Creation Within Creation (INSPIRED Days)

Inspired Days Button

Welcome to the continuation of “INSPIRED Days”! – an approximate month of awesomeness celebrating my J. Taylor Publishing novel which has just this last Sunday reached its 6-month semi-anniversary of publication. ^o^

INSPIRED being a book absolutely all about the characters, I thought it only fitting that its main cast get in on the fun. So here’s our third guest post of the party, brought to you by the novel’s resident dude[ette] with a ‘tude, Uri!

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I wonder if Noah felt like this. “Yeah, hi,” says God, “clock’s running down on your world. You and this handful of others may want to get in the lifeboat.

Thanks, but… Dang.

Seriously. That’s like exactly how it happened. What the ever-burning heck?

Yeah, Danielle digi-painted me. She’s into that.
Yeah, Danielle digi-painted me. She’s into that.

It’s not like I was attached to my world, or anything – which totally sounds like sarcasm, but no, for real. Maybe it’s because the place wasn’t fully realized yet. Maybe it’s because I was still in the earliest stages of my character development. I dunno. But I can’t say I miss anything that got swallowed up in the flood of destruction.

Probably the weirdest thing was finding out there’s at least one more layer of reality out there than I figured. I mean, I’ve read books; even read books where, ohmigosh, this whole world’s nothing but a dream / somebody’s computer program / an ant farm / whatever. You see that kind of thing all the time. You don’t expect it will happen to you.

A person of weaker faith could have had her whole religion rocked by what I’ve gone through. But I didn’t see the need for a full-on theology crisis. I’m pretty open-minded. Or almost totally closed-minded, but willing to entertain new ideas so long as they don’t flatly contradict what I believe to be gospel truth. One of those. In any case, I don’t see how having Annabelle and her predecessor as author over my life precludes the existence and omnipotence of an Author, capital “A”.

To quote from a book ranked somewhere below Scripture:

There is creation within creation, and creators can keep creating new things because it is a part of them because they were themselves created. Like a story about a writer who writes a story about a writer a writer who writes a story about a writer, and so on forever, from that single starting place. That first writer. The first creator. And to be the first means he—or she, or something that defies a pronoun—is the only one so great, he didn’t need to be created to be. That’s why he’s worthy to be the God.

The Book of Inspired, chapter twenty-four, verse… Yeah, okay, our novel doesn’t have verses. Regardless, Scripture backs it up.

So God created mankind in his own image.

Genesis 1:27.

Ask a writer. They can tell you: Little pieces of themselves end up reflected in the fictional people they make. Among whatever else, it seems some of us got a mega share of our Author’s creativity, to the point where they, too, can say, “Let there be light,” “Let there be life,” “Let there be this person and this plot point in this crazy story arc,” and whole worlds will appear in the pages for the writer to look over and see that it was good.

So I’m not about to worship Annabelle. (In fact, excuse me while I bust a gut laughing at the thought.) But if the God I serve placed this girl in authority over me, then I’ll do all I’m able to serve her also, and serve her well.

Heaven help us all.

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Thanks, Uri! Reader types who’d love to nab the novel featuring this yin-yang chick of light and snark, remember there’s a giveaway on Goodreads with three paperbacks for the winning. Meanwhile, for the e-reading crowd, the novel’s e-version is on sale all month for a crazy-low 99 cents via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. So for anyone who hasn’t gotten hold of a copy yet, the time is now!

Inspired Sale, Kindle and BN

 

**Coming up Monday**: An introductory scene from INSPIRED, retold from Yves’s point of view!

In Which I Contemplate the Disappointing Limitations of Reality

When I was a kid, I had one wish. I wished it on stars, on birthday cake candles, on pennies tossed into a fountain at the mall. Of all the possible and impossible things to want, I wanted to fly. And honestly, I didn’t see what was all that impossible about it.

Faith, trust, and pixie dust; that’s the magic formula, according to some. Well, my pixie dust stash was a little low, but as a child – before I hit my twenties and life finally soured me into a cynic – I had faith to spare. Countless times I hurled myself into the air off of that low bench built into the wall of my old basement, each time sure that this time was the one. This time, I would defy gravity.

