My disappearance from Myth & Moor yesterday was entirely unintended. I got up early, walked with Tilly, then came back to the studio and wrote a post about thoughts I'd had out in the woods. But as I finished, everything stopped. The lights and the internet went out. The cabin's heater made a popping sound. The stereo switched abruptly off, and I sat in the sudden silence, perplexed. Had I blown a fuse? And if so, how? Then Howard appeared at the door with news: The electric company was working on the wires; our road would have no power all day. They'd sent us a notice last week, remember? We'd pinned it to the kitchen bulletin board, then promptly forgotten all about it....
So there we were on a Tuesday morning, each with a long, long list of things we'd planned to do. Urgent things. Important things. Dependent-on-computers kinds of things and they'll-be-mad-at-me-if-I-don't-finish kind of things and the-world-will-stop-if-I-can't kind of things. (None of which, of course, is strictly true.)
At first I was alarmed (deadlines! schedules!) ... and then I was worried (how will anyone reach us?) ... and then I was crabby (this has screwed up all my plans!). But the sky was a shimmering robin's-egg blue. The air smelled sweetly of primroses. Tilly was lounging in a patch of sun watching birds, and bees, and the neighbor's cats, and the wild ponies in the valley below. I finally recognized the day for what it was: a gift of Wild Time.
In modern life, unstructured time is increasingly rare and exceedingly precious -- as precious as the wild lands which we are also losing at fearsome rate. How often do we have unstructured time that is not intended for one thing or another; owed to a job, a task, a goal; promised or obligated to someone else? Time that meanders through the day, time that goes wherever it will, the seemingly endless hills of time we rambled in childhood.
Artists and makers especially need periods of Wild Time -- thinking time, daydreaming time, noodling-around-and-free-associating time -- for it fills the well, feeds the muse, and allows new ideas to rise from the inner depths to conscious thought. But how do we schedule Wild Time when by its very nature it opposes all schedules, plans, and rules? Wild Time is Trickster's time, and Trickster doesn't come at call; Trickster comes when he damn well will. He kicks all your careful plans to hell, but Wild Time is the gift he gives. There's no point in railing against his timing; there's no point going against him either. Just take his hand, let him lead the dance.
And remember to tell him thank you.
So thank you, Trickster, for the exasperatingly inconvenient but welcome gift of these slow, sweet things:
- Time to sit out in the sun on the porch of my husband's studio -- good coffee at hand, good company close by, good Gypsy and Celtic music on his trusty red accordion.
- Time to see the progress he has made building his "Punch & Judy" puppet booth.
I went inside the booth for the first time, and discovered the mysteries of the craft: the precise arrangement of puppets and tools required for running a single-handed show, with characters, costumes, and props all rooted in the old folklore tradition.
There was also:
- Time to roll in the garden with the hound.
- Time to pick flowers for the kitchen window.
- Time to spend an afternoon with our daughter, lingering over cups of tea and walking the green slope of O'er Hill, hours made especially precious by the fact that she's leaving us soon.
Thank you, Trickster, for disconnection from the world (abrupt and unplanned as it was), and re-connection with the here and now.
Thank you for Wild Dreams. For Wild Love. For Wild Time.