Conversations with Jane and Julia

William Blake


Conversation/interview with Julia Ferrari and Jane Noyes (winter MMXIII) PART 2

Jane: How have you been,  and how is your blog project?

Julia: I’ve been thinking, that’s got to be my future, connecting with other people, having people want to work here, be here with me, making projects together. So it’s sort of—it is that opening door that lets people know that it even exists! Otherwise… A friend of Dan’s, Harry Norris, said to me once (he was Dan’s best friend), I told him once that Dan and I were partners and we were everything together and he said, “Well now, Julia, you have to be partners with the world.”

Jane: That’s a great way of putting it.

Julia: Yeah! And it kind of helped put things in perspective and that’s how I look at it; that’s how I look at the blog.

Jane: Well, it seems like it’s a little bit of a gift to Dan somehow or another. It’s you into the future. You can’t take away what you had. It’s just some sort of a continuation, in another mode. It’s great.

Julia: And hearing you say that, one of the things that happened to me yesterday when I was looking at the pictures of Dan in our youth when we were doing these crazy things, and I was listening to some music too, in particular some music that Dan and I liked to listen to together. It was Native American music, which he was particularly fond of, and I had, —you know, when someone dies you have these moments of incredible… emotions. Just incredible emotion that comes over you, right? You’re just overwhelmed by emotion. And I felt this incredible loss … yet what’s happening sometimes is I’m also feeling… I have been feeling and have all along felt— the richness of that time together. I cried, but it made me feel that seeing him there and realizing the briefness of our lives—that every moment counts. Because when you’re there in that moment who would have known, I mean we knew it was a fun, crazy thing to be doing at that festival, but who knew at those moments that that was it? Those were the things… you know?

Jane: Right! You don’t, how would you know? And yet, it’s that— sort of coming later to realize the incredible good fortune that it was.

Julia: Yeah! To look back on a life… is such an astonishing thing. To say, ‘Well this is what happened in that life… these things. Like doing a book together, you know. And you kind of are aware of that happening to some extent, in the moment…

Jane: You can, kind of, in your head.

Julia: But not in your heart quite the same.

Jane: That’s only going to come later.

Julia: Yeah. And so it really makes me sharpen up about what I’m doing here and now, it gives me that sort of impetuous, that little push. Because this is it, you know?… however many years I have left.

Jane: Right, right. And when you’ve lived enough life, and had enough experience including the death of a spouse… the richness and the wisdom… your whole life becomes such a big, rich broth… at twenty, how could it be so … the broth only had an onion peel put into it, you know?

Julia: That’s right. We were just feeling it all and it was exciting, you know? Later, it’s like wow… that was our youth! Another thing happened to me at that moment —(I had been trying to, instead of … well, when you have this sorrow, this emotion, I’ve noticed that the heart constricts somewhat…when I have pain from sorrow, my heart just constricts) and I’ve been trying really hard to open the heart while I’m in the midst of pain and have it relax and open, and I did that intermittently, tried to open the muscles of the heart… and I felt at that moment when I was doing that, when I could feel my heart… I could feel Dan’s heart in my heart. I could feel all the love that existed and exists and is actually in my heart. It’s like that human being’s heart became one with mine. And I didn’t lose everything. I lost his physical being and presence but I still have his heart.

Jane: Which you always will.

Julia: Yeah, I still have this heart. I could feel… I don’t know how to describe it exactly…

Jane: You described it pretty well… I mean, it’s a clear image. And it also has a real visceral feel.

Julia: Yes, it was tangible.

Jane: Tangible, exactly. It’s in the physical realm.

Julia: But I mostly felt it when I was able to open and let go. And that was a struggle… I had to work and work and work at it because I had seen it… I don’t know how other people grieve and cry and feel in the heart, but mine can tighten right up and start to shake. But when, from time to time I’m able to open it… I had the same experience in the shop one time… In the midst of incredible pain missing Dan, being in the shop and just missing him, having a song come on that reminded me of him, being in the very place we worked— just the whole universe… I felt my heart open, and the universe just pour into my heart. And actually in that column that Phil Innes has in his Vermont Views Magazine, that’s the moment I spoke of when I talked about the stars pouring through your heart. That was that moment, standing in the shop, feeling incredible pain and loss but opening to something bigger and feeling it. Opening the heart muscle and the heart, and letting, really, something pour into it like a funnel. So I haven’t been able to do it that often, but I’ve done it like twice at least, and it’s just the opposite of what happens when you condense the heart, in pain…

Jane: And you build on the experience of having had the experience, so don’t you think it will happen again?… I guess it’s kind of a practice too… Wow. I could image the poem that would come from all of that, too.

