time with our words, cherish them, try them out, feed the sacred fire with them. Hone. It is the storytellers’ time: the spoken word is golden, there is an audience present for our remembering. The time of the poet, when words gifted out loud bring us closer to the fire, warm us. Inspire our dreaming. If November is the new year, and I like to think of it that way, it seems more logical to me than January 1st, then what is next? What follows the winter solstice, the time of the storyteller? The equinox of spring brings us longing coupled with inspiration. A need to write that in the season following will become as strong as the need for sex as May comes and we furrow ground, plant seeds, scatter words about us in hopes that some will take root. The summer solstice should find us being like the hummingbird, relishing the nectar, the sweetness of life, and writing about the bloom and glory of nature herself. We’ve long months before abandoned the safety of the hearth fire and stepped out to the mountaintop. We should be producing, giving birth, papers piling up on our desks, a backpack with a nearly full journal at our feet. And then, slowly, we begin again to pay attention to the moon more than to the sun, and like a good piece of writing, we wind down into the denouement of our story, we look for endings, completions. We harvest both successes and failures, we have learned, grown fat with new knowledge, and we begin again, with the ancestors’ stories, because we know that time isn’t linear and our craft flows in a great spiral called inspiration, called Muse. And back in the dim light of the fire we know ourselves connected, and honor that connection. Jane Galer November 2010

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