Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life

A Birthing Rain – MEADOWLARK’s Book Launch

15 Comments

Meadowlark card

Meadowlark card, from Rachel Bighley

 

Meadowlark

Meadowlark

A birthing rain continued to bring Meadowlark into the world throughout the morning of the book launch, just as rain heralded a birth in the novel:

           Grace woke to a slow, soaking spring rain. Thunder cracked and lightening laced the sky. She lay in bed and studied the way her nightgown rose steeply over the mound of her belly. Mae had been by for a visit ten days ago and said the baby could come at any time. With another loud clap from the storm clouds, the baby within startled and abruptly straightened its legs. Tiny feet kicked Grace right below her ribs. She smiled and rubbed where she felt the kick…Rain continued throughout the day as her abdomen tightened then relaxed, keeping pace with the thunderclaps. 

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

In the previous decade, I’ve thought a lot about the moment when Meadowlark would come into the world. Oftentimes, it felt that I was, as Don Quixote sings in Man of La Mancha, dreaming the Impossible Dream. Other times, I could visualize with crystal clearness.

What I never grasped, though, was the reality of the feeling in the room when it actually happened. The event was better than my wildest hopes and dreams, because of the people who filled the room. 

You read in writing books to “trust the process” of the publication of a book. When one is deep into rejections, one doesn’t necessarily embrace this idea. In fact, one might even like to drop-kick this idea right out the window. And by one, I mean me. 

As I stood in Collected Works Bookstore this past Saturday and looked out onto who had gathered for Meadowlark, what I felt was bone- and heart-deep gratitude that Meadowlark had followed exactly the journey that it had. Without the journey unfolding along its own path, this moment would not have been possible. I treasured each and every presence there, and marveled at the array of experiences and life paths woven throughout us all – my parents, my husband, our children, students, colleagues, and dear friends spanning more than 30 years of friendship.

The presences in the room moved between the veil between the worlds. “This room is filled with spirits,” my friends, Susan and Heidi, in the front row told me. “We felt them as soon as we came in.” 

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

I begin readings and presentations with honoring the writing rhythms of Terry Tempest Williams by including a glass of water, representing invisible transformation occurring, and by lighting a candle, as does Isabel Allende, to invite the spirits to join.

“I haven’t even lit the candle yet,” I said.

“Well, they’re already here.”

Of course they are, I thought. They’ve been here all along, as I wrote this book. The veil continues to thin.

Our son, Luke, took a video of the first few minutes of MEADOWLARK’s Reading:

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

Meadowlark, Collected Works, Photo © SFCC

With Mom at the signing. Photo © SFCC

With Mom at the signing. Photo © SFCC

Meadowlark, Photo by Casey Applegate-Aguilar

Meadowlark, Photo by Casey Applegate-Aguilar

I woke in the middle of the night and wrote:

2:00 am and all asleep. The birthing rain continues to fall. 
The book launch for MEADOWLARK was beyond my wildest hopes, a celebration of friends, family, and story. I included photos to bring life to the land and context of the prairie and on the ranch. As I spoke, read, and looked out onto the faces of the people gathered—my heart filled to overflowing with love. Thank you and thank you to those who shared this time together. You created magic.
With love, 
Dawn

A video I made for you about the book launch and a brief reading aloud: 

What I have learned is that while writing itself is a solitary experience, the writing life is one of deep community. What brings the story to life are relationships. Without these relationships—between author and reader, reader and story, story and life—the story remains trapped and flat on the pages. It is the relationship that lifts the story from the single dimension of the pages and gives it color, life, dimensionality, roots, and wings.

From my heart, thank you.

***

A huge heart-felt thanks to Laura Mulry, Luke Wink-Moran, Casey Applegate-Aguilar, and Sharman King for providing the photos of this day. 

With Sharman King, photographer extraordinaire.

With Sharman King, photographer extraordinaire.

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Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the beauty and tensions of language, culture, and place.

15 thoughts on “A Birthing Rain – MEADOWLARK’s Book Launch

  1. Pingback: Dewdrops Birthday | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. One of my favorite parts of your talk was the reference to the thinning veil…as a kindred spirit I know exactly what you meant.

    “There was a door to which I had no key, there was a veil through which I could not see…” O. Khayyam

    • Dear Priscilla, Yes, the thinning veil. That has been such a mysterious and wonderful part of this journey. Even yesterday, I received an email with news about how the veil continues to thin in ways that I had no idea. I love the O. Khayyam quote. I hadn’t read that. Thank you so much for this gift.

  3. Love the photos. I’m so proud of you and you look great

  4. Oops, spirited. I was not able to play the videos?

  5. I’m so glad I could be there Dawn! It was fun to see you in action! After 30 years…..30 years, my, my, when you said we were 15 when we last saw each other, 30 years did not click in my mind. It seems like yesterday in a way. You look as good now as you did then. Your heart felt presentation brought tears to my eyes three times! I identify with the struggle and the woman that wants to remember the free sprited girl she once was.
    So good to reconnect with you and your mom & dad, plus to meet your family.
    Thank you, thank you……

    • Dear Rachel, Oh, thank you ever so much for coming to share in all. Yes, 30 years…. Can you even believe it?! I was so grateful to share this time with you. Yes, the woman who wants to remember the free-spirited girl she once was… Yes, and yes. Thank you so very much for creating space to share this time together, dear Rachel. Love, love, Dawn

  6. It was certainly a glorious event for all those wonderful reasons you mentioned…and don’t forget the boots!!!!! Seriously, you “trusted the process” and the trust was honored. Congratulations Dawn!
    Barb

    • Hey dear Barb, Thank you so much for coming to share in the festivities! And yes, the boots! I think it was all about the boots and the spirits! Yes, and what a life lesson to learn to trust the process. Wow….grateful, grateful. Hugs to you! Dawn

  7. Dawn, that brought tears to my eyes. So glad your launch went well. How could it not, with all those spirits in the room? 🙂 There are many of us who’ve written books who have never had a launch like that—that’s the way birthing a book should be. Hope Meadowlark has a long, long life. Best from Texas, bobbi c.

    • Dear Bobbi, I sit here with the full moon and lamp shining softly and reading your words. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect. I loved….”How could it not, with all those spirits in the room?” Yes and yes. 🙂 Thank you so much for your wishes for Meadowlark. What a blessing to share this journey with you. Hugs, Dawn

  8. And what a lovely time we all had, dear Dawn, listening to you read and looking at the slides that helped to bring your beautiful words to life. Thank you for the wonderful experience. I’m sure your other presentations will be as enthusiastically received. Good show!

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