How it came to be

Just under a year ago on zen retreat, during the first morning meditation (candles lit, incense rising), I felt a rush of love move up my body and (silently, viscerally) say: “Get up early. Every day. Write poems again. A book is coming.” My son, Lundin, was eight months old at the time. The idea of writing a book seemed possibly insane.

I hadn’t written many poems for over a decade since my college thesis. But something about that call from who-knows-where in meditation that morning put me under a spell – of sheer curiosity for what I’d find if I actually followed through. Not in my head, but actually. Not in fantasy, but with my real, tired, working-mothering self every damn, glorious morning.

As an experiment, I began summoning myself out of bed (too) early, trying not to wake my husband and son. In the dark, I’d rise and sneak-fumble to a hot cup of coffee and the blank page. It often somehow felt like my first and/or last day alive. What is there to say from that perspective? Sometimes, nothing at all. I would sit and stare in dumb wonderment. Something about that holy hour before dawn and the confrontation with the page just brought me to my knees. But sometimes, voices came to meet me – either my own at its most human or, in some cases, voices I don’t quite recognize as my own that spoke to and through me in the early hours.

These voices have kept my heart soft and my laughter strong through tired and mundane moments. They’ve kept me sane and inspired, and that’s why I’m compelled to share them with you. These voices are good company, and I regard them as real friends.

So writing this book has not felt like a choice, really. I have participated as fully as possible with something that’s felt inevitable and necessary: uncovering my own unique conversation with inspiration. I still can’t say what it is exactly. But for me it is worth living for and worth dying for, and I vow to hunt, seduce, and share it.

My wish for Feed Your Vow is that the sweet, hard-won inspiration I encountered in writing it becomes contagious for you as you enter and explore it. This is the magic that truly feeds my vow. Thank you from the center of my heart.