Yesterday, I finished up the last of C.E Murphy’s The Negotiator series. It is rare for me to reach the ending of a book or series and feel completely fulfilled as a reader, but this happens from time to time, and when it does, the book or series gets placed upon my Perfect Book list. More importantly, these stories tend to take me and place me gently yet firmly into the Stream of All Possibility.
Yesterday, on my way into work, I was awash with potential. Not merely my potential, but rather Potential Itself. The press of it was encouraging and exhilarating and exciting. It shifted the boundaries of the worlds a bit, or made them flimsy, or reminded me that they (the boundaries) are our doing and need not be. Sometimes, when I read a great book or story, I can’t wait to get back to my own stories — that’s part of what they’re supposed to do, although sometimes instead they make me feel inadequate like I can’t even tell you. Sometimes, though, I just want to bask in all that could-be feeling.
Yesterday, Potential had weight and pressure, but it was kind and it was encouraging and it was wonderful. The story was the best kind, my favorite kind, with dragons and vampires and other creatures, and human-and-other interactions. First contact and finding home and coming into one’s own. My favorite, favorite kind.
Yesterday, I walked to work watching the boundaries between the worlds — the world of consensual reality, which is less one big reality and more just where our realities all overlap, and the spirits worlds, the worlds where my characters live, and the world where Poseidon calls me wife, and the worlds of the dead, all butting up against one another — shimmery and slip and disappear for whole moments at a time.
I excepted Poseidon to walk with me as I walked to work, to have commentary, to be a part of the experience. I felt held and loved and felt more of my reluctance at this whole, “So, hey, Vishnu,” thing slip away, but He did not dominate the experience.
Do I admit that Thistlethorn Meadowlark is real to me in a way that many of “my” characters are not? Do I admit that I have a Fairy Queen who has offered to step in as my muse, time and time again, as if I’ve never read any stories about human storytellers with fairy queens as patrons? (What could *possibly* go wrong?) She’s kind, if overwhelming, and teasing, most of the time, and patiently waiting for me to get back to her story. She’s also currently head over heels for a mortal woman, and maybe this makes her kinder to humans than she might otherwise be, and cognizant of their frailty.
She may have laughed merrily yesterday, dancing around me, shorter than me but not by much. With ease, she might have plucked an old worry from my mind and held it for me to see. “You used to be terrified about not being able to tell the difference between the reality in which you walk with gods, and the reality in which we come to you and share our stories. You used to allow this fear to arrest you in your gift. You used to be desperate to know the difference between the spirits that were ‘really real’ and where ‘just’ characters sharing their tales with you. Do you remember?”
Of course I remember; it wasn’t all that long ago, and it was a long, abiding fear.
“Do you see?” and she gestured to encompass all of the shattering of boundaries within me. “Do you see?” and she may have laughed again.
Because in that moment, I did see. In that moment, it was all I could see. There was no boundary between those two particular realms at all. Because the differences between them are semantics, and because what does it matter, the kinds of real?
Yesterday, I basked in the joy of being a storyteller, of having these stories come to me, of being a part of this great, huge thing, and of how one cannot truly embrace this path without admitting to loving, and being captivated by, and curious about, humanity.
And then I went to work, and throughout the day, I was reminded why it’s a struggle to not hate humanity.
But the morning was good.