This is an important and timely question explored in the highly acclaimed spiritual novel, SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING, winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.
Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, SNOOZE further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.
You’re invited to join—either with eyes or ears—Max Diver, a.k.a. “Snooze,” along the razor’s edge of a quest to rescue his astronaut father from a fate stranger than death in the exotic, perilous Otherworld of sleep.
This inspiring tale interweaves a plethora of paranormal and metaphysical subjects, from Bigfoot and enlightenment to the Loch Ness Monster and time travel via the Bermuda Triangle.
In her review of SNOOZE published in INDIE SHAMAN Magazine, June Kent had this to say about what she described as “superlative fiction”: “Engrossing, entertaining and occasionally humorous, SNOOZE also takes a look at a wide range of subjects including levitation, telepathy, lucid dreaming, spirit animals, parallel universes and shamanic-like journeying, giving a wide range of information effortlessly absorbed as you enjoy the story as well as much food for thought.”
Naturally, your generous review would be greatly appreciated even if you simply enjoy the full text now being presented on this blog and numerous podcast platforms. Keep in mind that paperback and ebook versions are for sale. A complimentary online version is also available for your reading pleasure.
SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING
By Sol Luckman
Max blinked like a chick fresh out of its shell in the autumnal sunlight the next morning as he exited Chatterton House for the first time since falling ill on returning from Rockport.
It had been two weeks, give or take, since he had attended class—though it felt more like two years. So much had changed in such a short time. And the funny thing was: he wasn’t even going to his own class.
The previous evening, Tuesday—while in the dormitory kitchen teaching him how to use her juicer and serving him up a glass of fresh juice with a wedge of smoked gouda on the side—had insisted that Max drop in on her Hero’s Journey seminar and meet Professor Icarus.
“Why would I want to meet that crackpot?” Max asked.
“Now, now, Max. You’re one to talk. Mr. Lucid Dream.”
“Sorry. Can’t you at least tell me why I should meet him?”
“Call it a hunch.”
“Okay. A premonition. I believe he’s got some missing pieces for you.”
“Is this the Bradelring or yourself talking?”
“A little of both.”
At bedtime, with Raul out and about, Max shared a quiet moment with Pablo while sipping a cup of chamomile tea. He wore his sleeping mask to bed and, to his surprise, slept deeply and peacefully until he woke up on his own, feeling genuinely refreshed, shortly before nine.
There was just enough time to shower, get dressed, brush his teeth, pop in his contacts, boil some eggs, and make some fresh juice with Tuesday’s leftover vegetables. He ate the eggs with some more gouda while downing the juice—and then he was out the door into the bracing fall air.
Sliding on his sunglasses, he looked more like an incognito rock star than a pre-med student, wearing a thick beard and Raul’s black leather jacket, which he had just asked to borrow from the humped form under the mound of covers on the other bed purporting to be his roommate.
“Ahhhhhh,” said the form’s muffled voice in a manner that sounded somewhat painful.
“I’ll take that as a yes?” said Max.
“Ahhhhhhh,” the form repeated.
Rather like Raul, Max found himself trekking across campus without so much as a backpack, feeling free and relieved to have left behind that unnecessary burden.
He was, in effect, though not on purpose, in costume—and it was a good thing because today happened to be Halloween. This fact progressively dawned on him as he kept encountering students and university personnel decked out in Halloween regalia.
On the final leg of his “journey” to Professor Icarus’s class in Olympia Hall, of all places, Max passed Shrek, a minotaur, Scooby-Doo, and a girl wearing clear plastic stuffed with multicolored balloons to resemble a giant bag of jellybeans.
Max had no intention of sitting through the entire hour of the ten-o’clock seminar. Purposely arriving with only a few minutes to spare, he squeezed into an empty seat at the back of the packed lecture hall.
A figure dressed as a Native American shaman—feathered headdress, face paint, beaded leather hides, and all—standing behind a lectern at the front of the auditorium, was concluding a point in a resonant and eloquent voice,
“As Jung wisely observed, breakdown is essentially required for breakthrough, so as you can see, it becomes quite obvious, when we examine the archetypal trajectory of the Hero’s Journey, that, to paraphrase Rumi, we must work in the invisible every bit as hard as we do in the visible world if we wish to—as in the immortal title by the Doors—‘Break on Through (To the Other Side).’”
Max had a minor epiphany when he realized the curiously bedecked speaker citing a Swiss psychologist, a Persian poet and an American rock band in the same sentence was none other than Professor Icarus! The two hundred or so students in the hall listened in rapt silence as he concluded,
“Although it may involve such things, the Hero’s Journey is ultimately not about strength of arms or courage under fire—it is, far more simply, about creating a circle, not only in space and time, but in consciousness as well. This is the Great Circle, the continuity of existence, the Ouroboros that swallows its own tail as it enacts the underlying unity of creation. Upon completing his or her journey, having faced his or her demons, the true hero sees separation for the illusion it is, and embraces the reality of a unified self inhabiting a unified cosmos. Thank you for listening today. And have a pleasant and safe Halloween!”
Max had never been to a class at the end of which most of the students actually stood and gave the teacher an ovation—but that was precisely what happened when Professor Icarus finished his lecture.
There was something like electricity in the air, different from anything Max had ever felt in the factual, monotone atmosphere of his science and math classes, as he searched the sea of costumes for Tuesday—only to recognize her as the Easter Bunny searching for him from the front row.
