RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 – self-published, soft-cover, 123 pages
HOW TO BUY: For a personalized copy, order direct from the author by sending $8.00 via Venmo (@Audrey-Dimola). [the BOOK is also available on Amazon, un-personalized but faster shipping!]
“What an astounding book, it’s really like nothing else I have read, it’s like you have created your own unique unrepeatable genre. A new species of book. It’s haunting and powerful and ultimately very affirming. You’ve invented a new way to tell a story in order to tell a story about stories. […] I’ve read books on spiritual topics and the unseen world, […] but your book really stands alone because yours is written from right inside the heat and struggle and agony and ecstasy of the experience of having your life twisted and wrung out and melted down and hammered into a previously unimaginable new shape. It’s so rare and wonderful to see someone writing from that place. For daring to do it.” — ryan brown.
I AM HERE TO ASK YOU, AS MANY OTHERS HAVE ASKED THEIR PEERS AT MANY PAST MOMENTS IN TIME– TO CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. we have lost the value of the individual’s dive into his own psyche– to meet, accept, contend, or commune with whatever wondrous or treacherous existences he finds there. it is not just medication or the media, it is our culture as a whole– burying centuries of our own mythos that could serve as backbone to embolden us through our struggles, buried under constant thrumming noise. what if we accepted the necessary danger in a quest for the inmost self? what if we applied this to radical self-exploration, especially in the context of mental health and mental illness? what truths could be discovered on a brave journey to exalt and reclaim the most wonder-full and worthy hero there is… YOURSELF?
I am so proud to introduce my fourth book, following Decisions We Make While We Dream, TRAVERSALS, and WILDLIGHT… THE BOOK OF LEGEND.
THE BOOK OF LEGEND is about creative recontextualization of life experience through the sacred aliveness in story. It is about self-trust, the intersection of imagination and spirit, and recognizing that YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE in your healing and evolution.
It is personal essay and original mythos penned by Audrey Dimola, NYC-based poetic alchemist whose embrace of LEGEND helped her reclaim her journey from a mental illness diagnosis and years of destructive patterning that nearly claimed her life.
what does LIVING YOUR LEGEND mean? for me, it is a mode of creative recontextualization and reframing that allows you to more freely steer the currents of your life. it is an act of resistance against what we are given, diagnosed, warned against, told– and a stand FOR a deep and often treacherous engagement with our unique and personal Truth. this BOOK is comprised of shamanic stories that channeled through me, characters that became guides and spirits on my quest, and personal essays and prayers on what it means to fully live through what joseph campbell called the hero’s journey– to walk with the freedom to form our own narratives and meanings about the feelings and events we experience. to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what befalls us, what we inherited, what circumstance we find ourselves in– and alchemize it into a web of personal myth and legend that gives us the strength to not only Go On, but to carry our message forward to help others.
this is also my first time standing unequivocally as a STORYTELLER. i could say that this BOOK is fiction, but it’s not. the excerpts i included in my last collection, WILDLIGHT, are continued here– from the light wolf and dark wolf to the dragon in the mystic lagoon to arcturus the bear guardian to the wanting creature turned saint of the sword to the meeting of the ego inside the legend– and the great green lion…
THE JOURNEY TO “THE BOOK OF LEGEND” on Instagram
The greater movement for MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY
Book launch video from my father’s hometown (!!!!!) of Polignano a Mare in Southern Italy, the day after I released the book- Sept 2019
EXCERPTS FROM “THE BOOK OF LEGEND”:
i invite you
into the world i inhabit.
a world of Legend, of danger, of beauty. of nature and guiding spirits announcing themselves to you at every moment– the understanding of a living poetry that requires only an open heart to receive, to hear.
we are all shamanically inclined, we are all messengers. we
are all standing at the Dark Door waiting to guide ourselves
back to ourSelves.
as the days grow shorter and the light lower, you may fear but
do not despair.
walk into the Night.
walk into the Night fearless in your fearfulness.
heartbroke in your wholeness.
trusting in your distrust.
let your eyes adjust to the Darkness.
create a tether to your Legend so you can find your way back– you will cling hard to it at first, look constantly over your shoulder for the last shards of light from whence you came.. but the further you walk the less you will need the tether.
you will realize it is woven inside you, in your heart, in your Choosing of your every step.
and you won’t even dream of going back.
you will greet the Endless in proceeding through the Dark Door.
because in the everything you will see Nothing.
and in the nothing you will see Everything.
all will be as it was, at the origin. before god lit a match.
and the Legend was given breath, to Begin.
