Leonardo da Vinci famously said, “I awoke only to find that the rest of the world is still asleep.” I know what he means. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, there’s just no stuffing it back in. Once you’re truly awake, you can sedate yourself, you can hit yourself over the head, you can try lulling yourself with falsehoods, but you just can’t fall back to sleep.
I woke up seven years ago after a severe illness and I’ve been blindingly awake ever since. I awoke to how absolutely unimportant were the things I’d striven for, how empty were my ambitions. What is really important in this life became crystal clear and now it smacks me in the face every day.
That point was driven home to me a few days ago when I tried very, very hard to backslide. I took a job working for a company that does layout and design for hundreds of newspapers all over the country. Actually, I was recruited, so I have somewhat of an excuse for dabbling in the dark side. I worked exactly one day and believe me, I barely made it through those nine hours. Rows and rows of people staring into their computer screens—on deadline—under pressure—in an industrial-style facility akin to a modern sweatshop. During the training, I kept distracting myself by trying to see through the door, over the heads of the workers, through another door, and out a window that looked out on a parking lot with one lone tree. Whew! Enough of that nonsense.
I went home, grabbed something to drink, and sat down to write. Thank you, Lord, for the sanctuary of writing and the blessed freedom to think.
To what do I attribute my defection? A roadblock in my soul with a sign that says, “No turning back. You’ve come this far, don’t be afraid to go farther.” I’m like Siddhartha of old, who by the end of his life had shed the layers of his worldly skins, leaving him defenseless and capable of little else but being aware. And what a big job that is.
If there are others like me, then fine. If not and I am alone, then fine. If I’m just that crazy lady who writes, then fine. God didn’t put me here to march in lockstep with the walking dead. He put me here to connect to the divine in my nature and once I did that, I became authentic. For that there is no cure.
I’m sure you know “I am the defector” is from the song, The Great Defector, by Bell X1. It goes on: “The accountants have taken the movie, Yeah, they’re on the set.” I don’t know exactly what the songwriter meant, but those two lines are pretty descriptive of American life as we know it right now.
My published novels, The Legend of Juan Miguel and The Passion of Juan Miguel, are available on Amazon.com.