It’s a wonderful life, and good-spooky, sometimes.
If you’ve been reading my blog recently at TomVMorris.com, you know I’m super excited about the publication of the new books, The Oasis Within and The Golden Palace. Almost every day, I get some nice affirmation that I’ve spent the past five years well, in writing the big series on Egypt that these books together launch. If you're a regular reader, you’ll also know that all this came to me as an inner vision, a movie playing in my head—something that I had never experienced before. An older physician friend asked me the other day, “Did it ever feel scary?”
I had to smile. I said, “No. It was sort of spooky in its radical difference from anything I'd ever experienced before, but it all came to me with a tonality of goodness and benevolence, and a sense of joy.” Sometimes I think that life has more strange and cool stuff waiting for us than we ever might imagine.
Today, a shiny new black sedan was waiting for me outside my hotel in Philadelphia. I had just spoken to a group of CEOs and CFOs in The Lincoln Financial Field, where the Eagles play football. The driver took my bags and I slid into the comfortable backseat. I asked him how his morning had been so far. And his accent was interesting, sounding a little like some friends who are from northern India. So I said, “Is your accent Indian?”
He said, “No. Egyptian.” I instantly had one of those little spooky moments where you sort of can’t believe what you just heard.
I said, “I’ve spent the past five years of my life writing a series of novels about Egypt, set in 1934 and 1935.”
He said, “My father was born in 1932.” Ok then. I had hit the jackpot here. So I told him the whole story, the movie in my head, and the feeling that I shouldn’t do any research on Egypt but just write what came to me. But I explained that I had also Googled stuff after writing it, just to see if there was any connection between my mental movie and reality, and that I was amazed at how much stuff had checked out to be true, even though I knew that my stories were about a re-imagined Egypt. I then told him that my main character is a boy named Walid.
He said, “That’s my name.”
“My name is Walid.”
I said, “That’s amazing.” The man pulled out his wallet and handed me his beautiful business card. Walid Omar. I was curious. “Could you pronounce your name really clearly for me?”
“WaLEED,” he said.
“Wow. That’s great. That’s exactly the way the people in my mental movie say the name. And my wife has been dubious. She’s thought I’m surely mispronouncing it, because a lady I know from Morocco had said it differently, as ‘WA-Lid.”
“No. It’s WaLEED. It’s spelled W-a-l-i-d but pronounced WaLEED.”
“Thank you so much for confirming what I heard in my movie.”
We continued to talk. He’s from Alexandria. And one of the books to be published will feature some events in that ancient city. I almost never carry my own books with me, but on this trip, I had a copy of The Oasis Within inside my computer bag. I was planning to re-read it on the flight home. But at that moment, I was overcome with a very strong conviction that I was supposed to give it to my driver, Walid. So I did. A book about Walid for my new friend Walid.
It’s a wonderful, spooky world in which we live, and a wonderfully spooky life we can have when we open up and step out and talk to people about things that mean something to us—and then listen.
May your day and week and upcoming month be wonderfully spooky, as well.