Tiny Golden Seed

by Maria Theresa Maggi on March 28, 2021

 

We were walking on the beach this morning when the tide was out, the ocean was gentle and blue, surfers were beginning their morning rides and little bits of stone and sand and gems were littered across the sand near the waterline. I looked down to see a very small amber colored translucent agate about the size of a dried bean winking at me rom the sand.  I love how they shine when wet and like so many times before, I picked it up.

But this particular morning I was struck by a new thought about  it before I put it in my coat pocket. Years ago I had a dream I titled in my journal “Dream of the Golden Seeds.”  In it the rain is coming in the long south window in my kitchen on Asbury Street in the form of golden seeds. I am holding open my palms to hold the rain of golden seeds. I am very happy.

That morning on the beach the color of this little translucent agate revived the feeling of that dream for me as I held it in my hand. Though I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, it’s one of my all time favorite dreams. And as I remembered it, a comparison between the golden seeds, the little agates on the beach and something entirely different from either of them came to me, and suddenly they all seemed to be of one piece, traveling across time and space to meld together in this moment.

In the last couple of months, I’ve had a sea change I’ve been waiting for while doing what I could do to prompt it during the years I have been waiting, which are almost as many as I’ve been writing this blog. I’ve started and stopped, been entirely stumped or blocked, started again, sat and stared, and gone through motions and exercises to put me in the right place should something strike me. Read and reread, taken notes. And suddenly it happened. I saw a way forward to find a voice for weaving some of the stories in these blog posts into a book.

A memoir. I know where I want to start and I know where I want to end up and what places and experiences I am most centering on. And I am working on a draft. It might be a terrible draft. It might be an okay draft. It might even be a pretty good draft. I won’t know until I get all the way through. But I am on my way. I’m giving myself the year to see how far I can get.

It seems that the quiet and isolation of the pandemic has given me enough time to get clear about a few things that are helping me proceed. And it also seems that this time of needing to stand up for true social and racial and economic justice has given me the example of courage and the impetus to tell the truth that I must have needed.  As I continue to grow in that effort, I also find the way back into my own voice and how to connect its stories on a larger scale.

The nature of that opening reminds me of something that happens when I’m chopping up vegetables for salad and I get to the end of a bunch of fennel, romaine or celery. My mother loved these ends, and she happily chopped them up and placed them in our salads. The salad was always tossed in a wooden bowl and then served in wooden bowls at the side of our dinner plate. The dressing was separate, a thoughtful gesture in the years I was placed on a diet in childhood by my orthopedist.

My mother never followed me into a low fat diet of any kind–she loved butter and oysters and cream and bacon. But she taught me how deliciously rooty and crunchy the ends of these vegetables are, and to appreciate their taste and use them. Every time I get to the end of something that grows from a single stalk, I think of her, and chop up as much of it as I can to go in whatever chopped salad or other dish I am making.

In this way I have learned to spot the value of something that would otherwise be seen as “throwaway” by many, even myself, at times. And it was just such seemingly “throw away” or extraneous observations I’d written to myself that showed me the opening I needed.

As inspiring as this has been, it’s also been hard to generate new posts while going back into the old experiences at the same time. So I hope you’ll pardon the relative quiet in that respect, and that some of you enjoy the drawings of the moon and the horoscopes I’ve been posting at the new and full moons instead.

My time at the house on Asbury Street truly did fill my hands with golden seeds. They later blossomed into stories I could tell here and now they are finding their way in new rearrangements, sometimes with other things added or taken out. The golden seeds, the golden agates, they are my talismans reminding me that inspiration comes in altered states and process sometimes takes eons. But it comes. And the celery and romaine hearts remind me that the most concentrated insights are often in the places I ask myself questions or think what I’m writing is “extra.”

I’m not one to talk about works in progress much at all. I hope I’m not jinxing my adventure with this to say anything, even this little bit. But I wanted you to know, and I wanted to thank you for these years you’ve given me an audience that hears my voice. I’m ever grateful, from my heart to yours.

To be continued. . .

 

Maria (moonwatcher)

 

 

 

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan Wright March 31, 2021 at 9:59 am

love this you had a good Mother sounds like

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2 DONNA BETTS April 1, 2021 at 4:32 pm

Oh Maria – your words always touch me on such a deep level that really it is inexpressible – I always feel a little overwhelmed with feelings and I feel I know you without ever meeting you.
I’m sure you have that effect on many of your regular readers.
I wish you many moments of inspiration in your journey – I am very thankful I found your blog a few years back – and I will stay tuned.
I have no doubt the golden seeds/agates will shine through.
With Love –

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3 Maria Theresa Maggi April 1, 2021 at 10:18 pm

Dear Donna, a heartfelt thank you! I truly appreciate your long time readership and your kind words. Love back to you–

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4 Veronica April 5, 2021 at 9:37 am

This is so exciting! I think it’s a wonderful idea to have a memoir. Your poetry books are full of beauty, and I know the stories you write for the book will have the same feeling and grace. I’m looking forward to reading the finished product – may you find inspiration everywhere you turn. 🙂 Sending you love and luck! xoxo

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5 Maria Theresa Maggi April 8, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Thanks SO much,Veronica, for the encouragement and enthusiasm–it means a lot–xoxo

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