One of the goals with this blog is to share the creative process with the Veteran Artist Residencies community. I envision resident artists describing their process as they work on their art. While I'm in charge of the blog, I suppose I'll do the same. While I have a writing project I'm dedicated to, which I'll discuss in a future post, this article is about a different type of writing project.
Every once in a while, a piece of writing will come out of me. It doesn't seem like I create it because the idea comes out fully formed. I just happen to be the one to catch it in that moment. Many writers will describe it this way.
Maybe it's the subconscious, or, if you want to go far out with me, these stories have always existed, floating out in the ether in their archetypal form waiting for a receptor to download them in a format appropriate to their time and culture. Sometimes these jolts of inspiration come to me as a complete short story. Sometimes just a scene. But this past week, an introduction to a story came to me. I had no choice but to sit down and dictate.
When this happens, you're confronted with a problem. Do you attempt to complete the story? Or do you add it to the story vault and get back to your daily program? Or maybe it's an idea so charged with meaning that you contort the shape of your life in a way that allows you to fully birth whatever it is that's trying to emerge.
This particular storyline promises a zany, inventive, and metaphysical journey across the ages. I imagine it would be a joy to write (though I know better). Instead of the dystopian fiction that dominates the modern zeitgeist as American empire comes to terms with its decline, this story would certainly point in the opposite direction. Sometimes all it takes is a description of a better destination to stir the reader to create it.
Without further ado, I present the introduction to "Across the Ages":
Now it’s well understood by soul scholars that individual soul family members may not incarnate alongside one another in the same human genetic lines, but their interests and fates will almost always bring them together. I’ll introduce our protagonists shortly, but first let us consider Plato and his student Aristotle for a moment. Now our forensic soul specialists can’t prove it conclusively, but they’ve built a substantial case that it was these two souls and their entourage that created the wheel and harnessed fire. Their mission from Source Command has always been to advance thought and science. So when they came together again as Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr, it was no surprise they rose to such wide prominence and esteem as they heralded in the quantum age.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. What’s important for you to understand is that each soul family has a unique purpose in the evolution of the human experience. Animals and trees have souls, of course, and sometimes formerly human souls will incarnate as a pet or a tree for a time. It’s basically treated like a vacation from the human condition, which has purposely, as we’ll come to discover, been designed for difficulty. But back to my point: Souls come to earth for a purpose, and they advance their areas of specialty across the ages. The same soul family that wrote the Magna Carta, for example, wrote the United States Constitution. Their specialty has always been governance. Some soul families specialize in love, others in the trades or arts, some even come to teach the world about pain and suffering.
But this story is one of salvation, of prophecy, and of hope. For this is the story of perhaps the most famous soul family of them all, the religious genius soul family, or the R.G.S.F. as they’re known at Source Command.
Probably the most famous soul in the R.G.S.F. incarnated as Jesus. He’s been an executive at Source Command since they seized power and conceived of the human experiment. He’s one of the most highly decorated Source Command personnel, actually. The deployments of this soul are legendary. It’s a bit of a running joke within the executive team up there that the moral teachers get treated so harshly.