Otherworldly #Writephoto

copyright Sue Vincent

Meriel knelt by the flame’s soft heat. “It’s so quiet here.”

The wrinkled woman sat beside her in hushed contemplation. “The stones hold the silence of time. Do you not hear it? An ancient serenade exists between the voices of the sea and the silence of the stones. There is no song without silence, and no two songs are the same, just as no stones shaping this world are the same. Each song arises from a singular darkness. Each stone bears a singular face.”

Her eyes closed, Meriel listened to the stone’s silence and peered into her clay body, attentive to the voice of her inner darkness. She waited to behold what lay hidden and fearful there, what lay wished for with secret hope, desiring to be set free. She began to see that love wove the cloth of Belonging and entwined in its folds ran threads of otherness, uncertainty, surrender, and integration.

“Will you speak to me of my journey?” Meriel asked.

With a crooked stick, the woman stirred the fire. “The Belonging never leaves us alone, child. We hold our yearning in our hearts always. We wait for an invitation to love, but we are already loved. We wait for love to fill us, but love already abides within us. When we extend our hands in love, we offer the diamonds of our souls. We offer that which is sacred and terrible in its possibility, for love is a creative and rebellious force. It is the culmination of all our dreams and desires, and therefore it is equally shrouded in fear.”

Her fingers unfolded, revealing a diamond the size of a pebble. “So, we offer the diamonds of our love. And our lover, our friend, our other, sees through the darkness only a rock, one of these pebbles worn smooth by the sea.” She closed her fist and opened it again, this time tendering a round stone. “Old wounds blind them, even though it is a precious gift we offer. We feel misunderstood, unappreciated, and in our anger and hurt, we withdraw the gift. When we are wounded, we offer the diamond conditionally. It is payment for filling our needs, for following our orders, appeasing our desires. In this way, we also turn our gifts into stone.”

A smile crossed the woman’s lips, and when Meriel looked again into her palm, the stone shimmered and transformed before her eyes. “Offer your diamonds always, Meriel. Offer them when they are rejected; offer them when they are perceived as valueless rocks; offer them when it hurts you to do so, when you tremble in pain, when your wounds gape open and bleed. Only then will they truly be the diamonds of your soul. And only then will your lover or friend or brother or sister see them for what they are. Love creates space for wounds to heal.”

Meriel wanted to believe in the possibility of transformation, the promise of hope in a world she found enormous, fractured, and filled with fear. “Where am I in my soul’s journey?” she asked.

“You are everywhere,” the woman said. “The journey is cyclical, round as our globe. We walk it individually and as communities. It ripples through our lives, often more than once.”

Meriel accepted the diamond offered in the woman’s hand.

“You must decide where you are, child, how long you will stay there, what you are willing to endure, and whether you are brave enough to risk love and hold it in your heart.” She touched Meriel’s shoulder and left her to her dreams.

At dawn, Meriel scaled the stone steps leading to the island’s grassy cliffs. Her arms rose to her sides. Love’s song, the song of the sea, her own song blended to fill the patient silence of the stones. The tides surged in her blood. Her heart pounded against the sheer walls with the waves, and her eyes filled with light. Love spiraled, descended, and alighted around her. The mist lifted, and as a warm wind bent the grass, her heart leapt without fear from the edge of the precipice into the rising sun.

***

A modified snippet from my Dragon Soul series. I hope you enjoyed it.

In response to Sue Vincent’s alluring photo prompt. She posts her prompts on Thursdays if you want to join in.

I apologize for my absence from visiting your blogs. I spend a few days caring for my mom while my dad was hospitalized. All better now. Stay safe and take good care of yourselves. ❤

122 thoughts on “Otherworldly #Writephoto

  1. Beautiful excerpt, Diana! Sorry to hear about your dad, but glad to hear he’s doing better. I hear you about not writing; for some reason it seems tough these days, and what I do manage feels lacking somehow. More practice needed, I suspect 🙂

    Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Julie. My dad is home now and doing fine. 🙂 I’m getting good at this old-people stuff. 🙂 Yeah, writing continues to be tough, but I’m plugging away at it! I’m determined to get through the big drafts by the end of June. Then polishing and beta, etc. I hope your garden is providing some respite. 🙂 Be well, my friend.

      Like

  2. BriN says:

    The snippet was enchanting to read!! Missed your posts! X

    https://citygirlsdance.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damyanti Biswas says:

    Wonderful one. Hope they are both okay and you are taking care of yourself as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Damyanti. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It’s from my first series and very dear to my heart. 🙂 And my parents are hanging in there. This is a really hard time for the elderly and the only time I get to see them is when they’re sick. Ugh. Take good care of yourself. Be well.

