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Storytellers of the Blue World

photo credit: Karen Filos

I know you of the Blue World.

You are a storyteller. You are made of memory. Your mind is an endless accordion of timeless impressions.

You are exhausted by the everyday. You press your face to mirrors and search for other worlds in your own eyes. You listen for the ancient voices in the bending boughs of trees.

You experience the seasons of the Earth within your body, struggling toward light, creeping toward slumber, agonizing over the lack of empathy and care for soil and blossom. You speak to animals. You wonder where they sleep.

You gaze at horizons and ache for wisdom, connection, purpose. You remember a faraway land you will never reach, and know it is the Canaan which lies within you.

You treasure deep silence and find comfort in the whisper of time slipping round the tender curl of your ear, a sweet warm breath. You tuck away with kaleidoscope dreams, puzzles to sort into patterns and possibility. You love the secret taste of all your favorite words, especially the restorative piquancy of love.

You are restive. You mourn the ages, the beauty you are blind to, the suffering you are bound to, the wonder of dying stars and the wars that rage within all bleeding hearts. You crave expression.

You are small beneath a heavy sky. You are lost upon a vast sea. You are not here in the present or present in the future. You feel yourself an alien.

Don’t be fooled. You are not languishing. You are not trapped. You are longing.

I often feel – don’t you? – my chest will fling itself open and a thousand birds will burst forth, madness released, to finally extinguish the longing to arrive at some finish, to come to some certainty, for the relief of completion. If only I could finish this draft, solve this plot, know this theme. I want to feel the work is solid. I want it to be worthy. I want it to be myself and also outside myself. I want it to be done. I want it to be human.

In the end, every word remains with me, for it is my story, after all. Incomplete in ways I can’t assuage or explain. The end is never the end. I write it again. I am writing it on my bones.

And yet, there is joy! A single sentence, a perfect turn of phrase can move me to such faith or challenge all of my convictions. It’s a rush. I want to shout these stories from the gables and glens, a resounding echo to encourage fellow wanderers, murmuring ancient tales to themselves, squinting at faded print, their only guide through the cerulean miasma of existence.

So, here is the most beautiful secret – we know this blue place. We are of it.

This is where we were always from and where we are always going. Just as light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to Earth, but disperses, scatters, reflects, here is the truth about all of us. We are perpetual.

To look at the Blue World is to see our state of being and to know why.

Author Rebecca Solnit says in her beautiful book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, “Some things we have only as long as they remain lost, some things are not lost only so long as they are distant.”

We write our stories, struggling with all our will against the blue. But what if we cherished the irreconcilable, instead? What if we could take our place as witness to the mystery rather than fearing it? Embrace the distance, rather than clambering to close it up? What might we tell from the blue? What courage might our words inspire?

Here is what I say – We are meant to create. We are meant to write from the blue. We are designed to observe, to wonder, to fear, to yearn, to connect, to build, to celebrate, to cry, to strive and to rest. But most importantly, we are meant to long. To long is our gift. Only in our longing are we perfect. Our longing is our home. Our longing is our story.

We are not meant to arrive. We are not meant to resolve.

We are horizons, dreams, and time.

And we are meant to reach, ever reach.






Wife. Mom. Storyteller. Creative. Georgia Author of the Year 2013. Amazon Bestseller.

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