Friday, April 30, 2010

To Believe

The world of the supernatural fascinates me and I love to pursue it in my stories. In pursuing this passion, last week I went with a good friend to see a psychic. I felt compelled to consult with a psychic for a while, especially one that is a medium, so I could try to feel what Carmella feels when she speaks with Francesca. And since my next book involves my main character falling in love with a ghost, I wanted to explore the possible physical and mental effects one could go through when encountering a spirit. (I also have an obvious interest in communicating with spirits, so what the heck.)

After my reading, I came home with four pages of notes on what my deceased relatives had to say to me. Of course, I had to tell my husband all about it. "So and so said hi. My aunt was talking really loudly, she was really excited to talk to me. My sister is really happy. My uncle told me to say hi to my aunt for him."

My husband's response was, "Ha!" (Well really ha, ha, get the idea) He is what you call a non-believer.

So I started thinking about this believer, non-believer thing. Lots of people don't believe in anything psychic. No astrology, no tarot cards, no palm readings, nothing. I, however, am a firm believer. I believe in God and I also believe that some people are gifted and can make predictions, or communicate with spirits. Now, don't get me wrong. I also believe that there are lots of fakes out there. (Maybe more phonies than real?)

But my point is, as human beings, no matter what we believe in, I think we have to believe in something. We have to believe in ourselves, in each other, in God, in Buddha, in things beyond the scope of logic. If we didn't believe in things beyond the scope of logic, how would huge technological/scientific/medical advances take place?

Talking logic now, I thought, what if I could find some logic to prove psychic abilities? What if we could gather logical explanations that prove psychic abilities are real? And in searching for just a little logic, a little science behind the psychic phenomenon, I had to send an e-mail to Jonah Lehrer. He hasn't studied this aspect of the brain and I thought who better to delve into this than Mr. Lehrer?

I'm still waiting to hear from him.

I'll keep waiting, and hoping that Mr. Lehrer assists me attempting to explain the unexplainable, but after all is said and done, it won't matter to me as a writer, as a believer of sorts. I will always believe that there are gifted people who can make predictions and talk to spirits. (Two past Presidents consulted with psychics). I will always believe in things illogical because that's who I am and I don't see how I could be a writer without being this way.

Yesterday, I read an interview with Anne Lamott in Writers Digest magazine. As usual, she made a profound comment about the life of a writer.

She said, "I really believe people are called to a literary life like others are called to a theological life or a religious life, but publishing is a business that is really hard. Hard on your heart. Hard on your soul. Hard on your everything."

So to be a writer and to put up with a hard life, does it all come down to belief? Do writers do it every day, day in and day out, because deep down, they believe? A belief so strong they believe in themselves even when no one else does?

I'm going with a yes. But that's no surprise.