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
“You clean up well,” quipped Maxwallah from where he sat warming himself on the banco beside the kiva as Max entered the living room.
“Ha, ha. Where’s Artemisia?”
“Setting out your food. Let us get you some nourishment.”
Max followed his twin back into the foyer and through the central artery of the house into what he had suspected from the smells to be the kitchen.
The room was massive—bigger even than the living room. It featured a glazed ceramic stove with a large crock simmering on top, something resembling an old-timey wooden icebox, a deep stone sink, and an oval table with eight chairs under a hanging stone lamp. “You know, I actually thought you folks lived in a teepee when I first met Maxwallah,” admitted Max.
Artemisia, showing her guest to his place at the table, joined Maxwallah in laughing. “And what would be so bad about that?” she asked.
“Nothing. As long as it had a bathroom.”
There was another round of laughter as Max, mouth watering, sat down in front of a steaming bowl of stew containing oysters and shrimps mixed with something like sweet potatoes and wild rice. “So this is the fabled mesuque,” he said.
“Yes,” replied Artemisia. “Mardah’s specialty.”
Too keen to wait a second longer, Max placed his cloth napkin in his lap, grasped his wooden spoon, and took a piping-hot bite. “Careful,” said Artemisia. “It is still nearly boiling.”
“Show … I … can … she,” gasped Max, blowing in quick gusts across the hot stew still in his mouth.
“How is it?” asked Maxwallah when Max had finally swallowed and taken a sip of water to cool his throat.
“Incredible. I should offer the chef my compliments. Where’s this Mardah?”
“Gone home for the night to be with her husband,” said Artemisia. “They have a home in the village. She will be back tomorrow morning.”
“Aren’t you guys going to join me?”
“We will sit with you,” said Maxwallah, taking a seat at the table as Artemisia did the same. “But we have already eaten.”
“Right. I forgot I passed out. I’m sure I cramped your dinner plans.”
“Not at all,” said Artemisia. “We do not stand on ceremony in this home. Please. Enjoy your food while we enjoy your company.”
Max didn’t need much persuading. The mesuque was fantastic. He finished one bowl and was working on a second Artemsia ladled out from the crock on the stove before he was of a mind to engage in conversation.
“When it comes to working with the energy, Maxwallah tells me you are a fast learner,” commented Artemsia while refilling Max’s water glass from a pitcher on the table.
“Either that or just lucky.”
“I doubt very much luck has anything to do with it.”
“You should have seen him, Mother,” said Maxwallah. “It was just like in the prophecy. You would have thought Leaping Dolphin himself had returned.”
“Wait a minute,” said Max. “Did you just say Mother? What happened to teacher?”
“Now that I have verified he has a successful student of his own,” explained Artemisia, “I am, technically speaking, no longer his teacher.”
“So what do you do, Artemisia, when you’re not teaching?”
“Mother is a doctor,” said Maxwallah. “What you would call a homeopath.”
“Not always seriously,” put in Artemisia with a mischievous grin. “I prefer levity over gravity.”
“I was studying to be a doctor myself—back in my world.”
“If I may say so, Maxwell, you are well past becoming a doctor now.”
“I’ve been thinking the same thing. So do you have a lot of patients?”
“Enough to keep me occupied. Although I mostly work with humans, I have developed numerous protocols for treating the Almasty.”
“The Almasty? They come here to see you?”
“Sometimes. While they are physiologically similar to us in many ways, they remain quite distinct—and require species-specific methodologies.”
Max’s eyes widened with scientific interest. “You don’t by any chance believe humans are descended from the Almasty, do you?”
“I believe it is possible, but not without intervention.”
“Mother believes some of the Almasty were modified long ago to become us by our space brothers,” said Maxwallah. “This would explain both our extraordinary kinship—and our numerous dissimilarities.”
“It’s a fascinating theory,” admitted Max. “Clearly, they are basically … people.”
“They are most definitely people,” said Artemisia. “The Almasty are as conscious as we are of the Way of All Things, the Circle of Life, and the Great Crossing.”
“Speaking of the Almasty,” said Max, “where’s Zana?”
“Probably catching up on her sleep with the horses in the stable,” said Maxwallah.
“Why doesn’t she sleep in the house?”
“Ever since she was young,” explained Artemisia, “she found it impossible to stay in here very long. I am sure she gets stuffy inside with all that fur.”
“You should have seen mother trying to make her wear a dress when she was little,” laughed Maxwallah. “Zana wailed like a wounded jork and tore every single dress she was given to shreds.”
“I eventually gave up,” conceded Artemisia. “It was a failed experiment.”
For a moment, Max, captivated by his hosts’ stories, was lost imagining growing up with a half-wild Sasquatch playmate who slept in the stable.
“Care for some coffee?” asked Artemisia, interrupting Max’s visions of exotic childhood adventure.
“Coffee.” The word sounded almost foreign on Max’s lips—like a term from a language he was slowly forgetting. “Some coffee would be great. I’ll have a Venti Latté with an extra shot.”
“I’ll have whatever you’re having.”
