I saw a quote on twitter a few days ago that I’ve had taped over my computer for a long time. “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”
I first saw Stephen Covey’s words on Jonathan Cainer’s horoscope site years ago, and they struck a chord with me. If you really believe that there’s life after death, then we’re already immortal, right? Of course, my friends who are atheists would disagree with me. Maybe my Jewish friends too. They’d say that when we die, our energies are converted into something else useful for the universe, and we are no more, that we live on in the good works we leave behind. I’m not bringing this up to argue the point, it’s just that–for me–Greek and Norse myths sneak into my writing more than I realize. And I wrestle with the idea of Fate.
My dad, who was an atheist, believed that a man’s days were, indeed, numbered. I’m not sure how he could argue that point if we’re randomly conceived, but mortals aren’t always rational, are they? Otherwise, he’d say, how could one man be hit by lightning three times while plowing his field and survive, then trip on a curb and break his neck? And he’d finish with, “It was his time.” The Greeks would agree. The three Fates foretold your destiny when you were born. Clotho spun your thread of life. Lachesis measured it out, and Atropos snipped it when your days were finished. Horoscopes hint at the same thing. How the planets are aligned on the day of your birth foretell the ups and downs of your journey through life…and some say, the time your journey is finished.
I bought a book once–9 Chances to Live a Happy Life–(which, of course, I loaned to someone and no longer have), but the author contended that before we (spirits) come to earth, we choose our date of birth, our own name, and our parents to preordain each step of our journey here. That’s pushing it a bit for me. Who, in their right mind, would choose abusive parents on purpose? But I liked the general idea of the book–that every step here is to make us grow. The old idea that Life is a Classroom.
The truth is, I still have more questions than answers when it comes to Life. But I still like the idea of some sort of plan, some reason for us to hang out here. (But that might be the teacher in me. My husband rolls his eyes and says, “You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher.” He might be right). But I fret with those ideas in novels here and there. So I decided to simply make it a major part of the novel, FABRIC OF LIFE. In that story, the world’s population has grown too much for the Fates to keep up, so special mortals are chosen to help with the load. Thea Patek is the weaver for the area she lives in. She dutifully races to her studio before each new soul comes to earth and weaves a bookmark for them, the threads colored by the position of each planet at their birth.
Anyway, it was fun to write about Thea and the mystery person who sneaks into her studio and unravels the knots at the end of choice bookmarks, causing victims to die before their allotted time. But as usual, when I finished writing, the same, old questions remained. No brilliant inspiration sent me celestial answers, but I had a good time pondering the questions.