* * *
i am standing on the bridge.
the light is piercing. blue, pervading.
can i just be here? i whisper. can i just stay?
i stare across the bridge, the river roiling on the other side. it begins to rain and all i can hear– is that. the black wolf is standing before me. waiting. completely calm. thunder cracks but even in such a way that it does not startle him. the wind rustles his fur but he stands, inert.
you must come with me, he says.
i walk to the middle of the bridge, ghostly.
i do not want to go, i whisper.
tears welling. balled, quiet fists.
you must come with me, he repeats.
the rain falling harder.
get your lantern, we must go.
i turn back towards the white wolf.
there are blue feathers tied into his fur, the same ones tied tight under my shoulder. he nods, and i feel the weight of the lantern handle on my fingers. i open the glass window, press my fingers against the wick. it lights.
the black wolf’s eyes are not unkind.
there are rusty remnants of flame there, discolorations of his skin and paws.
it is the nature of this life, child, he says, looking past me to the white wolf. you must spend your time walking with us both.
i closed the window, holding the lantern up so close that i could feel its warmth against my skin.
you know that when i go with you– i am almost never able to return, i said, inhaling sharply to dissolve the emotion welling in my throat.
you know that every time feels longer than the last. the candle flickering wildly.
i looked at him through the rain and the silence. the licks of lightning in the distance, the wind trembling the bridge.
you do not trust me the way you trust the other.
the white wolf did not move at this acknowledgement, blue and turquoise feathers dancing wave-like around its face.
you do not trust what this is, the black wolf offered again, motioning to the storming landscape with his dark, strong head.
how can i trust, i offered explosively, nearly flinging the lamp, when it never seems i’ll make it out again? i forget everything about myself, i forget my hands are for anything but digging to disappear.
the thunder rumbled low.
i outstretched my hand.
my fingers are still dirty from the last time. still tired. still split.
the black wolf smiled, fangs startling white in his shock of ashen fur.
you are afraid this story has an ending, he whispered, moving closer, touching the end of his snout to my palm.
i pulled my hand away. it burned.
* * *
TO CONVERT LIFE INTO LEGEND.
what is this, what does this mean?
i am not only speaking now to those suffering with a diagnosed mental illness, as i was in 2018 with bipolar II and anxiety disorder– but all those walking with some kind of general malaise, ennui, ungrounded, unsettled tendency circulating in their blood.
i am concerned for the children of our generations, who are taught to see and communicate through screens, unacquainted with healthy, inspiring boredom or the comfort that their unrest and loneliness is a natural byproduct of their times (and not their fault)– but i am also concerned for anyone, at all– who is not given by some book or sage or guiding force, the sovereignty and trust to find Their Own Way.
we are taught scarcity and brokenness that require fixing or suppression instead of the value of uncharted, often dangerous exploration. we are not taught to trust the feelings that could be leading us on the necessary journey to, as ralph waldo emerson so gorgeously stated, decipher the hieroglyph of our existence. and it IS a hieroglyph– it is taught in visuals and language all its own. the metaphor campbell speaks of– it is everywhere. not just in pages, not just for poets. i have always seen this– but i share this with you because its resurgence in my adult life has done nothing short of saving it.
