I bought a book of magic yesterday.
It cost me all of two dollars. Which is good, because the only cash I had on me was a number of coins that eventually and thankfully added up to precisely $2.00 Canadian and one single, solitary, American penny. To scrape the princely sum together, I had to do that embarrassing female thing where you empty out everything from your handbag to find the small change in the bottom that has fallen out of your wallet. Fortunately, earlier in the week, I couldn’t find my car key at the end of a work day, so my handbag had been cleaned out quite thoroughly before I exposed its intimate contents yesterday in my local library.
For I bought this treasure in the library. They sell off books, CDs etc., really cheaply to raise money for literacy projects. Personally I think they could, and should, charge a bit more, but yesterday I felt really glad they don’t. Usually what they sell holds no interest for me, but from the moment I opened up the heavy hard cover of my magic book, I knew it was meant for me. A gut feeling proven correct by my having exactly and only the amount of money required, and not a Canadian penny more.
I entered the library on the crest of a great wave of energy. My out-in-the-world day began with a first visit to a NUCCA chiropractic practitioner, incredibly, and conveniently, situated a short drive down the street from my home. NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) is rarer and gentler than regular chiropractic, which can be quite scary sometimes. It restores and optimises health by aligning the head and neck properly, which then supports and balances the whole body.
While booking my appointment I found out that the doctor’s first name is Gabriel. I commented, “He must be an angel.” And it turns out that he is! A very knowledgeable, caring, patient, angel. All my spidey senses told me that I’m in the right place to get the treatment my body needs. And in a delicious slice of synchronicity, I’m listening for the second time to a Jeanette Winterson children’s space/time adventure story at the moment, which has a caring, gentle, protective character called… yes… Gabriel. 🙂
Next stop was the eye clinic to collect my new glasses. Very nice, thank you. And off to the library to return an audiobook. I’ve never found anything on the few “for sale” shelves before, but I figured, why not take a look.
And there it was. The Vein of Gold, by Julia Cameron. Subtitle: A Journey to Your Creative Heart. Wow. Entirely my cup of elixir.
Julia is famous for writing The Artist’s Way, a book designed to help people free their creative flow. Published thirty years ago, it has sold a stunning four million copies. Then four years later, in 1996, The Vein of Gold was published.
She says: “The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life. The heart is the origin of creative impulses. If that heart has been wounded, it must be healed for our vein of gold to flow freely.”
I could quote pretty much every single word of what I’ve read so far, for this is a book of shamanic magic as far as I’m concerned. The wisdom it contains is beyond astonishing. She’s the kind of woman who would have been persecuted for being a witch in the dark ages, for she knows, and reveals, so much.
And the book is beautifully and lovingly set out, on high quality paper. It weighs in at a bit more than two pounds! Julia’s teachings are aided and abetted on every page by a feast of uplifting quotes, like this one:
Art provides a healing force which aids both the maker and the viewer. ~ Richard Newman
The Vein of Gold explains so clearly, in such a heartfelt way, why longhand writing out three 8 x 11 pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts first thing in the morning, every morning, is beneficial.
I recall a desultory try on my part, years ago, to start writing my thoughts first thing in the morning, encouraged by a friend who was reading and excited by The Artist’s Way. But I begrudged the time and effort and gave up quickly.
But The Vein of Gold is captivating in a way I don’t remember of The Artist’s Way. And the book has come to me at the right time, for I am not the person now that I was then. So I eagerly got started on my Pages this morning. It took me an astounding one hour to complete. This is going to stretch me, and reform me! And I’m willing to do it. My mind felt undeniably clearer by the time I’d finished writing.
The other consistent practice that teams with daily Morning Pages to create a “spiritual chiropractic” is a weekly one-hour Artist Date. You have to preplan a trip or visit somewhere, by yourself, that delights you, with a view to stimulating your imagination. How delicious! I’m not working this week, so tomorrow I’m going to Made You Look, an indie jewellery store in the west end of Toronto. I haven’t been there in years, and I love it. (What self-respecting female person doesn’t love a jewellery store?!) I’m looking forward to fully indulging my eyes and my spirit on my date!
And speaking of The Vein of Gold coming to me at the right time, yesterday I thought how fortunate that my first week of Morning Pages, my training, if you will, comes at a time when I have a week off work. Then I reminded myself that I had resisted taking this week off, despite feeling quite drained and despite my manager’s urging, because my sales are going very well and I didn’t want to leave the goose while she’s laying the golden eggs. But after my VP also weighed in to encourage me to take this week, I thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t be resisting this. Universe seems to want me to take this week off. Maybe I should trust that it’s the right time for me, even though I don’t know why right now.”
Well, now I know why. The student is ready, and the teacher has appeared!