It was the cool evening of late spring of 1998. My at the time poster-boy college boyfriend was on his way to come and show me the new car he just got after trading in his black Mustang. I wasn’t too excited. He was way too into that car just hours after owning it and not enough into me. That day I decided I will never like Corvettes.
Laying on the living room couch of the Santa Cruz beach house where I lived with my older sister Anya and her boyfriend, I fumbled with my tiny Nokia, waiting for Jon to call me when he got here. It was already dark out and the instrumental CD I had on all day just finished playing its twelfth round. I got the album the previous night at a random café in Capitola where the band played a live show. The soothing yet sultry notes were produced by a local trio. I was amazed how only three people could create something this full and rich. Their name was Zavuya and I was seduced.
The Birth of “Venus”
Rolling off the couch to traverse the distance to hit the “play” button again, I was likewise hit by a stunning vision. I went back to the couch feeling my nerves ignite, goose-bumps rising on my skin. My heartbeat increased. My breath deepened. My pupils dilated.
I saw a lush, organic environ, moist and exotic. I heard the buzzing of bees and the echoes of a birdsong symphony, as I followed a young girl through the emerald jungle. Her back was exposed and a loose red sari-dress flowed over her sun kissed skin. Her hair was smooth, shiny and dark. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I knew she was gorgeous. I felt that she knew that too but was still too young to stay steady in her nascent confidence. Her name was Shira and she was on an adventure.
Swaying her hips as she walked on, in front of her arose a glistening marvel of a building. It was the color of ivory, domed, tall and majestic. Wines with leaves the shape of gigantic hearts hugged the columns as they climbed, the jungle elegantly encroaching upon the space inside. With a quickened pulse, I followed Shira in. She, as I, was on a path of discovery, neither of us expecting what we were about to witness.
Passing though arched doors and between walls embellished with cascading waterfalls, she entered a pool area, steam hovering in the air, the farthest wall of the rectangular lapis structure merging with a garden. Around the rippling water in clusters, as couples or solo, congregated young beautiful people of many origins. Girls braided each other’s hair, boys’ hands rubbed their backs and others went further, immersing themselves more deeply in the pleasures of bodily contact. The sensuality of the place was palpable and I watched as Shira’s senses caught on fire. She entered among the pods, hands of Adonis-like creatures fathering her silky dress. One of them grabbed her hand and looking into her eyes, pulled her closer and they shared a passionate kiss. All of them, I realized in that moment, were free to be with each other as they pleased. What kind of place was this?
All this came to me in a flash somewhere between the moment I hit the “play” button and when the first sounds of the album came out of the speakers. Maybe it was the music, maybe it was my hormones, maybe nothing more than a spur of wild imagination. Or maybe I was just a conduit. Maybe story-laden strings float in space all the time and sometimes they attach themselves to random minds? I don’t know. I rushed to grab a piece of paper and to my dismay realized I didn’t know how to describe what I saw. But my cells registered it and I had wait thirteen years until I was ready to put the vision on paper. Out of that grew a full length book, which currently bears the title “Venus.” It is with my editor and soon, before the end of the year it will be released as a full novel. I am tracking its progress on my Ava Kallan FB page, in the meantime also tracking the media obsession with “50 Shades.” I haven’t read the book but all the buzz makes me see people’s desire for sexy, erotic stories, which “Venus” certainly is in its own unique way.
The bottom line of this post is: believe in your dreams. Nurture the garden that grows in your mind. Choose your flowers wisely. And when the right time comes, DARE to do something about it.