"If great help comes from on high, this increased strength must be used to achieve something great for what he might otherwise never have found energy, or readiness to take responsibility. Great good fortune is produced by selflessness, and in bringing about great good fortune you remain free of reproach." Hexegram 42 I Ching "Increase"
Something tells me the Muse is having a hand in this move. I had been longing for the inspiration of my classical scholar friends as I struggle to finish "Shadow of the lion" and now I'm in daily contact with one of them, my friend in Norway who is herself working on her doctorate. This past week I've had so many inspiring things happen, including emails from three historical novelists, one of whom was a sort of mentor of mine several years ago who I had lost contact with. As a result my writing energy is in high gear. And as far as the packing is concerned, because I am thrilled about finding an excellent new place to live, I've been a whirling dervish packing/cleaning/sorting/throwing out and preparing.
Isn't it funny how things happen? This sudden move (an eviction) is day by day revealing surprises and rewards. As I pack and sort I'm uncovering hidden treasures -- some of them almost like 'signposts' to my future. Today, as I was clearing out closets and shelves I found
an assortment of important memorabalia that brought back so many memories and some that were hugely inspiring!
(1) a bag of canvases and water-color paper and paints/brushes etc. Just when I have been considering taking up the brush again!
(2) photo albums and stray bags of pictures from my first trips to Greece in '79/'80. And some more recent albums I haven't looked at in ages. It brought me right back there, among friends (some of whom have passed on now). Such a lot of reminiscing.
(3) The special journal notes I kept '799-'80 when I made those first trips first to England and then to Greece. I was in the process of developing my Celtic novel "Dragons in the Sky" at the time, and paid a visit to Stonhenge and later the iron-age hill fort near Salisbury. It was there I had my first significant deja-vus experiences regarding this story and heard Olwen's voice loud and clear. And again, when I arrived in Athens and walked into the agora, I had another significant deja-vus moment. Later at Delphi too. I had carefully recorded it all. There are poems I'd written too, and lots of observations connected to my planned novel.
I made many notes, spontaneous writing all of which are recorded in this journal. In it I am planning how to write the story and getting in touch with the characters. It's a valuable find for me as in the future I want to go back and finish that novel which I set aside in favour of writing "Shadow of the Lion". It's also a record of my early days in Greece which I want to eventually incorporate into a memoir. "Life Below the Acropolis."
In the journal I had written: "I was reading Mary Renault's "Fire from Heaven" as I was travelling (in Greece) and up til I was almost to Athens, and oddly it was approximately covering territory (geography etc) in proper sequence to my own journey. But she's such a magnificent writer and I'm intimidated to even think I could write a novel dealing with that period of time (Alexander's world). I don't know if I can do it."
Now, here it is all these years later and I am actually doing it!
Here's more notes from that journal:
"Turn to the ancient sources of whatever spiritual path you have chosen..."
"In the words and deeds of the past there lies hidden a treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters, the way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history, but through application of this knowlege, to give actuality to the past."
Hexegram 26 I Ching
I used to throw the I Ching coins and read the hexegrams regularly back then. This weekend I realized I hadn't done so for some time. It's an interesting way to find a focus and to meditate on whatever fortune the coins predict. This is the reading I got on Sunday. Once again,
"dragons" and "good fortune" .
Hexegram 1 "Ch'ien" The Creative Principle (***this hexegram is all about dragons)
1. The concealed dragon avoids action
2. The dragon is percieved in an open space
3. The superior man busies himself the whole day through and evening finds him thoroughly alert. Disaster threatens - no error!
4. Leaping about on the brink of a chasm -- no error.
5. The dragon wings across the sky. It is advantageous to visit a great man.
6. A willful dragon -- cause for regret
Nine in all six places: A brood of headless dragons -- good fortune.
(In China dragons have been regarded as a highly admirable creature of celestial origin.
Interesting, because the infamous Dragon Lady -- my current landlord -- fits more the description of the European dragon, one to be feared! -- rather ironic considering she's Chinese!)