Gravity, like the villain it is, was all, “Mwa-hahaha, YOU FOOL!”

By my teen years, I got wise. Flying just was not going to happen for me in this world. Fortunately, there were always other worlds. The one behind the mirror, for instance; the world where my every dream existed as everyday reality. There, I could fly. There, I owned a farm full of puppies, ponies, and tigers. There, whichever cartoon character I was crushing on at the time would adore me and want to hang out and do fun stuff 24/7. It was all there, I knew it was. If only Sarah Maria would move out of my way!

Sarah Maria was my reflection.

Sarah Maria, all grown up and still at her post.
Sarah Maria, all grown up and still at her post.

As one would expect of her, she mirrored my every move. I blinked my right eye, she blinked her left. I raised a hand to touch the mirror’s glass, she reached up as if to give me a high-five. We met palm to palm, she countering my touch with precisely equal pressure. However hard I pressed, so did she. There was no pushing past her. No faking her out and slipping around her all smooth and sneaky-quick. A professional reflection never lets their reverse image through. Sara Maria was just too good. However much I might wish and try and beg, the perfect mirror world was denied me.

Some people like to claim that we control our reality. That it’s our beliefs and attitudes and insistent perceptions that make the rules. That with the right amount of psycho-spiritual clarity, we can do anything. Anything at all. Speaking as she who was once the most blissfully naïve little dreamer there ever was? Yeah, that’d be nice, but no.

Alas for our whims, we are not the Author of this story. We are but his beloved characters. We don’t determine the world’s strictures, we don’t mastermind the plot, we don’t edit out the bits that don’t suit us. We just blunder around – amusingly, tragically, courageously, desperately, even a little impressively, sometimes – trying to find our way to our happiest available ending. For all that the Author has the book all mapped out, we characters are what you call “pansting it”, controlling maybe a little bit more and for sure a whole lot less than we’d like to believe.

With or without pixie dust, our belief can only do so much, in this world.

Thank God for fiction.

“HYSRT!” or “Science vs. Creationism?”

Science: “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

Creationism: “Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.”

Are the twain mutually exclusive? That’s the impression it seems one is meant to take away from a blog piece I happened across last week. Although its author, Roy-Gene MacIninch, does not profess a disbelief in God, his post’s title, “Bible Classes, Creationism Do Not Belong in Public Schools. Period.”, leaves little doubt of his position on that particular issue.

The way I see it, this is a pretty multilayered question. Is there scientific support for a Creator of the universe? How literally should one interpret the biblical account of creation? How far should “separation of church and state” apply? Should science be taught in isolation from any and all other disciplines? Is there any room in science for faith?*

I’ve made an effort to thoughtfully contribute to the discussion in the comments of Roy-Gene’s post – (debate’s not really my thing, but when I feel led to speak… well, so be it) – and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject, followers and guests. No points taken off for honest opinions, no matter which side of the argument you take (though please do remain civil, or I’ll use my formidable Comment Moderation powers on you). I just think it’s a good idea for us all to take stock of what we believe and why; kind of a, “Hey, You Should Think About This!

*Speaking of science and faith, I saw a piece on Facebook the other day that ties in well with this discussion. So yeah, two more cents for the tally, if you will.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 29

Psalm 29. Psalms 66:16-20

            On just another evening,

A night of little note,

Went about my weary business,

Same as always, done by rote;

            Looking with lack of interest

At the words you’d use to speak –

To plant the seed that grew a wonder

In one autumn month of weeks.

            And what if I had not listened?

What if I had not heeded?

If I had ignored your urging

To do just the thing I needed?

            What if I’d disregarded

What I thought I felt I knew?

Where would I be now if I had failed then

To listen to you?

            Starting with trepidation,

Rather dubious and shy;

Questioning deep inside me

Why I even meant to try;

            Fearing to feel a failure

If things didn’t go as planned;

Ready to blame imagination

For that tiny thought’s command.

            And what if I had not listened?

Refused to step out blindly?

Marked as a sad mind’s cruelty

The test you gave me kindly?

            What if I turned my back

On what I felt too small to be?

Where would I be now if I had failed then

To trust you with me?

