I know when I need a dose of goddess Kuan Yin when I start daydreaming about sleeping. Forget the fantasy worlds and story ideas that normally occupy my mind; when I’m truly stressed, I fantasize about nothing more than just being allowed to drop out of my life for days and sleep.
When my life of full time teaching, grad school, and writing become less like surfing and more like surviving a tsunami, then Kuan Yin is always there to remind me to calm down.
Kuan Yin is an east Asian goddess of mercy and peace. I love that word, mercy. When I was a kid, we said mercy to mean we’d had enough of whatever awful thing we were doing to each other. If someone said mercy, you always had to stop the wrestling. Mercy. That’s enough.
Kuan Yin is present when you meditate in silence. Through even just five minutes of daily meditation, she helps you build a moat of sorts between you and the world. She is there in yoga practice, especially a slow Yin session. Kuan Yin is swimming in your cup of hot herbal tea. She cradles you when you take a moment to stare into space, to listen to a piece of music, to notice the wind blowing through a tree. She is in the gentle strength of an excellent masseuse, in the patient listening of a friend, in the beauty of an afternoon nap. She attracts peace and quiet no matter where you are. Kuan Yin is in the quiet spaces all around you right this moment.
Kuan Yin says, you have been working so hard in service to others. Yet without rest you cannot continue in peace and productivity. The world needs your productivity. Take a break.
Kuan Yin says, have mercy. That’s enough.
THE ARROW is a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s IndieFab Best Fantasy Book of the Year. There is a goddess in it.