Cecelia here. Here, at the beginning.
Everything is new, including the name of this project. Our Mahavma Project.
We realize that nobody will know, at first, what we’re talking about. This is, quite honestly, because we made it up. We created the word mahavma. So what does it mean, and why did we choose it?
We’re writing everything from sci-fi to adult fairy tales, romance, horror, children’s books, the whole gamut, to tell this one vital story. So, we wanted to find one name that could encompass every diverse and divergent offshoot. But what title could possibly cover all that? What is the whole story, ultimately, about? And what on earth is our very personal motivation here?
Truth is, even though these stories are loaded with heroic action and adventure, mystery, a fair measure of fear, struggle, pain, and even darkness and death sometimes, the bottom line is that all of it is moved forward by love – the love that the major players in the story have for life and for one another. And of course, there is our love, too, for humanity and this world we live in, which is really what activates our desire to write these stories in the first place.
Mahavma is a word for a certain type of love. And quite frankly, we didn’t want you to find that out right away. We were worried that this would give people the wrong idea about us, and about these stories. After we chose it, we spent a couple of hours shuddering and teasing each other over it. Would it sound like we were pushing a valentine agenda? Or perpetually hugging trees and handing out kittens?
It’s not that we find anything wrong with any of those things, or with the word love, either. Honestly, it’s the greatest power in the universe, as far as we’re both concerned. But I think for both of us, what constitutes love is so vast that it’s difficult to categorize.
For us, love also encompasses all the dirty, gritty, unpleasant aspects of life, too. It isn’t always sparkly or sweet or gentle. Sometimes it is the only motivation we have to push our way through the hardest, most frightening, or painful parts of life. Sometimes love is what rises up inside of us like a volcano, makes our voices roar, even gives us extra-human strength. And since love so often gets associated with all manner of things that seem absolutely the opposite of power or smarts, naming something we hope will be both powerful and smart with the word “love” seemed like a bit of a risk.
It’s also because there are really so many different kinds of love, and we almost always use this one word to describe everything from the raging instinct to protect our children, our territories and our ideals, down to relishing the taste of spaghetti. Love can inspire us to write a poem for a sweetheart, or it can be the stubborn refusal to give in or give up, and can be expressed quite aggressively.
So, yes, the English language seems to be sorely lacking in descriptive words for each of the different types of love that we all experience on a daily basis. Sanskrit has something like 96 words for love, and Farsi has 80 or so. Greek has a helpful handful, too. And so for our story, we decided that since we were creating an entirely different culture, we also wanted to provide them with many words to express many kinds of love.
Thus came the word Mahavma. Here is our definition of it:
“The sense of bringing something or someone into oneself. Inclusivity. Boundless ability to hold things with unconditional love and compassion. Infinite empathy. Universal kindness, free from desires, expectation, and regardless of flaws.”
We hope this whole Mahavma Project is really motivated by this, at least to the best of our humble, human ability to do so. And we hope that you find it threading through every one of our stories.
And while you’re at it, we hope you’ll roar like a volcano, and hug a kitten.
We love you.