Approaching the Finished, Formatted Text for Visits With Angels: A Mystic’s Journal Entries: October 20 - 25, 2010
Image: Diana's new photo of the angel at Sage Chapel, before she alters it for the new cover of Visits With Angels.
Wednesday, October 20
JF took me to see Richard Nowogrodzki this afternoon. It was the first time Richard and I had seen each other since his cancer was diagnosed so many months ago.
He had received a round of chemotherapy earlier in the day. By the time we arrived, Richard had already started experiencing the usual fever and chills following his chemotherapy sessions. As he stood in the doorway to greet us, I could see how very transparent he has become, after so many months of medical treatment and purification.
The last time I had seen him, through my clairvoyant eyes he had looked simply terrible - very grey and worn, old ... Today, he looked young again, clear and slightly tinged with pink, i.e. the color of love. When I say “young again”, I mean only in the sense that the grey was gone, his soul quality was once again fresh and new... And as I wrote in the preceding paragraph, he was more transparent than ever. This is difficult to describe, but when the soul is working very hard and the body is physically weak - a very special, radiant and clear Beauty comes through us.
Of course Richard and I love each other very much. So undoubtedly, at least in part, his Light and transparency was also because he was happy to see me. And as we smiled at each other, from our separate sides of the doorway, that Love became very tangible. Our moments together today were even more precious because one day not so far away we will be standing on opposite sides of a different Door, a Door separating our realms.
We sat down next to each other on the living room couch, Janet nearby in a comfortable chair. Richard had prepared a plate with crackers and cookies, a sliced apple ... At one point Richard looked out the front window at a tree blazing with color, the sun shining through - and he waved his hand at it, remarking on its beauty ...
Typed in the corrections to the Interview section, and sent the files to Diana. After meditation and class we went to Friendly’s to talk. More footnote woes.
A cold clear night; a rainbow surrounding the almost full moon; the moon almost blinding against the black sky ...
Thursday, October 21
Terrible news today from Diana: she lost most of her new work and managed to save only half of the completed Section II. She was working late into the night trying to straighten out footnotes & somehow hit the wrong computer key. I wrote her back and said We Meet in Dreams will have end notes following each chapter, instead of footnotes.
Diana also sent me the new photograph she will be using for the updated cover of Visits With Angels. She must have found someone with both a telephoto lens and a tripod. Her main concern seemed to be that the initial photograph was out of focus - an effect which I rather liked. In any case, I am interested to see how she alters this new photograph. It feels as though we are each, in our own way, scrambling to pull the various pieces together for publication - juxtaposed with Diana’s very slow and laborious work as she grapples with the software. Looked at it another way, a snail and the hare both in one person, i.e. Diana - while I mainly look on. When her work is done I will be scrambling myself, to reproof the entire book before she goes back to Dallas. The half point of her visit comes this weekend, and even though we continue to discuss We Meet in Dreams - I doubt we will begin working on it while she is still here.
Friday, October 22
An e-mail from Diana:
I meant to tell you that while I was formatting the story "Anna's Angels" on Wednesday night, something odd happened.
In the interview, as Anna is telling you about her angel, you say, "I can feel your angel. I am burning up, very hot."
As I pasted these words down onto the page, my eyes started burning. Your next line in the interview says, "And now my eyes are starting to tear." Anna replies, "When I feel the presence of my angel, my eyes fill with tears."
Oddly, my eyes started feeling a burning sensation BEFORE I read the lines about the effect of the angel on yours and Anna's eyes. It's happening right now too!!
Angels At Work !!! ”
Anna’s angel is very powerful; I remember that as I typed our interview into the computer I started burning with heat again, just as I had during my interview with Anna. I wonder how many people reading the book will experience the same burning & tears ...
Diana also sent me all of Sections I and II fully formatted and ready to proof. Printed the pages up, briefly flipped through them and immediately found three errors that need correction: page number problems, two blank pages, and a missing sentence. E-mailed Diana, congratulated her on her work - and gave her the corrections.
Now to start reproofing the book, from the very beginning.
An e-mail from Richard, with his newest poem, The Early Ones:
The Early Ones
As the nights get cold,
a few bold trees show their blazing colors
before any of the others.
And on many trees, a few brave individual leaves
are the first to show their oranges, yellows, and reds.
These leaves are the pioneers, the trail blazers,
the heroic ones.
Do they long for winter, yearn for their fluttering release flights?
But they are the ones that bear the brunt of the first frosts,
and perhaps they shield some of their neighbors
from icy winds for a few extra days.
They sparkle in the cool sunlight.
I bow to those who go before,
who travel early through that door.
Saturday, October 23
This afternoon, D. sent all of Section III, formatted. Added it to the pile. I’ll take it all to Windgarth tomorrow and hopefully get obsessed enough to finish it.
