Communion Of Dreams


“I was speechless for a time.”

We got a little more than 2″ of rain yesterday.

On my walk this morning, the grass no longer crunched underfoot.

* * * * * * *

Got a note from a friend this morning. He’d just finished reading CoD last night, made this comment:

“That was one hell of a lot of keeping things straight on your part. Very nice job and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”

* * * * * * *

From almost a decade ago:

My awareness shifted, slowed, and a calmness and sense of peace came over me.  I did a cursory examination of the cottage, but then walked behind the Well room to find the source of the stream which fed the pool there:  it was a spring, unencumbered by metal bars, bubbling up in a stone-ledged pool complete with small steps, perhaps four feet across.  I knelt on one knee, left hand on the cold stone slab, the right reaching down to caress the surface of the water.  Just touching that water gave me an electric chill, and brought tears to my eyes.  Those tears have returned as I write this.  I paused there, and just felt the joy of that water through my fingers for a few minutes, before returning to the Well room.

This is a substantial room, all the walls mostly intact but the roof missing.  Perhaps 15 feet on a side, the pool in the center 8 or 9 feet across.  Again, there were stone steps leading down into the pool.  In the thick stone walls are several niches for sitting, perfect for contemplation.  I sat.  I just felt that place, felt the faith and devotion that had shaped it, and the deep source that fed it.  The pool is quiet, the surface a mirror for looking up into the open sky.  After what was probably only a few minutes, but what felt like hours, I again kneeled, reaching down to touch that smooth inviting surface.  Here there was a different character to the energy, less raw, perhaps easier to digest.  A sense of communion with all the souls who had entered that pool.  A moment that stretched back centuries.

I was speechless for a time.  Alix (my wife) knows me well enough, has seen me in these moments before, that she let me be, allowed me to just experience the place, until I was filled and ready to move again.  With the silky texture of worn stone sliding under my fingers, I rose and left the pool, pausing only to pat the dark stone of the doorway and give thanks.

In was in that moment that St. Cybi’s Well was conceived.

* * * * * * *

It’s a strange thing to write a novel. To have it churn inside you for years. To feel it gestate, to become heavy in your mind, slowly pushing aside everything else.

I think this is part of the reason why so many writers suffer with addiction and relationship problems of one sort or another. The book takes up all the space in your head. And if you can’t extract it at the right time, and in *just* the right way, it hurts. It hurts like hell.

* * * * * * *

We got a little more than 2″ of rain yesterday.

On my walk this morning, the grass no longer crunched underfoot. We’re still in a drought — still some 10″ under for total precipitation this year — but two inches of rain over the course of 24 hours has helped. A lot. It no longer feels as if the entire outdoors is holding its breath, hanging on in anticipation . . . and in worry. The world has sighed.

I was speechless for a time. I am no longer.

There is work to be done. Hard work. There is no guarantee that I’ll be successful. There certainly is no guarantee that anyone will like the book. While it is very much a prequel to Communion of Dreams, St. Cybi’s Well will not neatly fit in the usual framework of a classic science fiction story. The passage above should give you some sense of that.

But I have to be faithful to the story. And have faith in my fans.

Stick around.

Jim Downey

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