It seems I’m coming late to the new year, and we are already half-past January. The wave-shift from publishing the book of letters is still in process, as I’ve had to change from editing and preparing the book itself, and put on a marketing hat. I just hope this marketing hat isn’t too silly-looking.
It goes against everything my mother ever taught me about good manners, but these times are very different. What used to be called “boasting” and was frowned upon, is now “self-promotion”. What used to be called “name-dropping” is now “networking”. The game has always been the same, actually. I’m learning to overcome the barrier inside myself that says “don’t call attention to yourself” “don’t outstay your welcome” and other such adages that were drilled into me at a very early age. Now some people hire others to boast for them – the PR people or the advertisers who do this for a living. Without embarrassment. I’m not able to afford that.
I realize I need to do it for the sake of the book, nothing to do with me at all. I can get my mind around that. I certainly feel no qualms about promoting, recommending, and lavishing praise on the work of others. I genuinely want people to see and know about all the books, movies, sites, objects, etc. that are wonderful to me, and I just naturally want to enthusiastically share them. But when it comes to my own work, I feel the block, and have to use inner force to move past it.
One way I’ve done it is by telling myself that this is for Shamcher and his work (which it is) and I’m just a messenger of that (and not the only messenger either.) This works for me. Another help is to realize, as I have, that I actually didn’t even write this book, it wasn’t written with an audience in mind, but was always an intimate correspondence. Even though Shamcher asked me to publish the letters someday, and he always saw the book somewhere in his mind’s eye, it didn’t make any difference to what we wrote to each other at all. We never wrote for the public. So with that in mind, I can promote the documentation of this relationship – not as a book about MY relationship but about the inner impulse and resonance of the abstract message behind and within the letters.
So maybe the marketing hat isn’t so silly after all. I’m just helping the book reach the people that would like to know about it and to read it….
And for me to think that my little feelings and awkwardness are more important than the message within this book – now THAT attitude is foolish – I’m the one that’s silly! The marketing hat can be graceful and beautiful – and for the next little while it is the required dress code for the day.
I’m excited! So many thoughts and feelings related to bringing this book of letters out into the light of day, and I’ll be catching up on that in the next while. But for now, here is a photo of me, a proud mama of the first box of books!
Wow. It’s been a long time coming….. and now I’m so very happy to finally have the books in hand!
What’s this book about? Find out more at the website for the book: Letters: Shamcher Beorse and Carol Sill, 1974-1977
We celebrated the arrival of the book and cd In Love with the Mystery, and Ann signed dedications to all the people who had pre-ordered. Now we are planning launches in Victoria and Vancouver in early November.
I’m really thrilled about this whole project and felt truly inspired to write this reflection on it:
Ann Mortifee, A Contemporary St. Hildegarde
by Carol Sill
A contemporary St. Hildegarde whose visions find expression in an integration of the arts, Ann Mortifee has done it again with her extraordinary book and CD In Love with the Mystery.
Perhaps her most complete and integrated expression, a natural development from the masterful Into the Heart of the Sangoma, In Love with the Mystery reveals Ann’s core of wisdom and meaning that she has found in the inner life. A mature integration, it is born of the completion of her life now with her soul mate husband Paul Horn. Through this relationship a new love of the mystery has revealed itself. But make no mistake, as a woman whose inner guidance has taken her around the world (both inner and outer) many times seeking the truth in all its forms and manifestations, Ann Mortifee herself is a force of nature.
What strikes me most is the way she seemingly effortlessly expresses the depth of humanity’s greatest aspirations and most profound seeking. She is a contemporary shaman, whose work reveals a personal integration of the world’s highest meditation teachings and new age spirituality with depth psychology and the hard-won truths of existence. Her expressions are not wishful thinking, speculation or theoretical. They are lived and breathed in the life of a woman today.
“Sacrifice all your resistance on the altar of your own becoming,” is something that she is doing each day. Her voice is the voice of experience.
Musically I compare her to Hildegarde because her inspiration comes so much in sound, and In Love with the Mystery reveals an intimacy with the essence of sound’s source and the celebration of this that music affords.
The progress of the recorded pieces acts as a complete mystery process, enabling the listener to sense and feel the divine relationship: from aspiration, to removing barriers, to contemplative silence, then ecstatic union, and knowing celebration. Each of these is expressed and explored in music which speaks to the body, heart and soul. It bears much more than just one listening. Move with it, dance with it, or sit and contemplate with it: this music opens the heart.
Her book, on which the lyric of the music is based, offers rich images to enhance the inner contemplation of each of the passages. It is a book to be opened and savored again and again, as each time another facet reveals itself. Ann’s inspired words bring home simple truths and profound contemplations in a stunning revelation of what it means to be human in these times of profound transition and change.