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  4. markbierman says:

    A wonderful message about loving in all circumstances, I’m glad your father is at home now. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the visit, Mark, and for the kind comment about the snippet. Yes, loving even when its hard is a powerful exercise in healing. My dad is home and doing okay. His illness gave me an opportunity to see him and my mom! Be well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “The stones hold the silence of time.” What a sentiment! We sense that intuitively, I think — the mystical properties of stone, the history of time they contain in their dense lithic matter. It’s the reason why, I imagine, we celebrate stone in both our legends (from Stonehenge to the philosopher’s stone) and our popular fictions, from Outlander (the standing stones at Craigh na Dun) to Indiana Jones (the mystical Sankara stones). It’s the reason why diamonds are the hopeful symbol of marriage, of eternal love, as you’ve demonstrated in Meriel’s story here.

    Beautiful work, Diana. You are an enviably gifted writer, as keen with a turn of phrase as you are insightful about the human spirit. Best to you for continued health…

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely comment, Sean. The stones in my yard are millions of years old. 🙂 Isn’t that cool? I like stones, their constancy and quiet as opposed to the beautiful sea that is full of movement and sound. We need both, externally and internally. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the snippet. It’s from my first series and still dear to my heart. You left me with a big smile this evening. Be well as NY continues to lead the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Erica/Erika says:

    Hi Diana, The photo does make me wonder about possibilities on the other side of now. Powerful words describing the stones and the silence. I can feel Meriel’s emotions. The paragraph speaking about love gave me goosebumps. “You are everywhere” seeped into my pores. This “snippet” is exceptionally beautiful and wise. It is as if you are speaking directly from your soul. I have only recently met you and Wow! I am very sorry about the challenges with your parents. Huge hugs. I genuinely wish I could wave a magic wand. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the beautiful and kind comment, Erika. This little bit of writing was from my first series and is still dear to my heart. A number of my books have wise old women (I guess I’m aspiring. Lol). My parents are in their upper 80s, and its been a challenging 18 months of daily or weekly care and frequent medical emergencies. But I’m actually fine with the demands (I moved them near me in September and that made a huge difference). Thank you for the huge hugs! I can feel them. And I’m sending them right back at you. Be well, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful photo prompt by Sue, Wonderful passage by you Sending you warm hugs as you take care of your parents during this incredibly stressful time. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Pam. It has been challenging, but the place where my parents live has been accommodating. And I’m very careful. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet too. 🙂 Thanks for the warm hugs, my friend. Sending them your way too. ❤

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  8. inese says:

    Love your Dragon books, Diana. Glad to hear your parents are better. Stay safe ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Inese, for the lovely comment.My dad is doing okay and I haven’t been writing at all! Such a strange time. I miss your posts and photos and hope you’re doing well, staying safe, and finding ways to be creative. ❤

      Like

  9. Yes, I did enjoy this snippet. I felt uplifted by the last paragraph. My favorite line was “There is no song without silence.” I’ve never thought of music that way, but of course it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for circling back, Liz. Lol. I appreciate the lovely comment. Yes, music is a collaboration between silence and sound, both essential, for our minds and spirits as well. 🙂 ❤ Be well.

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  10. A wonderful story that resonated, Diana! It made me want to listen harder to the stones and sea…
    I’m glad your Dad is back home, it’s such a precarious time for all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kim. I took my dad for a follow-up this morning and all is well, though he feels very weak. We’re hanging in there. And I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet. Yes, all the beautiful sounds are set to a backdrop of silence, or they wouldn’t be. I hope you get to enjoy the sea-songs when it stops raining. 🙂 Be well, my friend.

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  11. This story hit the spot today, Diana. Thanks for sharing some light so richly shone in the backdrop of darkness. Well told. Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Sheri. There are so many people putting themselves at risk these days, for strangers, giving of their full hearts. It gives me hope. Stay positive and take good care of yourself. A couple years and this will be over. 😀

      Like

  12. Jan Sikes says:

    This is such a beautiful piece of writing! Wow! So much wisdom shared. I’m glad your dad is doing better. It’s difficult at any time to deal with an illness, but even more so during this pandemic. Take Care!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. As always, a gorgeous piece of writing! It’s filled with soul, and the message (to always love as hard as you can) is fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant story Diana always love the way you write and the picture too was awesome. Sorry to hear about your Dad. Hope all good with him. Take care. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kamal. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. My dad is at home and doing well. Even though it was terrible to see him so sick, I did get to see him! And my mom. This lockdown has been hard on them. Have a lovely week and be well. 🙂

      Like

  15. J.D. Riso says:

    Achingly beautiful words, Diana. And words that mirror so perfectly my own feelings of the past few days.

