The universe conspires.Posted: October 14, 2012
The deeper I get into writing, the more synchronicity I experience. It’s as if the universe is conspiring to help me: everything reminds me of something in my novel, often uncannily so. It may very well be that my subconscious is just alchemizing my sensory input to make me feel that way (I swear I’m going to read this in full soon, Umair). Either way, it feels wonderfully eerie.
My favorite example of this is as follows: Four years ago I was in a boat on Lake Tana, motoring between island monasteries, which was a favorite attraction in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. I was two weeks into my travels around the country and trying to keep a stiff upper lip, because while I was ostensibly there to research my first novel, the idea that anything resembling a novel would ever result from my chaotic, sleepless, homesick days seemed totally laughable. Honestly, I was just trying to survive enough to resist buying a plane ticket back home.
There were two other American travelers in the boat, Eva and Jessica, from Oakland. They were very friendly and asked me about my novel. I started to tell them the bare outlines of my original proposal, including a character named Yemaya, modeled after a Yoruba sea goddess that I’m sure they’d never heard of, because I barely knew anything about her myself, and as I rambled my proposal seemed to fall apart even as I spoke it aloud, and I was hopelessly lost, in general.
But Jessica’s face lit up and she burst out laughing. She said, “Wow, you have no idea who you just met,” and turned to Eva. Eva said, blushing, with a wry smile, “I’m an ordained Santería priestess of Yemaya. What would you like to know?”
…and that was the first signpost that maybe I wasn’t lost. At all.
Thank you, universe.
Thank you, Eva and Jessica.
And thank you, Yemaya, who brought us together.