* * *
there is a potentiality for this legendary existence– in everyone. and it is not fairy stories or flights of fancy– for me it was the difference between remaining on earth or ending my life. it is VITAL– this kind of– energetic, imaginative creation in tandem with the flow of reality, a merged, enlivened, actual legendary life.
it requires being the different one. it requires being the madman. it requires shocking and alarming people, often the people you love. it requires being questioned. being challenged. willingly choosing the uncharted whether it means death or freedom because they are often the same thing. it requires caring less about your reputation or social standing– and more about the Truth.
there is a Way to live– that is not just for new-age practitioners, or the spiritually enlightened, or those who believe in ghosts or study the texts or understand scientific or psychoanalytic jargon.
it is a Lifestyle of Truth of the Spirit– of the ordinary man as extraordinary Legend, as meaning-making scribe at the right hand of whatever force you believe is writing the never-ending story– or isn’t.
* * *
what could we do if we understood our infinity?
what could we create?
there is no fall.
we were always barefoot in the garden, i know, i feel this when my feet touch grass and i understand. they ask me to write what i know is true, what do i know is true?
mental illness is an illusion.
duality is an illusion.
every spirit is called to initiation that which cannot be cured by doctor’s visits or prescriptions or suicide.
we are here in this incarnation to commune with divinity, as divinity. to return. to place our offering, our brick in the foundation, our fire on the altar. this, as they say, the new city, the new kingdom, rising from the heart of the garden, the garden that is now not just a teeming protected paradise but BOUNDLESS, stretching on all sides, not just oasis but pervasive land of knowledge, justice, divinity, infinitude, love, truth.
love is the highest law, there is no other.
we must learn from teachings, from elders, traditions, but the greatest religion is that which we hold truest to our sacred hearts.
what sets you aflame, what do you understand in the core of you that is immutable? that is what you must dedicate your life to. that is what you will be drawn in return to, over and over and over.
we must look out for each other. we must care for each other. we must not compete. we must commune, share, understand.
* * *
teach others to See by Seeing.
teach others to Understand by Understanding.
lead others to Walk by Walking.
but walk Beside them and not in Front.
walk With them as i walk With you.
and we shall see these coming days already in fruition, in every righteous action resolving inaction, in every fiery force of Love dissolving fear.
* * *
WE WISH TO SPEAK TO THE PROCLAIMER.
I AM SHE.
We have come to know why you have not given up your life.
I HAVE GIVEN UP MY LIFE.
Still you stand.
FOR HOPE. FOR INTEGRITY.
FOR LEGEND. FOR FAITH.
And what do you wield, warrior?
THE SWORD I HAVE PULLED FROM MY OWN HEART.
And you do not wish to carry it onward, for your journey?
I WISH TO ONLY CARRY A PRAYER.
TO SEE AND BE SEEN.
* * *
but i realized in that moment– the holy interconnectedness of everything. i realized, truly, that The Soul Knows, The Soul Always Always Knows. even if it means the dismantling of the world as you know it. even if it means embarking on a dangerous journey. especially if it means getting muddy and bloody in the dark earth of All The Things That Make You Who You Are…
* * *
i felt the flames coming toward me– i turned and she was looking at me, gentle. i let her hand touch my face– trusted it, placed my hand upon hers, holding The Legend tight against me. her eyes– still filled with such brilliance and bravery– softened.
YOU MUST FINISH THE BOOK, MY SISTER IN FIRE, MY SACRED WOMAN, BELOVED, MY SELF.
AND IF THE ENDING DOES NOT SUIT YOU, YOU MUST CHANGE IT. EVEN THIS IS ALREADY WRITTEN. YOU MUST HAVE FAITH.
i held her gaze for what felt like forever-time, until the light of the Green Lion died back down to her flickering flames and candlelights.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO WRITE– JUST COME AND SIT WITH ME. WE WILL REMEMBER THE BREATH OF LIFE, THE HOLY OF HOLIES. YOU WILL REMEMBER.
I PROMISE YOU.
