How could I have known what blue whales of wonder and wisdom would breach the waters of these quests? How could I have known, in spite of so much dread, so much desperation, what golden fountains would spout their titillating trunks of light upon my curls? Mountains dressed for winter. Lakes frozen and sleeping. Cottages blinking lamplight and steam. Hibiscus blossoms and koa breath. Gates o’ Golden. Cascades of river and fir. Moonlight. Orchestras of seafaring stars. Sirius A. Sirius B. The Pleiades smiling upon me. The Gothic spires of time. The supernal eye of London. The pure, unblemished energy of history pulsating on cobblestone streets. Pregnant clouds foaming silver. Olive trees perched over the green, green valley. Fog twirling like milk froth. Solitude. Enough solitude to satiate the deepest levels of psychic longing. Enough solitude to give me back to myself. Stone walls a thousand years old. Brunelleschi’s Dome heaving marble and gold over the terra cotta locks of Florence. Wine straight from the vineyard. Homemade pizza, capricciosa to be exact. Fondue dips. Sleepy hikes. Contemplating the Monsumanno Sun from the Alto. Qi gong in the yard. The North Sea. The Mediterranean. Underground raves. And donkey brays. Chickens clucking in the pen. Wood pulp full of symbolic hallucination. Journals full of heart, and private intimacy. The guttural jostling of spirit splashed in ink. The dim dim shadows of being scrawled on the walls. The demons. The spiders. The cobwebs and unturned depths. There is something old and tired circling the drain, making space for something new and anxious. Nine months of dreams, dreams, dreams. Shifting course. Following the soul. Always following. Had I known what was to come I’d have swallowed my dread and sent myself, rucksack pregnant with the bare essentials, on my way. Alas some things are best left to mystery. Best left to blossom on their own accord. And surely there are blanks only you can fill. But what fun would it be to read the book before the story even begins?