“I’ve never been inclined to make New Year’s wishes or resolutions. I’m not exactly sure why. I guess I don’t want to soften my allegiance to what is.” —J. Fuller
Miraculous things have accompanied the publication of Guest House.
Thirty years ago, I gave a ring with the inscription Nying Ru to my ex-boyfriend Jeff. He was departing soon to become a monk. Nying Ru means “heart bone,” in direct translation from the Tibetan, a strong perseverance, determination, and courage in the face of challenges. I wanted to offer him protection, even if from a great distance. I knew his true heart; I hoped he would follow it like a bloodhound through fog. We were so young and unformed. I couldn’t go forward with him. I marked his going forward with that ring.
Last October, the cover image for Guest House eluded me. What should have been a great pleasure hunt after the right look, only kicked up clouds of ego and despair. An email came. From Jeff, on Facebook, after thirty years. Never having read my book, he sent the cover art. He chose a shot of a farmhouse so like Melba Burns’ home I cried. And he chose it heart red. I blushed. Our emails grew frequent and when time came to edit the cover, alter the typeface, add this or that, I declined all new versions. “You don’t edit a love poem from the universe,” I said. Jeff agreed.
So he gave a cover and I gave a ring. He found the Nying Ru ring in two minutes, after carrying it around for thirty years unworn. He said it “slid like a bolt home” on his ring finger. That was last April, when the universe started nudging Jeff toward finding me. They (Jeff and the universe) waited until I was single, happy, self-reliant and ready to publish a book—my heart’s sole desire. Then the cover arrived, and I saw it was more than a book.
P.S. The original title of my novel was "Finding the Right Distance."