Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Brave Book From a Brave Woman

     I recently read a wonderful book by the late Dorothy Gilman called A New Kind of Country.  She tells about how, after a divorce and having both her sons in college, she decided to pack up her things, buy an old farmstead on the coast of  Nova Scotia, and live there alone.  Mind you, she did this in the early '70s, when such things were a rarity.  Still, I admire her courage not only to be alone in a world of couples, but to live her life in an honest, self-reflective way.  Here is a sample:
I learned this, too:  that we are each, inside of us, a country with our own mountains and plateaus and chasms and storms and seas of tranquility but like a Third World country we remain largely unexplored, and sometimes even impoverished, for want of a little investment.
     Beautiful, no?  It makes me want to pack my bags, too.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Summer Solstice!

     Yes, today is the summer solstice, the time when the daylight lasts the longest and the darkness lasts the shortest of the year.  The ancient Celts celebrated the summer solstice by lighting bonfires, symbolizing the conquest of the day over the night.  The ancient Saxons in the northern European countries also marked the solstice by making huge bonfires to celebrate the long stretch of daylight, in contrast to the lengthy darkness of the winter solstice.  The Romans celebrated this time in honor of Juno, the wife of Jupiter, and the goddess of women and childbirth.  Her name is found in the month that the summer solstice occurs, and June continues to be a popular time for weddings.

     So, enjoy the sun today.  Light a fire or light a candle, dance in the sunlight, take a walk, or just laze about in the sunshine.  Celebrate!

(photo courtesy of

Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Interesting Book

     I picked up an interesting book and would like to share a little about it.  It's called The Emerald Tablet of Hermes and The Kybalion, which, if you are interested, can be ordered here.  Perhaps you have heard the saying, "As above, so below," or some variation on that.  Well, that comes from the Emerald Tablet, supposedly written by Hermes Trismegistus, or the "Thrice-Great," who may have existed in ancient Egypt.  The first part of this book compares various sources and translations of the Emerald Tablet, which is interesting in itself.  There are versions from old Arabic and Latin sources, a translation by Isaac Newton (of falling-apple fame), Madame Blavatsky, and Fulcanelli.  Sometimes a slightly different translation creates a whole new meaning, as can be seen in these examples.

     The second half of the book is a reprint of The Kybalion, a book written anonymously over a century ago by three students of Hermeticism, a philosophy built upon Hermes' writings and on the secret doctrines passed orally for generations.  It's not easy reading, but parts of it sounded very familiar to me (a past life, perhaps?).  In any case, it is worth having if you are interested in esoteric philosophy. 

     A word of caution, however:  It is regrettable that the editor of this book did not proofread it a little better.  There are punctuation errors and a few misspellings.  Perhaps a future edition will have these corrected, which would increase this book's value tenfold. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Sweet Love Story

     Don't you love to hear love stories?  Here's one that will touch your heart.  It's about a couple who were married 70 years, held hands every morning over breakfast, refused to ever be away from each other, and died a mere fifteen hours apart.  Here's the link.  Have a tissue handy. 

(photo courtesy of