“Are you certain it will not keep you awake? Maxwallah never drinks coffee before bed.”
“I can sleep through practically anything.”
“Me, too. Coming right up.” Clearly adept in the kitchen, Artemisia ground some coffee beans by hand with a wooden machine, then added them to a long-stemmed, ceramic cezve, which she heated over a tap-activated burner on the stove.
“You’re not making Turkish coffee, are you?” inquired Max.
“Turkish? Is that what you call it?”
“Assuming you add cardamom, yes.”
“How did he know you put cardamom in your coffee, Mother?” asked Maxwallah. “I thought you invented it.”
“Good question. I am unsure.”
“When did you first start drinking it this way?” asked Max.
Artemisia thought back while standing beside the stove waiting for the coffee to boil. “Shortly after Maxwallah was born. Why?”
“It’s probably another bleed-through from my mother. Before she married my father, she dated a colleague named Andrew Icarus who was crazy about Turkish coffee.”
“Fascinating. That would explain it. I have been practically addicted to this curious beverage for years. I even had this strange pot designed to my specifications by a local ceramicist.”
After sweetening the brew with honey and adding a pinch of cardamom, she poured the scalding liquid into two small cups and placed them on the table.
“The same probably goes for your sand dollar necklace,” observed Max as she sat down again.
“My necklace? What do you mean?”
“When did you start wearing it?”
“Not long …”
“… after Maxwallah was born?”
“Yes, now that you mention it.”
“My mother loved sand dollars. She had a whole box of them.”
Artemisia blew across her coffee and took a sip. Max followed suit. Sure enough, the taste was virtually identical to the Turkish coffee Professor Icarus had prepared for him.
“Look, Maxwell,” said Artemisia, “I know you want more than anything to connect with your mother through me. But I am not your mother. Undertaking the Great Crossing is not the same as completing the Circle of Life.”
“The Great Crossing is when the twin halves of a dyad reconnect through death,” explained Maxwallah. “The Circle of Life happens when two such twins are reunited in life.”
“One involves forgetting,” added Artemisia. “The other leads to remembering.”
“I get all that,” said Max, staring at her delicate features. “I also know my mother is there, inside you, somewhere. If only I could speak with her—”
“That’s impossible,” said Artemisia.
“Nothing is impossible.”
“Perhaps for you. You are the Umbodi. I am just … Artemisia.”
“Let us not lose sight of why you came here, Maxwell,” said Maxwallah. “Your father—who is still very much alive—needs your help as soon as you can provide it.”
“Meaning I’m going to have to fly whether I’m ready or not?”
“With any luck,” grinned Artemisia, “you will be ready.”
Later, having finished his coffee and said goodnight, Max lay in bed uncharacteristically unable to sleep. The mattress, stuffed with down, was quite comfortable, while the sheets were soft and clean-scented—making his insomnia all the more remarkable.
Whether owing to the moonlight seeping through the shutters or the coffee stirring up his mental faculties, his thoughts were racing. It occurred to him that, given the reciprocal relationship constituted by the Great Crossing, since there were Sasquatches in time-space, there had to be others somewhere in space-time.
This got him on the subject of Reciprocal Theory. He realized something so oddly profound it prompted him to climb out of bed and tiptoe through the bathroom into his twin’s room. “Hey, Maxwallah. You awake?”
“I am now,” said the shadowy form stretched out in bed. “What is the matter?”
“Nothing. I just need to ask you a question.”
“Please make it quick.”
“Were you aware that my room and your room are like space-time and time-space, with the bathroom serving as the Interface?”
“Actually, no. I never thought of that.”
“Do you think whoever designed this house did?”
“How should I know? This house was built by my great-great-great-grandfather.”
“Well, your father certainly seemed to get it, since he painted our murals. If I’m not mistaken, my dolphin is even in the east, while your raven is in the west.”
“Go to sleep, Maxwell.”
Max tried—but for hours he only tossed and turned and twisted his sheets. He was self-aware enough to know not only that something was bothering him, but to know precisely what that something was. His intuition was quite strong that, in order to be able to fly, truly fly the way he used to in his dreams, he needed to proceed with his initiation.
But at the same time, despite Maxwallah’s assertions to the contrary, a small but vocal part of him was petrified that fully embracing the perspective of oneness would result in the loss of his own individuality.
“I need a sign, I need a sign,” he kept whispering to himself, over and over, as the night wore on—until, at long last, he drifted into a fitful slumber.
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, Spanish, and soon in French.
Building on this deep dive into lucid dreaming, parallel universes and Hindu mysticism, Sol’s new novel, CALI THE DESTROYER—a page-turner of a sci-fi tale set in an Orwellian future seeded in the dystopian present that radically rewrites Gnosticism as well as the origins of the earth and humanity—was selected as Winner of the 2022 NYC Big Book Award and 2022 National Indie Excellence Award for Visionary Fiction, Silver Medalist for Visionary Fiction in the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest, Finalist in both the New Age and Visionary Fiction categories of the 2021 International Book Awards, and Distinguished Favorite for Audio Fiction in the 2022 NYC Big Book Awards.
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.