Hello Awesome Visitors! Before I jump into the thick of things with Sunday Speak, let me provide a bit of background about an anthology that I was a part of at the start of 2015, called Concordant Vibrancy.
Concordant Vibrancy is the very 1st anthology set up by All Authors Publishing House and included members of not only the Publishing House but also part of All Authors Magazine. Using the theme “Unity” we generated our own interpretations in the form of short stories.
Now, since May is Short Story Month, I did reach out to the participants inConcordant Vibrancy and asked them one simple question:
“What was the inspiration behind the story, and how does the story tie into the concept of unity?”
I also asked each person to share an excerpt.
All right, now that we have that out of the way, let me introduce you to the 1st person that responded to my question, Harmony Kent.
Story featured in Concordant Vibrancy
What was the inspiration behind my story, and how does it tie in to the concept of Unity?
Seven Days was inspired by, and based loosely upon, the seven days of Bardo—as taught in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. However, I tried to keep it as religion neutral as possible, because—as stated in the Poem on Unity at the beginning of the story—I believe that the labels we attach to things have no ultimate meaning—that they are man-made. We human beings, no matter our religion, culture, skin colour, or philosophy, all have the same issues, fears, hopes, aspirations, and dreams. And we all belong. Every single one of us. Seven Days takes a look at the process of death, and the moving from separation and isolation, into Unity. It looks at how we separate ourselves by our judgments and choices. But we can never be truly alone, as we are all connected at a deep level. It is all the same energy. The whole universe is unified. It fascinates me that modern-day quantum physics is finding the same things out that most religions have posited for thousands of years. We call it different things, we give it different labels, but essentially it is the same. And it leads us to the same place: Unity.
Seven Days: Excerpt
Shapes coalesce and form within the mist, which is suddenly all around me. My family. My mother, my brother, my sister, my wife. Grief makes a grotesque parody of their features, and distorts them almost beyond recognition. I’ve never seen Mary look so haggard, nor my mother so old, so frail. Beth, my sweet L’l-sis, is paler than day-old snow. She looks thin and kind of tatty around the edges. Josh just looks stunned. As though he can’t take it in … can’t quite believe reality.
The visual is bad enough. Now I get the audio as well. A high, keening wail keeps coming from Mum’s lips. Josh swallows loudly and clears his throat every couple of seconds. Mary sighs, rubs her cheeks, her eyes, and sighs some more. Beth doesn’t make a sound—her silence is deafening. I want to tell them all to shut up. To just shush. But Beth … I want her to get loud. To cry, scream, babble in tongues: anything, so long as she quits with the statue impersonation.
I have to comfort them. Please, just one caress. One soft word. I beg of you, whoever you are, let me at least say goodbye. Why so cruel? What possible harm could such small mercy offer? At the very least, let them sense my presence. I am present, aren’t I? I do exist? Answer me! Is there a God? Or just this void? Is this hell? Am I condemned to watch my loved ones grieve for the rest of whatever existence this is?
The mist swirls, but never thins. All I can see are my family, no other details. It’s like they’re in this suspended animation with me. Where are we? Or, perhaps, I should be asking: where are they? The certainty I’m not really with them has crept upon my consciousness. A veil separates us—thin enough to elude my frantic search, but there. Where am I? Perhaps this is the more pertinent question.
Thank you so much Awesome Visitors for checking out this special spotlight on “Seven Days”, one of the stories in Concordant Vibrancy.