    “Offer your diamonds always, Meriel. Offer them when they are rejected; offer them when they are perceived as valueless rocks; offer them when it hurts you to do so, when you tremble in pain, when your wounds gape open and bleed.”

    Yes. Discern who is worthy of your precious diamond, who won’t toss it aside or take it for granted. But never harden your heart.

    Very sorry to hear your dad was in the hospital. Take care, dear one.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for the beautiful comment, JD. And wise advice about caring for our hearts. When I worked as a counselor with struggling families, it was occasionally hard to “love” some of my clients, but without it, healing was so much harder. In a way, I’ve learned to do both. Thanks for starting my day with a smile. Stay well and have a lovely week full of gifts. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann Coleman says:

    That part of your story was beautiful and hopeful! Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad to hear that you dad is doing better now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ann. My parents’ health has been up and down, and things are back to “normal” once again. And thank you for the kind comment about the post. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Have a lovely week and take good care of yourself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Teri Polen says:

    This was beautiful, and so hopeful. Hope your Dad is doing better, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dad’s home now, Teri. Thanks for asking. 🙂 And I’m glad you enjoyed this snippet. It seemed to fit the prompt, so I went for it! I hope you’re doing well and getting used to this strange time. Stay safe and have a peaceful week. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. acflory says:

    I thought it sounded familiar! Sage advice but oh so hard to follow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. kevin cooper says:

    Another one I’m going to have to read later. 🙂 I don’t think anyone need apologise for life’s toll… Especially during these uncertain times. Stay safe and well, Diana. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not blogging as much as I used to Kevin. Just distracted and feeling off at times. But I always love it went we get a chance to connect. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comment. Take care, my friend. ❤

      Like

  20. Steven Baird says:

    Beautiful writing, Diana. I hope everything is okay now. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steven. All back to “normal” for now. 🙂 It was something navigating the hospital system in the time of a pandemic. Wonderful people throughout. And I’m glad you enjoyed this snippet. Your comments are always appreciated. ❤ Be well, my friend.

      Like

  21. Very lovely piece D. I’m looking forward to the Dragon Soul series…when I get my TBR pile down a bit! Hope your dad is ok?
    Look after yourself, lovely one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jess. This series is very sweet – no blood and guts and destruction. Just warning you. Ha ha. And my dad is home. Both parents’ health is up and down, so I’m on call at all times. It’s fine with me. Hope you’re doing well and maybe doing a little writing. Lol. ❤

      Like

  22. dgkaye says:

    Interesting piece of writing from this photo and from your prior work, yet so fitting with the now Diana. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I hope your dad is okay!
    This is a beautiful piece, Diana. It correlates with our lives now and how if we open our hands (and hearts) to hope love will prevail. ❤
    Keep safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dad is home, Jacquie. It was three days of busy-ness, hurry up and wait, but all set. And thank you for the lovely comment about the snippet. Yes, a time to offer open hearts, love and kindness. I hope you’re well and taking good care of yourself and your loved ones. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  24. A wonderful story Diana, gorgeous writing as always. I stopped by earlier but wasn’t able to comment in the amazing piece. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow! Sharing and just downloaded “Myths of the Mirror” to my kindle. ❤ Stay safe, stay well and take good care of you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I still love this series the best. When you reread it, it’s like coming home. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Beautiful writing Diana. Hope your dad is better now. It’s a worrying time, take care, stay safe and well. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Marje. Yes, he’s home and doing well. It is a worrying time and we all are doing the best we can considering. I hope you are staying healthy and weathering the isolation well. Have a peaceful week. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, not doing to badly all things considered. More worried about my youngest daughter who is anxious and my dad who is coughing. Each day seems to bring new things to worry about. Trying to keep calm. Take care. Wishing you a peaceful week too. x

        Liked by 1 person

        • There’s definitely an underlying anxiety, especially for those of us with elderly parents. I hope your dad’s cough is nothing to worry about. Your poor daughter must be a sensitive soul. My best to your whole family. ❤

