An email came from my publicist. She had arranged for me to be interviewed on an Internet radio show about my book, To Find The Way Of Love. It was a new experience for me. I had spent ten years thinking, researching, and writing. Now, I had a twenty-minute interview to stimulate interest. I found myself thinking of all that had gone into this book. Why the book; its content being the evolution of human relationships and the emergence of hierarchy to the diminishment of relationships; competition overwhelming cooperation…
Thoughts came about a hierarchy I had been a part of when I was young—the Navy. I was a young fighter pilot in an environment in which we were all separate but connected. Our job was to fly our missions. But first, we trained intensely for two years before we got our wings. In those days, a jet mission was two and one-half hours limited by fuel. Two and a half hours from two years of eating, sleeping, breathing and loving flying.
I had wanted to be a Navy fighter pilot from the time I was five. I cherish a memory of being five and a half with my father. He was working and had taken me along. We passed an airport with a sign advertising airplane rides. My memory is hazy about the details but what I do remember, vividly, is that my father wanted to take me because he knew how enthralled I was with airplanes and flying. He was like that.
I’m not sure, sixteen years later as a midshipman, that I would have been able to accurately describe the experience of doing what I loved—the intensity of those two years, the bonds formed by being in the moment, hyper-alert, alone in the sky but together with others.
And now, I had twenty minutes to communicate thoughts, ideas, and responses to questions about what had consumed the most recent ten years of my life. Interviews typically focus on product, not process. What was my book about? Turns out, the Kirkus Indie review had answered this question for me:
“The problem, according to the author, is that these manmade systems—(hierarchies)—so pervasive in our everyday lives—actually run counter to the intrinsic human need and desire for relationships rooted in freedom and equality. He calls this natural compulsion ‘love.’ Simply put, ‘love works, inequity doesn’t.’”
I reflected on the experience of describing an enveloping event with the brevity that dulls the color, feeling, and meaning of that experience. With flying, everyone can picture a pilot in a plane on a mission in the sky. But try doing that with ten years of your life creating a book?.
Art, music, painting, dance, poetry, and literature create gorgeous snapshots, alive and full of feeling and meaning. But for an experience such as a twenty-minute interview, there are no snapshots to show.
We communicate with all the ways at our disposal. Words are high on the list. But nothing equals having one’s own experience. We hope that this blog and To Find The Way Of Love will enlarge on personal experiences for those who read them.
Oliver & Barbara