To me, In Love with the Mystery ranks with the work of the great mystics and seekers: poets like Rumi who whirled and spoke poetry in his love for Shams Tabriz, or saints like Hildegarde who heard, saw and felt the Divine. The whole work is a synaesthetic feast, an offering for the Divine Beloved.
The air changed just as we entered September, and my mind is slowly returning from the summertime haze. Its been a lovely summer and here are a few highlights – more to come next post.
We went to Portland for a week, dogsitting while friends of friends went to Northwest Sufi Camp.
Around that time the article I’d written while we were housesitting for my cousin at Nanoose Bay came out in Heartbeat, the Ruhaniat newsletter (published as a pdf online.)
The theme is Sacred Nature.
The In Love with the Mystery book and CD Project is now at press, with delivery in a week or so. It’s great being part of the Eskova team helping to make this project happen! We’ve put out a few newsletters with info, plus created the website for Ann Mortifee, with info on this latest project.
Keeping in Touch #1 – announcing the book project
Keeping in Touch #2 – features the new video
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, as you can tell by the book titles in this heading.
I finished Broken Open in a flash, it was a quick self-help Oprah-pick read, and I went into it because of the Omega connection and the Abode connection too – but was surprised to see not a mention of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who brought the Sufi Message to the West,nor of his son Pir Vilayat who founded the Abode of the Message. Lots of Ram Dass and other spiritual teachers mentioned though, and some terrific meditation instruction at the end of the book.
I went on immediately to White Tiger, and in the wake of the Slumdog Millionaire’s Bollywood romance-dream, I dove into another story of entrepreneurism in India. I found it harsh and wry and compelling to the end. Vivid.
Still going through the China Study. It is on loan to me so I really must get it back soon. I think I already know what it is telling me, and since I am a kind of “part-time vegetarian” I can see that the 3packs of organic tofu at Costco will be more of a staple than ever. Veggies here I come!
Also ongoing is the Kabir book, also lent to me, The Anurag Sagar. A cosmic epic of inspired perception, I am sipping this one slowly.
Besides, the novel People of the Book took hold, and didn’t let me down until I had read it. I see a lot of the Red Violin in this one, and even though they tried to market it with some sort of affinity to the Da Vinci Code, it is nothing like that at all. The story of the Jewish people over time as revealed in the Sarajevo Haggadah. Plus it’s a novel that turned out to be a very good read, indeed.
Becoming a tea-lover, tea-freak, tea-lady, tea-connoisseur, you name it – I’m suddenly fascinated by all things tea. At first I thought I should have a tea blog, then decided to just include it in this blog along with all my other fascinations. But if you like tea too, then by all means let me know what you love, why you love it, how you brew it, how you do it.
As I dash this off, I’m sipping Mighty Leaf Organic Breakfast tea – they call it ” a robust wide-awake blend of English Breakfast black teas.” I don’t know if it is that robust, actually, but I do love it – and I also appreciate their delicate fabric teabags.
Another favourite of mine, and I know this sounds very anti-elitist, is Kirkland green tea. Yes, Kirkland green tea with matcha, in tea bags from Costco. It has exactly the right combination and zap. I love it, especially at around 3 in the afternoon. Just what the doctor ordered! Clarity of mind? Absolutely. Delicious? Oh yes! But then, I may as yet have an undeveloped palate. For all I know, this Costco green tea might be dreck, even though I enjoy it.
That’s it for the day’s tea report, with this one exception: I met an old friend for tea on the weekend. We went to the beautiful Farfalla, here in Vancouver, and had some exquisite French Earl Grey tea. We’d almost selected a smoky Earl Grey, but once we caught its scent, we knew that it would be too campfire-tasting for us, and went instead for the floral Earl Grey. I know we weren’t supposed to have it with milk, but they gave it to us anyways. Delight!
And for fun, here’s another BFI video, this one on how to make the perfect cup of tea (in 1941, that is!)
Just for fun I’ve been playing with the MyStudiyo’s quiz site – along with my interest in Open Source Spirituality. Please do the quiz and let me know what you think.
I tried to embed this directly into this wordpress.com site, but there must be something that doesn’t permit a direct embed here at wordpress.com. So there’s a link out to the Mystudiyo site. (I’ll try to crosspost this on another site as well, to see how it plays.)
There is another open version I’ll do next – it allows quiz-takers to add their own questions!
All Murakami, all the time. I first saw Murakami in the Superflat show at the Henry in Seattle several years ago. We got the big Murakami book and now I see there is wonderful coverage of the Murakami show in NY – including a feature in the Times Magazine. For a taste, here’s the slide show from the NYTimes, and their video of the opening.