Julia: Yes… I really should be writing some more poetry.

Jane: It’s probably just fumbling around in there.

Julia: Indeed…

Jane: You are very full; full with all of it.

Julia: Yeah, I feel like I had a really full life.

Jane: Good, and it’s a lot of who you are, and your openness… your awareness… your ability to be aware and your, I guess, your deep sense of all of who you’ve been and the work that you’ve done. You’re in an amazing place.

Julia: I think all the work that we did with our hands was transformative. And, you know, I probably helped tune the intuition; and all the quiet moments and the meditative moments that the work requires helped tune up the human instrument somewhat, I think. And I feel very lucky about that.

Jane: You think of all the work at menial jobs and jobs where you’re not appreciated and jobs that you have to fight for whatever, jobs that are so distracting from living your life… so that’s what the message is, we have to find it wherever we are, whatever our situation.

Julia: Yeah. Really live it fully, is what it is all about. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s just living it fully.

Jane: You are certainly doing that. I am so glad to hear you sounding so much better and real… um… the first word that came to mind was ‘enthusiasm’ but I guess it’s just kind of, you know, you’ve got this past and these passions and these directions that you’re moving… I guess I didn’t expect that because I was so concerned about you, hearing you were so sick and had no heat in the house and I thought, oh no…

Julia: I had to be away for a while and it’s made me sort of have this amazing feeling about being here and when I’m here, in my house, in my shop… it’s made me… it’s helping me, being away and suddenly being able to be back 100% has made me suddenly grounded a little bit where I’m starting to feel like I can see a little bit of the path, and not fear that the path is out there. I’m almost starting to see little glimpses… that’s what’s happening right now… their little glimpses, but they’re glimpses.

Jane: …. Its perspective, isn’t it?

Julia: Right! It gave me a new perspective. It was a little gift.

Jane: And then it meant you had to leave for a while and now to come home to a new rebirth, a new phase…evolving. It’s all good. It’s all good. Well, you do amazing things. I really look forward to looking at your blog and I hope to speak to you again next week!

Julia: Right, yeah! I should think about what time period we should talk about.. it doesn’t matter to me.

Jane: Yeah! Well, you think about it and we’ll just go there. Or find your way there.

Julia: Yeah, that sounds good. Probably the early days would I think be smart, and the reason I would so appreciate doing this with you is … part of  the reasoning why I want to, is because I don’t want to forget all the things that were part of the history of Golgonooza and I only had one other person that knew all those things. It was just me and Dan. Other people knew here and there what we were doing but nobody else knew everything. And I’m afraid that if I don’t somehow remember it and get it down that I will forget things. And that’s the scariest thing I think, for me to worry about forgetting, or just feeling that I’m the only one as the repository of all of that stuff…

Jane: Of course… right. Because half of you is not there.  At the same time, I think the more you remember, the more you tend to learn to remember. You know, people say this all the time… you should write about your childhood and people are like, ‘oh I don’t remember anything’. I always say, because I guess I learned myself… ‘Just start writing’. And it’s amazing what comes back. So it’s the process that helps bring it along, too.

Julia: Exactly… putting pen to paper … or talking.

Jane: Exactly, just getting it out. Not just continuing to keep it in your head… I guess when it’s alone in your head it just sort of sits there and gets encapsulated without always being remembered …

Julia: Right.

Jane: Because that’s when you begin to think you’re going to forget. So we won’t let it be forgotten.

Julia: Well it will be a little bit of a fun endeavor.

Jane: I look forward to it! I’ll call you next Friday at 11 am.

Julia: Good! And at some point if it’s ever appropriate or possible, even if it’s on a different day, we could try sometime doing it in person? I don’t know what that would be like, but we could try it.

Jane: We’ll just see! Talk about it as we go along.

Julia: Alright. Onward and Upward, the Writing of “The Gardens of Golgonooza”!

winter 2013, 1/29/13

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