          Like

  28. Beautiful writing Diana! I was sorry to read you had a parent in hospital again. I hope all goes well with both of them now. It’s a tough time to be negotiating with elderly parents. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • All back to “normal” now, Pauline. Navigating the hospital was a bit of a challenge, but they were all wonderful and I don’t mind everyone being careful with my 89 year-old dad. I got to stay with my mom for 3 days to care for her and she LOVED that! Ha ha. So all good in the end. Thanks so much for the kind comment, Pauline, and I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet. BTW, my husband was reading about NZ this morning and it’s good to hear how well you are all doing. Stay safe and positive, my friend. Have a beautiful week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  29. This is such a beautiful passage, Diana. I love the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    I loved this and added it to my TBR list. Glad to hear all is well with your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, DL. It’s a much gentler story than my usual blood and guts and mass destruction. Lol. If you ever get to it, I hope you enjoy it. And thank you regarding my parents’ health. It’s always up and down and this time we were back in the hospital. All okay now though. Stay safe and have a peaceful week full of sunshine. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Such beautiful writing Diana. I really loved the “offer your diamonds always” passage. A very wise lesson on unconditional love…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m glad to hear that your parents are doing better. I realize it’s a long-term thing, looking after ageing parents, and always a worry. We’re going through some of the same. So far, so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear that things are going well on your end, Anneli. The lockdown on the elderly is going to last a while, and the isolation couldn’t be worse for that population. But we can only do our best. Thanks for the visit and have a safe and peaceful week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Sue Vincent says:

    Such a beautiful passage, Diana. Thank you for sharing it.

    I’m glad your father is doing beter now.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. What a wonderful story, Diana. “The stones hold the silence of time.”–and they do! We have stones here on earth 3.5-4 billion years old! If they could talk about their time. Or if we could understand what they were saying… Thank you for this wonderful cerebral journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! A prehistoric fiction writer would get it, for sure. Thanks for the great comment, Jacqui. This is actually a snippet from a chapter about ancient cave drawings. You must have a sixth sense. Thanks for the visit and stay safe, my friend. ❤

      Like

  35. What a beautiful story Diana. I have just enough love in my heart to believe in its lessons. May more of us be willing to offer diamonds of love no matter the world’s response or situation. I’m glad you’ve been able to see and help your parents. My mom is having a hard time with isolation too.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Hello, Diana, first my best to you and your family, mine are doing okay here in England. Your writing – within a few lines you’d taken me to another place, a rare gift, gratefully received. Take care out there as always. Eric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind comment, Eric. I’m glad you enjoyed this. And so happy that you and your family is doing well. This is such a hard time for so many. Keep up the good work and this virus will eventually be put behind us. Take care of yourself and have a lovely week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Silent Hour says:

    It’s wonderful, Diana!

    And I am glad to hear your mum and dad are fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. memadtwo says:

    Wise words, simple and yet so very difficult to live. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading, Kerfe. I wrote this one about 10 years ago, and it seemed to fit the beautiful prompt. Yes, hard to life and I rarely manage it. Lol. I hope you’re well and staying safe. Have a peaceful, healthy week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  39. “The stones hold the silence of time.”

    A haunting little line that could actually be part of a larger story. This was a good story and great response to the prompt.

    Be safe. Stay inspired.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. What a moving piece, fits the image perfectly.
    “The stones hold the silence of time” – I love this. I can hear the stones keep their silence and I can hear them speak as well.

    Hope all will be well with your parents Diana. Best wishes.
    Stay safe. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading, Pat. This image was so evocative, it was nice to share something serene. My parents are home and doing well now, but it was a busy busy few days. I’m glad to be home again and visiting my bloggy friends. 🙂 Be well, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Hi Diana. Ah! I thought it sounded like something from one of your books. This is so beautiful… I feel like I sully it by trying to describe how wonderful it is. Well done, my friend. You’re a diamond. Sharing.
    Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hee hee. You’re so kind, Teagan. You make me blush. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been away from home for a few days, but look forward to catching up on blogs. Be safe and have a peaceful, creative week, my friend. ❤ Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m happy to see that all is well with your parents. I know it had to be exhausting, from stress and physical things, so do take good care of you now.
        I know you support a lot of bloggers. No need to worry about mine. I’ve had some troll issues (and other stressors) last week. So my comments will be closed for the most part. Hopefully a new serial episode Saturday (with comments open), but right now I’m not sure. But it’s a good day here. Hugs back.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just don’t get trolls, Teagan. What’s up with them? What a miserable way to go through life… focused on meanness. UGH. Well, take your time and I look forward to you post, with or without comments. 🙂

          Like

  42. What a beautiful piece, Diana. Thank you for sharing. Oh gosh, I’m sorry to hear about your father, but happy to know he’s okay. I can’t imagine how stressful that must have been as now is not the time you want a loved one making a trip to the hospital. I’ll keep your parents in my prayers. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  43. sjhigbee says:

    So glad to hear your father is on the mend. Stay safe. And thank you for the extract – what beautiful prose…:)

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Tessa Pulyer says:

    The picture inspired such a beautiful and peacefully toned passage from you. Stay well ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tessa. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It’s from my first series, with modifications. It seemed to fist the image. I hope you’re doing well and getting lots of creative time as well as reading time. Be well, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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