Though she’s grown up in an extended bohemian family, Cassia’s able to cope with being different from many of her classmates – up to the point her father vanishes in an avalanche halfway around the globe. The other kids have fathers – that’s normal, or so she thinks. And then, in a flash, she and her home aren’t normal.
To see just how atypical they are, check out my new novel, What’s Left.
I just couldn’t pour this down the drain. It needed to simmer much more:
Her father was also a dreamer – or at least an idealist – a dimension that often inhibited him from asking hard questions or anticipating a full range of obstacles in a course of action. And he had an innate aversion to conflict.
What Thea Nita has confirmed is that Baba carried a sense of not quite belonging in the consumer culture of America. He had rightly concluded the ultimate flatness of his birthplace had nothing to do with its landscape and everything to do with a wider loss of stimulation, imagination, and inventive discovery – all further inhibited by social conformity rather than any acceptance of eccentricity. He recognized the potential for more, much more – something he encountered first in science and the fine arts and later in direct spiritual experience.
And then there’s her mother’s side, where they live – where he, too, has chosen to place his life.
Reflecting on the emotional cost of an upbringing like that in my own life has me realizing just how debilitating it has been. Like him, I found ways to escape and still somehow “fit in.”
Let’s get back to the basics. Would you say you’re “normal”? What would you like to change about yourself or your situation?