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  • Mj Pettengill

From the Author's Pen: The Space Left Behind


Vintage Pen, Desk   CC0
Vintage Pen, Desk CC0

Different ideas surround what has been referred to as a dark winter. I am ever so grateful for the arrival of spring. As we continue to take in vast amounts of information, often conflicting, I find myself going deeper within. Not only does this provide a sense of tranquility, but it is also where I find my own light for guidance. Intuition and instinct have never been more important. I have witnessed friends and loved ones struggle with monumental challenges brought forth by fear, illness, and general loss of what they once knew. It is a time for pulling back the thinning veil, seeing more of the world and ourselves. This can result in both enlightenment and shock. There is a certain sense of uneasiness when we face our demons, which is necessary for release and finding our way to wholeness. I have learned that many afflicted with depression, physical illness, anger, and addictions have surrendered to the idea that life is without meaning. During our mandatory separation, some have become lost. Until we find ways to shift into a world that is meaning-full rather than meaning-less, we are at risk. If one has become displaced in this confusion, trust, rely on yourself for shifting into meaning. First and foremost, define it for yourself. What was lost may be gone forever, but you can seek and create a new world in the space left behind.

Where am I? At this time, I am writing The Crows' Path, the fourth book in the Etched in Granite Series. I am at the stage of intense research. In the past, I have learned when to take a break, as much of what is unearthed is disturbing. I find that sitting with various bits of data is a way to allow it to sink in fully. I am referring to events and circumstances not available in traditional, mainstream sources. The most vivid and extraordinary information is found within the narratives of ordinary people. Journals, letters, and newspaper articles offer valuable insight—unedited and raw. This is not a spoiler, but I have recently been investigating what is known as the Magdalene Laundries, typically understood to have been in Ireland. They were also present in the United States and other countries around the globe. As I dive deeper into this abyss, I have had to withdraw, allowing time to consider what I have learned. Then, I go back. Initially, I stumbled across this type of institution when researching August's background—The Angels' Lament (2)—in the streets of New York. I knew that I would revisit it. I am there now. I am well aware that many similar practices in so-called schooling, placement, reform (in the name of helping the poor, indigenous, and immigrant youth) have exploded onto the grand stage. It is no longer hidden and, in fact, escalating with the present border crisis unfolding. This has not gone away but has changed its mask. We are still seeing the tragic dilemma of child/human trafficking and more, come to the forefront. During this time of historical discovery and current events, I have had to step back more than usual, as I am called on for support. Friends and family have endured much suffering rooted in their exhaustion and confusion during the past year. My creativity, though vital to my own self-preservation, has been somewhat wobbly. To remedy this, I paint, walk barefoot (now), and sing to the wild creatures and trees—an appreciative audience. Because of my own healing process from a back injury (sustained during the pond/mud incident), I was not playing my cello. After a long absence, I have returned to it. Today, I was going inward to find words to share. At first, I came up empty, but here I am. Please know that I am making my way through another journey—one that continues where we left off with Down from the Tree and moving forward on the timeline of all the characters that you have grown to know and love... or maybe not. I have a hard time with some of them, but their contribution to presenting a complete picture is vital for integrity. Their voices must be heard, their souls reclaimed, and returned to the light. Thank you for your support. Mj

The Crocuses have returned. Bravo!