Sunday, October 24
A beautiful threatening to rain day, the autumn colours deep and rich in the muted light. Some trees are brilliant yellow, others flames of red. M. & I had a brief disagreement over whether autumn was past prime or not. I said not past prime, the colours are more vivid than ever. M. agreed the colours were more vivid than before, but said past prime since some trees were now bare of leaves. We left it unresolved, each of us quite set - or mired - in our own view.
Windgarth is ready for our next set of renters, Jamee has already cleaned. It is always strange to see the house with everything put away, my pens and inks and notebooks, our clothes and shoes - no flowers in the vases, no food on the table, no cups on the counters ... All that makes Windgarth our home temporarily gone back into cupboards or onto shelves in the basement or taken back to Ithaca.
The big notebook with the newly formatted Sections I-III of the Angels book is upstairs on the table waiting for me. First I will gaze at the lake, while M. takes her walk.
Corrections and more corrections. Formatting always causes mistakes, it is unavoidable. Footnotes, sentences missing or misplaced, paragraphs repeated or deleted, entire chapters repeated or missing, misplaced. Deled commas, added or subtracted words or phrases, added or subtracted a capital here and there; made notes for Diana about misplaced or repeated paras and chapters. The pristine manuscript now decorated in blue pen.
When I came to the section on traditional prayers to angels, reading through the prayers threw me into deep meditations that were not only difficult to come out of - but I was unwilling to leave them, they were so beautiful ... So my editing work came to a long standstill.
M. returned from her walk eventually, and I finished that section and continued on, not daring to reread it.
It is now more than twelve hours later, and Sections I - III - everything Diana has sent me - are done.
Tomorrow either Diana will be formatting Section IV - or we will be typing all the corrections I made today into the manuscript. Some of the corrections will require discussion and decisions, and some will require Diana to make changes in the formatting. Undoubtedly there will be more widows and orphans, and we will just have to solve the problems as they arise. There are more corrections than I had anticipated, and some of them will create problems with the automatic system Diana is using. However, all in all we are reaching the finish line and the end is in sight.
Monday, October 25
Diana sent me all of Section IV, formatted. I will correct those pages now. She must have worked on it yesterday and this morning. She also wrote and said that she had added folios to all the sections. Folios are the section titles put at the bottom of the right hand pages, in a smaller font, so that the reader knows where they are in the book.
In some ways I think this volume is Diana’s greatest work, especially in terms of formatting the text. In this book she added folios and subsection title pages and graphics; the text looks splendid laid out on the pages. Diana would rather do graphics than format a book, but she does such a beautiful job ... I never wanted to write these books, I would rather be giving concerts or composing or painting - but there you are: we do the work in front of us and trust it is the right thing to be doing. From our vantage point, unless we are fully Enlightened, very little makes sense really. We all have to trust that the soul knows what the personality does not - and that somehow it all lines up in the end, the personality, the soul, and God flowing through the soul ...
As the pages were printing, I glanced at the very last page of this little book, the final sentences:
May we all walk on the stars, always.
May we all remember that this realm
is but fleeting and others are eternal,
and even while incarnate here on Earth
we can live with God in higher realms.
And I thought: all the work, and the entire book, are worthwhile, just for those final sentences.
Diana just left, we were working downstairs for some hours today and tonight, putting my corrections into her computer files.
They are all in, and the book is 185 pages long.
Every single correction, no matter how insignificant, holds the danger of knocking all the following formatting out of kilter. So it was very exciting work. Diana set up her computer on the kitchen table and I sat facing the fireplace, a few feet from her, my big notebook almost next to her computer and various manilla file folders with my corrections arranged nearby. She was more or less glued to her computer and screen, I to my sheets of corrections. And there we sat until M. came home from work. We took a break for some hours and then Diana returned and we worked to the end of the book, one correction at a time.
Towards the end of Section III, three pages had to be deleted because two stories had been placed in the text twice. I, of course assumed this would be an easy task. However, Diana sat frozen in front of her computer screen, reluctant - if not terrified - to try any of the various ways she could delete them, for fear that the formatting for the rest of the book would be thrown into unmatched and irretrievable chaos. I finally said “Save your work, then you can always go back. I’m sending angels”. Eventually she took a deep breath and plunged in. After that crisis had passed, we went to get something to eat, and took the few remaining strands with us: to decide on pulled quotes for one story, to solve the empty page problem caused by the three deleted pages; strategy for the final finishing touches. Diana decided she would make a new title page and angel for the Formal Prayers section. Remembered that I had found a section of formatted text that had spacing problems that we had not gone over earlier in the day.
Came home and searched my manilla folders for the section with the spacing problems; found it; Diana corrected the text. Then she went page by page through the formatted text, changing the folios from left page to right page, because of the three deleted pages. It was well after 1 a.m. when she finally stood up.
What a day.
Tomorrow Diana will send me the pages we worked on today, and I will reproof them one last time. She still has the covers, the Table of Contents, the new title page and angel - and the end pages to finish.
And then the little volume called Visits With Angels will be done.