* * *
i could see her vision still fearful– the residues of what she had dreamed. like a saint in the wild desert, bound and held, being flagellated, by no one. voices calling– have faith, have faith. in the pain, yes, i remembered– being there, too.
we are kindreds here, you know, i said, as her gaze lifted from the ground. i reached to move my garment slightly, revealing the lacerations on my back. some days i feel them. some days i don’t. but they are still there.
stray in a wild desert, she murmured– a fragment from the end of an ancient poem i could no longer recall. it’s my own blood i still feel, on everything.
she let the cup fall from her hand, motionless, staring into the smoke. her fist clenching in the empty air. she didn’t look at me.
you know i will probably hurt you over the course of this.
she inhaled sharply, the emotion welling, stronger. abruptly she rose, grabbing her sword and holding it tight to her chest. she looked at me, this time trembling. i don’t know why you’re helping me.
i rose and stood before her, placing my hand on the hilt, still blood-stained, against her heart. because god’s work is dangerous sometimes. but the ones with the greatest force can do the most good– if someone can trust them.
* * *
the candles slowly took flame at the edges of the church. a spirit walked towards me down the center aisle, half deer and half angel, covered in words. my guard fell immediately, despite myself. it handed me a book, i looked down at its knuckles. standing out amongst the others, one word: STAY.
i began to cry. the spirit’s hand touched the side of my face, the ego and i flickered apart again– her sitting behind me in the pew– then disappearing into my hurt once more.
i looked down, opening the book– The Gospel of Gnosis, words returning to me i felt i had read, writ large, on the side of a temple in another life– or spoken by the Great Green Lion– or maybe woven inside grandfather’s roots.
or maybe– i had said them, at some point, to myself.
IF YOU BRING FORTH THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU,
THEN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
WILL BE YOUR SALVATION.
IF YOU DO NOT BRING FORTH
THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
THEN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN YOU
WILL DESTROY YOU.
i swallowed hard.
the ego was sitting beside me again. the angel smiled, abruptly–
i squinted in the half-light. i could feel her looking at me.
which one are we, right now? she asked.
i was quiet a long time, finally turning to look at her.
i think we are both exactly the same.
both unequivocally bereft.
* * *
far away, in some strange vision–
i saw my ego burst into magnificent golden flames.
i watched myself burning, burning, fantastically, alive. such profound, glorious, acuteness of suffering, i was rapt, watching her every moment– the rage and sorrow mercilessly consuming her, the blue-black poison like kindling, crackling, sparking more flame.
i stood sobbing, watching her, ecstatically– dying.
THIS IS NOT THE WAY, i screamed at her, frozen to the spot–
my arms flailing but feet immovable.
i could not understand the look on her face, the emotion flickering– such anger, sadness, deep, deep pride, such a violence of suffering– and yet a spectacular willingness for it.
she collapsed in on herself like a cluster of trees taken by forest fire, flaring even brighter.
my spirit was seized– i felt him burning inside the crystalline room. and me– and the black wolf, too.
screaming, i thrust myself inside the wildfire. i grasped her body, held her tight to my own, and squeezed. i felt my flesh searing, her destruction my own for a moment, burning down to the bones,
until– a pure rush of water engulfed us. my vision blanked, we tossed and turned in the thunderous churn of sea, gaping and grasping for her hand, her limbs, for what felt like an infinitude of moments, until–
i blinked. and i was kneeling before her half-submerged, charred body in a mountainous stream. in and outside of myself, i pressed her gently beneath the waters, praying. praying with all my being, beyond words, in words i had never spoken– for something different.
PRAISE FOR AUDREY’S WORK:
“Soul-stirring, victoriously vulnerable, emotionally charged, fire-breathing.” — b. geraghty
“Truly you are a force. One candle can fill a dark room. But a star…” — b. perdomo
“Inspiration incarnate.” — j. horstmeier
“A poet with a righteous warrior’s soul.” — j. belitsky
“A proponent of passion and the positive power of the present moment.” — n. ruhling
“Incredibly moving, validating, healing, cathartic, in your words, alchemical… Legend.” — l. monet bevino
PREVIOUS BOOKS BY AUDREY are available here
THANK YOU. THANK YOU. ALL.