The works & sagas of author & performer Sapha Burnell

Beautiful Machines

The current & past musings of a working artist, author & poet, Vakker Maskiner (Beautiful Machines) is Sapha Burnell's call out to a creator's life in Canada, in the cosmos & in your heart. 

Starting Son of Abel with Thomas Merton

A good loneliness, a good insecurity. Stone room, pines. His will, His mercy. An imperfection to say it and insist: lack of faith.
Do not explain.
— Thomas Merton, March 3, 1961

Why start an adventure novella with a statement of spiritual insecurity? Thomas Merton's statement, no less. One of the world's most influential Catholic monks of the 20th Century. I was recently asked for an interview, by a book blogger. Awesome! One Hundred Percent, I'm there. Her questions left me with more self-awareness than I'd prepared for. 

Writing is, above all, an act of faith. Devotion to the written word, to the guiding hand of editors, confidantes, that we not stray. Stray from the act of writing? The act of finishing? Stray from the hardship, the fatigue of one more revision before the deadline?

Thomas Merton's statement is far more than an author's plea to insist upon a final draft for publication. I could never assume myself capable of Merton's experience, or convictions. Living within the state of creative insecurity is like feeding in an oxygen tank. A kind of spiritual high, framed only by the black ink on white pages which come about at the high's end.

What does it say for Caleb, my lonely protagonist, and his search for the truth of Cain's Mark? Moreover, starting Son of Abel with Thomas Merton is a proclamation that despite the glut of paranormal fiction, this is my story. It is unlike any other, as Caleb is both alike and unlike any other. The same stone room can inspire thousands of creative works.