I was prepared for differences in climate and weather when I moved from one coast to the other, but I didn't know exactly how it would be different. The thing that has surprised me is the wind.
On windy days I go out into the world, and in the places and moments when the wind picks up behind me and pushes into me, I feel so alive. I feel whipped up. Aware. Awake.
I've been trying to put the feeling into words, and reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkold Estés, I came across an idea that resonates with me. Estés (who I just discovered shares my birthday, albeit in 1945) is talking about storytelling, and she says, "The trance teller calls on El duende, the wind that blows soul into the faces of listeners" (20). This line is paired with an end note that says: "El duende is literally the goblin wind or force behind a person's actions and creative life, including the way they walk, the sound of their voice, even the way they lift their little finger. It is a term used in flamenco dance, and is also used to describe the ability to "think" in poetic images. Among latina curanderas who recollect story, it is understood as the ability to be filled with spirit that is more than one's own spirit. Whether one is the artist or one is the watcher, listener, or reader, when el duende is present, one sees it, hears it, reads it, feels it underneath the dance, the music, the words, the art; one knows it is there. When el duende is not present, one knows that too" (519).
I love that feeling.