            Flipping through tens of pages,

I retrace our journey’s course,

Marveling at the music

Of the words, and at their source;

            Eyeing the blank before me –

All those spaces yet to fill;

Knowing not what we two will pen there,

But my heart’s ear toward you still.

            For what if I had not listened?

Had not the nerve to follow?

Gone on without acknowledging

My spirit’s needless hollow?

            What if I’d reached this moment

Missing what I might have had?

I don’t know what then, but I’m here right now.

And for that, I’m glad.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 24

Psalm 24. Matthew 14:24-32; PerGoSeeMo Psalms 15 and 23

            It was a dark and stormy night

And long, or so it seems.

I struggled ‘gainst the wind that howled

Loud as my inner screams.

            The gale threatened to lay me low,

The waves to knock me down.

Saline wetness before my eyes,

Enough in which to drown.

            Then, in the frightful tempest’s midst,

I faintly heard your voice.

Faced with the squall and your steady call,

I made my daring choice.

            Leaving the boat I knew behind,

On you I trained my stare

And, almost before I knew it,

Found myself walking on air.

            Laughing and flushed with triumph,

Dancing on glorious new ground,

My spirit leapt to fly sky-high!

…And then I looked around.

            The storm was bad as I remembered,

And I was just as small.

Panicked by the sight, I felt

Myself begin to fall.

            I cried to you; you came to me

And held me close to you –

Holding behind your smile, no doubt,

Some thought like, “Déjà vu.”

            Go on, then – call me “Peter”,

While I label you my rock.

Eyes back on you ‘til we get through.

In time, this storm will stop.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 23

Psalm 23. Isaiah 40:8; Habakkuk 1:5

            Hey – can we talk?

Can we cuddle?

Okay. Here’s what’s up:

            It’s been one of Those Days;

The ones where the future feels overwhelming,

And I feel sort of left out of life.

            Nothing really happened…

On Those Days, it feels like nothing ever will.

And I feel lost, locked out, and lonely.

            I feel, I feel, I feel… not like I feel I ought to feel,

Given… everything.

            You stroke my head and ask, “Do you remember yesterday?

You saw no need to fear the future, then.

Remember not so long ago,

When your heart filled with joy to overflowing into song?

            Remember how you got there;

How you got here.

Was it not in spite of feelings?

            It was walking blind in darkness toward my voice.”

And finding it.

“What is it you always tell yourself?”

Feelings are deceptive.

“Do you put your faith in feelings, or in me?”

You know the answer; are the answer.

Hold me tighter, please.

            “Feelings come, and feelings go.”

The grass withers, the flower fades.

“Truth remains ever true.”

            I know. I believe you.

I just wish that I could see.

“So you think.”

So I feel.

Guess we know what that’s worth, then.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 22

Psalm 22. Isaiah 7:9b; 8:11-13, 16, 19-20

            Lord, I must apologize –

Confess a silent sin:

For I once knew but couldn’t quite believe

That you could use old truths to speak anew to me;

That prophesies given to long-ago others,

Words of the future for those in the past,

Could be your whisper in the present

To, not “someone”, but this one.

            But now my eyes are opened,

My ears cocked toward you,

My heart softened.

You have spoken to me on your terms,

And it is strong enough.

            It is time to change my thinking –

Lose the panic and the worry,

Stop fretting about what goes on

Behind the doors you’ll open when I’m ready.

            You’ve given me your testimony and presented evidence –

Talent, skill, and passion, hand-in-hand as your Exhibit A.

In my own power, not enough;

With yours, your will’s the limit.

Still further proofs you’ve tossed out, rapid-fire,

That there’d be no mistake on my part;

Stick with me, kid, and you’ll go places.

            Take my hopes and faith, and I’ll ride shotgun.

Be the driving force behind my every turn.

I’ll count on you to guard me

From the potholes and the drunken maniacs.

If the signs and GPS don’t match,

I’ll go with God, Protector, Savior.

            You’ve earned the personal trust of one

Who knew to trust you anyway,

But lacked a bridge between the head and heart.

            Yes, I owe you an apology.

And I owe you another “thank you”.

I owe you a lot of things.

Thank God free gifts do not demand repayment.