Fly Above The Storm



Fly Above FINAL VERSION coverHow would our lives be different if we could weather the tempests of tragedy and loss without fear? What if the fearlessness were not a result of isolation from others or insulation in false hope and comforting beliefs, but of full immersion in uncertainty, armed only with the knowledge and trust that what we perceive as the entirety of a lifetime is nothing compared to what Life really is?

These are the core questions at the heart of “Fly Above The Storm: a fugue in seven acts.” With the raw, surreal events of September 11, 2001 as the backdrop, the story is told by two parallel narrators, Joseph and Pedro. Joseph is trapped by circumstance as an eyewitness to the terrifying events on the East Coast and forced into a hero’s role, while Pedro is on the West Coast, far removed and silenced by forces also beyond his control, left to plumb his own interior landscape to make sense of it all. Both narrators must come to terms with their exile onto psychological islands of their own devising –a gulf between them and millennial society in general and their marriages in particular.

It is in the narrators’ wives that we see the essential contrast in worldview that defines the novel’s response to its central inquiry. While Nadia is a tormented artist besieged by physical and mental illness who seems to Pedro to be dying in slow motion, Vera is an effervescent professional who has sailed through one major life challenge after another, buoyed by an an eccentric outlook that Joseph is desperate to better understand. He makes quantum leaps of healing while reluctantly following her lead and reaching out instead of retreating, while Pedro mostly spins his wheels, lost in a montane forest and his own mind. But when a special character connects both narratives and bridges the wisdom gap for Pedro, we see the answer emerge, an idiosyncratic picture revealing an expansive sense of self beyond the narrow confines of one lifetime.

As John Donne famously told us, “No man is an island.” Fly Above The Storm contemplates this timeless truth anew, combining the practical knowledge of pantheism with the perennial quest for insight on the strange presence that guides us while we cannot see the road ahead. It aims to be an antidote for our age of anxiety, a testament of love and wholeness for a culture broken by fear.

Fly Above The Storm is also a story of connection and a quest for home –but a connection that challenges common assumptions about who we are, and a different kind of home than the stability most of us have come to see as the bestowment of success. Though it “flips the bird” in the face of our post-9/11 security hysteria and de facto state religion, it does so by pointing toward an alternate way of seeing instead of ramming them with rhetoric. While thus tipping some of our most sacred cows, it clears space for everyday miracles to work their wonders through characters who never expected themselves to be holy. The result is an upwelling inspiration, steeped in a no-nonsense spirituality that will speak to today’s savvy, multicultural truth seekers and pantheists.