He made his way to her against the stream of students starting to head for the exits. “I was afraid you wouldn’t show up,” she said, grinning with whiskers drawn around her mouth under pink rabbit ears. “Who are you supposed to be?”
“How apropos. I can see the resemblance. Especially later in his career during his blues phase.”
“So that’s Icarus over there?” Max nodded toward the lectern, where the professor-turned-shaman was assembling his notes and placing them in his briefcase. From this angle, Max could see he was wearing knee-high moccasins with beaded leather fringes.
“Should I just … go up and talk to him?”
“I’ll introduce you.”
Tuesday, sensing her friend’s shyness, took his hand and led him over to the lectern. “Professor Icarus,” she said, “that was an inspired lecture.”
“Did you really think so, Tuesday?” he replied. “Coming from my best student, that’s high praise.”
Professor Icarus was taller than he looked from the audience, even accounting for the headdress. Max, who went six feet himself, guessed the professor was a good six inches taller.
“I particularly enjoyed your prevailing meme of the heroic unification of consciousness,” said Tuesday.
“That’s very kind of you. So who is this gentleman with you? Your boyfriend?”
Tuesday self-consciously released Max’s hand as she replied, “Heavens no. This is my oldest and best friend. Allow me to introduce Max Diver.”
“Pleased to meet you, sir,” said Max, shaking the professor’s long, bony hand.
“Likewise,” said Professor Icarus, staring at Max thoughtfully with gray-green eyes that seemed unnaturally small and widely set under his enormous tulip bulb of a forehead. “Diver, did you say?”
“Are you a student here?”
It was Max’s turn to feel self-conscious, given the fact he hadn’t been much of a student at all lately, as he replied, “Pre-med.”
“I’m terribly sorry to hear that. Something tells me you’d make a crackerjack anthropologist. Where are you from, Max?”
“Cape Carnival, Florida.”
“Cape Carnival, did you say?” repeated the professor with surprise dawning on his ivory face. “My goodness gracious. I know who you are!”
I know who you are. Inevitably, whenever Max heard this phrase in the past, it was followed by some variation of, You’re the famous astronaut Thomas Diver’s son!
But this time was different. Chuckling to himself, Professor Icarus was shaking his oversized head. “I thought you looked extraordinarily familiar, even with your sunglasses and beard,” he said. “You’re Cynthia Holden’s kid, aren’t you?”
“You knew my mother?” said Max, shocked.
“Knew? I worshipped her! In a manner of speaking.”
“Could you please explain?”
“We were in graduate school together at Yale. Two inveterate troublemakers in the Anthropology Department. Oh, how they wanted to get rid of us both!”
Beaming with validation, Tuesday glanced at Max as if to say, I told you he had some missing pieces.
“You really knew my mother?”
“I really did.”
“What was she like?”
“Your mother? Brilliant. Beautiful. Boisterous. I was … immensely saddened at what happened.” A painful, perhaps bittersweet memory seemed to show in the professor’s faraway expression. “I attended her funeral in Connecticut. Your father was there, of course. I felt even sorrier for him than I did for myself. How is Captain Diver these days?”
“You mean you didn’t hear?” asked Max.
“He disappeared in his plane near Bermuda almost seven years ago.”
“Oh, my. Where have I been—hiding under a rock? I feel like an idiot running my mouth like that. I’m so sorry, Max.”
“It’s okay, Professor Icarus.”
“Please, call me Andrew. I feel more like your uncle than a professor to you.”
“Your name is Andrew?” asked Max, shocked again.
“What of it?”
“My middle name is Andrew.”
“You and my mother weren’t just friends, were you?”
“Please don’t worry, Professor … Andrew. I just … would love to know more about her.”
“Of course, you would. I’m happy, and honored, to answer any questions you might have. Would you like to come see me in my office tomorrow morning? Say, ten-thirty?”
“Where’s your office?”
“Mellon Hall. Room 203. Just look for the door covered in Tibetan prayer flags. You know what those are, don’t you?”
“I’ve … seen one before.”
“Excellent.” Professor Icarus extended his hand again. “It was delightful to meet you, Max.”
Max shook his hand and replied, “Likewise.”
“Thank you for introducing us, Tuesday.”
“I’ll be off now,” said Professor Icarus. “I mean, some say I’m always a little off. But today I’m truly off. Goodbye!”
“So you think that was just a coincidence?” asked Tuesday as she and Max watched Professor Icarus in his powwow gear exit the auditorium carrying his briefcase.
“I don’t know if I believe in coincidence. Anymore.”
“Fantastic, Max! That’s a great sign!”
“A sign of what?”
“A sign you’re beginning to see the universe for what it is: a gigantic web of connectivity.”
“Listen to yourself, Tuesday,” joked Max. “You really are Professor Icarus’s best student, aren’t you?”
Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.
Introducing Sol Luckman’s new visionary novel, CALI THE DESTROYER. Learn about the single most censored story in the history of the human race—and why it matters today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sol Luckman is a pioneering ink and acrylic painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers, the fast-paced trading game BAZAAR, and at least one tattoo on a female leg last sighted in Australia.
Sol is also an acclaimed author of fiction, nonfiction, and humor. His books include the international bestselling CONSCIOUS HEALING, which you can read free online, and its popular sequel, POTENTIATE YOUR DNA, available in English and Spanish.
Sol’s popular book of humor and satire, THE ANGEL’S DICTIONARY: A SPIRITED GLOSSARY FOR THE LITTLE DEVIL IN YOU, received the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and was selected as a Finalist in the Humor category of both the 2018 International Book Awards and the 2018 Best Book Awards.