“Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life.” Herman Melville: Moby Dick
Recently, I gave away 6000 copies of my enovel: One Insular Tahiti.
For a few weeks, I watched as the novel stayed in the top 20 of Canadian Literary Fiction. There was a point for a few gaudy hours I was in front of Leonard Cohen. (Imagine how I felt at that point. Giddy would describe it best)
I was even lucky to get a review from the glut of copies that went out free.
Now I sit each day watching the numbers fall again, and while I might be tempted to feel despondent that I might not ever “make it as an author”, I’m reminded of the line that has driven me over the last 2 years to remember the temporary state of this life and all that is in it. I’m reminded that this little wave in my serene ocean is but a small one compared to the larger tsunamis that sometimes strike. I know from the past that these little swells are nowhere near enough to swamp my boat, and I’m able to better pilot the vessel.
There are worse things, as we all know, than to be a modest seller on Amazon. I’m pretty good by now at keeping things in perspective. I think of the Melville quote and recall the year I’ve led, the year before that, the year before that one, and the one before. I’ve had a pretty decently happy and blessed life. And yet, like many, I’ve had some major upheavals. A close family member’s addiction, friends and family suicides, my mother’s heart attacks and consequent surgery: all things that affected me very deeply.
These are all those “horrors of the half-known life” to me, and I am forced to remember that there is a place of peace within myself that I can return to when I’m feeling out of sorts. That small space has helped me through the recent job less and re-assignment, it’s helped me through the diagnosis of my husband’s illness and all that means to our family and to him, it has helped me through some pretty strange times all through my life when I thought I just might not be able to cope.
In One Insular Tahiti, Luke MacIsaac (yes, I used my maiden name: my dad was always complaining that my family name would never show anywhere if I ever published, so that was for you Dad.) needs to find his Tahiti. Does it matter that he’s already dead? He has forgotten that space within that connects us all to a divine sense of completion and peace, and he needs to rediscover it. For Luke, Tahiti is the womb and all the possibilities of remaking his life and starting over, of being given a chance to fix all the mistakes of his past life.
So what does that ‘Tahiti’ look like to you?
If you’ve not picked up a copy of One Insular Tahiti while it was free, it is still available to borrow from the Amazon Lending Library.
If you did pick it up while it was free and you enjoyed it, I encourage you to leave a review. I am grateful to you all for giving this indie author a chance.
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- What about blurbs? Can you write one? (theaatkinson.wordpress.com)