of all the steps in the delicate dance i weave between the worlds, the most difficult by far is the leap across the chasm that separates THAT world into THIS one.
by THIS one, i mean the world of the mundane, of the ordinary, the place where time is measured in one way grains of sand. by THAT world, i mean the place beyond the hill of five-sensory perception, beyond time, beyond space, where all that's Real resides, a world that's far more Real to me than THIS.
it is a chasm i have learned to navigate, over time, with a lot of practice. what i've found is that while it can be easy to enter THAT world, it's not always so easy to leave. and how could it be...if we're the stuff that dreams are made of, then THATs' the world where dreams are made.
but i have six children, two dogs, one husband and an enormously extended family that's best described as the addams family meets the sopranos... not as much black, just as much blood. at various times in my life since my Muse yoked me to Her Service, i was executive director of a small non-profit, taught aerobics, worked in corporate communications, attended graduate school, and endured the Divorce From Hell. the demands on my time, my energy and my attention are many, rich and varied.
as i said, its a delicate dance. to become adept, one has to first understand that a shift is demanded. some never seem to understand this, and i think they're the ones who wander through the world in a glazy-daze of half-fermented ideas that never seem to form. many are wildly talented, but without a sense of that sharp and utter demarcation point, obvious as night from day, they can't ever seem to focus long enough to bring anything to real fruition.
the next is to understand that one is always in control. it might not always feel that way, but it's entirely possible to tell a character politely to stop. do a word count, tidy up the last sentence, jot down a note or two, and tell Everyone you're done. anyone who's pagan understands this principle - when you cast a circle and invite the Denizens of the OtherWorlds to come, all those Seen and Unseen, you thank them when your ritual is over, and bless Them on Their Way.
the next is to tie some physical action to it. turn off the light, cap the pen, close the journal, save the file. speak something aloud. i always like to hear praise, personally. something along the lines of "GOOD JOB ANNIE" even if i know ive written shit keeps me humming right through the most mundane of tasks.
eat something. time spent in the OtherWorld burns energy. it wears you out and thins you down. drink something, bracing but not so bracing you fall right back into the OtherWorld's Embrace. tea works for me - coffee is what i drink to fuel the Flame.
move. chances are that's the reason you came out in the first place, but don't just leap into action. THINK. stand. stretch. gently. DECIDE what you are going to do next. consult, if at all possible, the List you keep beside you to anchor you.
pay attention. breathe.