In "Family Man," the opening story of my collection, The Principle of Ultimate Indivisibility, the bewildered main character doesn't understand why he sometimes feels relief as he leaves his suburban home on weekday mornings; he tries to deny all threats to his self-concept as a man with a forever indivisible family, even as the edifice crumbles. Initially, I thought that those words in his mind, "...the principle of ultimate indivisibility," referred to families. But as fragments coalesced into stories, and stories connected to other stories, a deeper view revealed itself.
I used that phrase for the title because the subtle thread that holds the whole collection together is the knowledge that we humans, following our unique storylines that feel so separate, are nevertheless all cells in one vast body, interconnected in all directions by visible and invisible lines of energy. Without that vision driving me, I doubt I ever would have finished the stories and assembled them into a book.
Seen against the drama of "reality" -- the illusory world that we must treat as true -- the intangible vectors of influence that link us to each other may seem flimsy, unimportant, easy to forget. But they are the most crucial thing for us to remember. I was pleased to read my thoughts perfectly expressed by Jason Stern in his column "Esteemed Reader" in the January '09 issue of Chronogram: "The fact is that there is a present emergency that might drive humanity to recognize our inherent oneness, if we can feel it. It is not terrorists or the scary economy, global warming or global war, or even our personal plights. These are only symptoms and results of the real emergency, which is our alienation from that which matters. What matters is the consciousness of inherent unity, and the strength of being to make that consciousness real in our world." (Thanks, Jason!)
My hope is that even as insubstantial as literary fiction may seem in today's loud world, it still has some power to help wake up from hibernation the ancient wisdom that we are One.