My Inner Worlds
High school biology changed my world when I learned about genetics. The science came easily to me, and I wondered how my classmates could have difficulty with the concepts. Although I pursued a non-science career, I lived vicariously through my sister Lisa, who chose the genetics route and worked for a time at Yale, doing research and co-authoring academic papers. I visited one summer and got to meet the dominant male lab rat and see where the drosophila flies lived and bred for their keepers’ experiments. While my knowledge capped at A, C, G, T (the chemicals that make the nucleotide bases of our DNA), my mind spun fantasy worlds founded on genetic manipulation. Every story idea I’ve fleshed into a potential novel since 2011 contains elements of genetics and the exploration of what makes us who we are.
Enter AncestryDNA and five sisters who think it’s cool to explore what binds us into the strange world of Webb. What makes us the weird, creative, and strong-willed women we’ve all grown into? Is it the heritage encoded in our blood? The way we were raised? As a CPA, I have no clue. As a fantasy writer, I’ve got plenty of potential answers that are fun to explore.
Just over a year ago we gathered to celebrate my niece Freya’s 21st birthday. As a gift, I decided to run a tabletop role-playing game based on the Pathfinder Dungeons and Dragons world. We dressed up as our characters and enjoyed an afternoon of magic and creative play. It’s an incredible memory (and picture) to have. It also highlights our tendency to be weird.
Below are the results of our tests. I’ve been drawn to our Celtic heritage since my early twenties…the mystery and magic of druids…the nature myths that I want to believe are true…Avalon…swords, definitely swords. Is this because 23% of my genes are from that area of the world? Or is it because my family has played dress-up throughout my life? This picture is from our Scottish Mother’s Day in 1998, where we all chipped in and bought Mom a bagpipe, her heart’s desire that we could make a reality. And yes, we all dressed up and adopted a Scottish or Celtic persona. I even did a sword dance (alas, there’s no pictorial evidence).
What about your family? Have you ever wondered what makes you who you are? Do you have stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.
After our ayahuasca retreat experience, Matt and I spent two days in Cusco reorienting ourselves to human reality. We needed time in between the Sacred Valley and a 23-hour travel day where we would be around masses of strangers with no reprieve (two separate layovers on top of a long flight between Peru and the USA). In my last post on Peru, I explained we had a restricted diet before and during our retreat, eliminating coffee altogether for over two weeks. I really missed it!
Therefore, I poured myself into our first coffeehouse excursion the morning after we were released from the Etnikas Center. This is a repeat picture, but it was an exceptional caffe latte!
Cafe D’Wasi was the first opportunity to put into words what I experienced during my ayahuasca trip. If you haven’t read the post about the role the Incan sun god Inti played in both of my trips, it provides depth and emotion to what I share below.
Across the cafe where Matt and I lounged on a comfy couch, a flat screen displayed music videos that were surprisingly unobtrusive. I looked up from journaling at one point and felt captivated by a vista of clouds and sparkling golden sunlight. The techno beat stirred my heart, and the video was masterfully created to match sight with sound. My need to know the artist’s name spurred Matt from his written work and up to the counter, where the staff spoke little to no English. The barista clicked the remote and the song’s information appeared on screen. It flashed quickly, so Matt had to ask the poor man to repeat it until I could get everything jotted into my journal.
I spent the next two hours with my attention divided between the notebook in my lap and the screen on the wall. While I loved everything the YouTube playlist included, nothing stirred me as much as the initial song that drew my attention. It’s as though the sun spoke to me in that cafe in Cusco, like he did in my ayahuasca visions.
I’m still integrating and processing what my Inti experience brings to my day-to-day life. He’s been in my dreams several times, and while dream work is good, I know my waking existence has to change to incorporate this energy. One thing I've done to manifest change is to use my remaining vacation days to stay home every Friday this summer to explore my creativity. Also, I gave myself a spontaneous psychic reading yesterday morning using Matt’s many tarot decks. When I listened to the recording afterwards, it gave me helpful information on what I’m doing on Earth at this time…today...in the now.
Almost four weeks ago, Mother Ayahuasca told me that all I need to focus on is the next step. I don’t have to see the big picture, know the full plan, chart out my life like I used to do with leather-bound planners and expensive accoutrements. I only have to do the next. And for now, it’s sharing the light I see when I listen to this song and watch the perfectly-timed images in StefWithAnF’s unofficial video of Coeur de la Nuit (Worakls remix).
Now that Matt and I are back from Peru and he's had a week working with clients in his office, we spent our Sunday morning meditating and setting our intentions for this new space. In the three weeks prior to our flight to Lima, everything worked smoothly for us to lease this office suite, for Matt and his friends to prime and paint the walls, and for us to order and move in most of the furniture seen in the following pictures. These aren't a true representation of what the office looks like for clients because Matt has been using these rooms as a studio to shoot video the past two days. However, I'm impressed with his taste in color and furnishings and am enjoying my morning here.
An untitled track in my music library randomly played two mornings ago on my commute to work. These weird songs pre-date my embrace of mp3 players and phones that do everything except brush my teeth before bed. I’d thought my library had been cleared of these lost tracks, those tunes without an identity, no longer allowed to exist in my curated world.
Not to be. The universe pressed play on a dinosaur, and because my habit is to listen to all songs as though they have a personal message for me, I caught the riff in this one. It had an old rock soul, a throaty start to the chorus, and male vocals in the range I find sexy. The universe got my attention for those three minutes, and then I arrived at work and forgot about the pull to my threading heartbeat.
This evening I woke to my house rumbling with thunder, a dog’s scared face pressed to mine, and a phone that told me my husband had just tried to call me. Groggy from my nap, I auto-dialed Matt and knew I had just missed him since he answered immediately. (Matt rarely takes phone calls, so I’m lucky when I reach him.) He started by saying lightning was crackling from the skies at his office, and my brain connected enough to let him know we were getting the thunder from it at our house. We’re sappy like that, linking our worlds together even though we’re apart. He then gently told me that he hadn’t, in fact, called me. Huh. I swear the never-wrong iPhone said otherwise.
By that time, the sexy, throaty riff from earlier this week floated in my still-sleepy brain and distracted me from the mystery of my husband’s non-call. I remembered the unnamed cool song was either Track 09 or Track 06. A search told me Track 09 was definitely not what I was looking for. But 06 hit pay dirt. Like a long-lost lover coming to snuggle in bed, I realized what this tune brought to my unconscious mind—the male protagonist of the story I began creating last fall before my life fell apart. Back when I set a goal to write a novel in nine months, which would have completed just about now.
My baby came home and told me it’s time we start making his story come to life. His words feel so easy, so right. The winter blahs are behind me, and he needs my love and attention. Maybe now he’ll tell me his name and I can stop referring to him as “Protagonist B.”
Postscript: After writing my thoughts above, I searched the lyrics and learned Track 06 is a Foo Fighters song from 2011. While I’m really glad it showed up in my iTunes library, I have no idea how I got it. But to be fair, it does not truly pre-date smart phones OR my digital library. Gonna say it must have come pirated from a friend…or the Universe really did plant it on my hard drive for me to find.