Friday, October 22, 2010

In the Company of Angels

Last night, I sat in the company of angels, their human forms barely concealing the power hidden within. To the casual observer, the angelic presence might have gone unnoticed, but for me, the power was... not overwhelming... it was... uhm... pervasive... no, permeating... no, drenching. It felt like I was standing outside on a crisp, cool morning in late autumn just having emerged fully clothed from pool of hot water, the contrasts of warm and cold, wet and dry triggering neural paths long asleep, every sense running at full capacity. Yeah, it was exactly like that, just different.

All week long, I'd listened to Caroline's impromptu prose from our previous session playing through my mind, touched by the sweet and vivid imagery that she'd brought to life in a scant ten minutes. I was impressed and at times daunted by how moving and powerful something so delicate could be. When last night she read another of her ten minute excursions, I was again compelled by the sense of motion and touch that bring her writing to life.

Susan's frenetic romp through emotion, thought and action was a roller coaster ride into the unknown, a ride that wouldn't return you to the starting point, but to somewhere new, unexpected. It was wild, untamed, exhilarating, without direction and yet full of purpose. As she ended her recitation, my mind raced to catch up with my body, processing and trying to absorb even a tenth of what she'd laid before me.

My quiet and soft-spoken wife's alter ego emerged with a vengeance as her exposition incorporated an amalgam of her life's experiences as the sole responsible party among an eclectic array of alcoholics and drug abusers, someone who'd absorbed the consequences, over-compensated and covered, but was now done with all that. The no-holds-barred hurricane of a woman that she'd written into existence was compelling, brash and endearing. I wanted to meet her and get to know her.

In just ten minutes, Will developed the opening of page-turner, a mystery, a thriller, like a hollywood preview that left you thinking, who was that? What'd he do? What's gonna happen next? Who's lying? Who's not? I gotta see that when it comes out. His craft was like one of the old A-Team episodes where they transform a bunch spare washing machine parts and kitchen appliances into a fighter jet all while the bad guys are out for lunch.

And last of all, Jenny, the most brilliant of the angels reached out bridging space and time by demonstrating not her strength, but her weakness. With grace and tenderness, this master of prose chose to write a poem, an exercise that exposed her vulnerabilities and weaknesses. But you know what they say, one man's floor is another's ceiling. I aspire for my strength to reach the level of her weakness.

Last night, I sat with angels. I felt humbled and blessed. There were times where I simply couldn't find words. It was as though the universe had just decided to open a new branch office inside my chest, in one moment expanding infinitely, and then in the next, collapsing, leaving an immeasurable void, a vacuum, a black hole that sucked in all forms of expression leaving my thoughts spinning around the event horizon.

Thank you, Caroline.
Thank you, Susan.
Thank you, Iris.
Thank you, Will.
Thank you, Jenny.

You bless me more than I can say.

Happy Friday!


  1. Holy smokes. That sounds like it was ... somethin' else!

  2. Word up.
    But of course, "it takes one to know one", you delightful soul, you!
    And just so we set the record straight, there was one other tremendous piece of writing that you got to hear out loud last night ... something about a horn blower finding his groove ... ring a bell???? You NEVER cease to amaze me, my friend.

  3. I woke up this morning thinking about our group and everyone's writing, and wondering exactly what Jenny does to inspire such remarkable stuff from everyone around her. And as I was lying there pondering, watching the dawn light turn the sky behind the mountains pink, my inner DJ pulled a selection from my inner Freudian playlist and I found myself idly singing lines from that great Jackie Wilson song:
    "Your love keeps lifting me higher than I've ever been lifted before. So keep it up...."
    On behalf of all of us in the group, all of us who read your ZenMaster Quinn blog, all of us blessed to spend time doing just about anything in the presence of your love:
    Thanks, Amazing Jenny, for the lift.
    (and please please please keep it up!)


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