I have a friend who chafes at the word spiritual, especially as it is used to describe a person: “Oh that so-and-so, she’s so spiritual. This friend describes herself as the least spiritual (adding the helpful two-fingered parentheses) person in the neighborhood. I can understand this resistance. After all, when does one move from having a natural interest in the spirit behind earthly existence, to becoming “spiritual"? Does that mean that there are some people who are simply animated blobs of matter?
Several years ago I decided to explore my own ideas of the spiritual in writing. I did this in part due to a stifling intellectual timidity, which causes me to clam up when faced with strong opinion. In this way the searching voice is allowed open access to the possibilities of the mystical workings behind this enigmatic life without tripping over the obstruction of another’s long-frozen belief system.
If asked what I would like to do with this life of mine, I would readily answer, “to be able to lift another with words. There have been many times in my life when I have been saved from utter despair by words (some spoken, most written), and I consider those who did the lifting to be my friends: Ralph Waldo Emerson, George MacDonald, Emanuel Swedenborg. Some of these voices are still alive and lifting: Sophy Burnham, Ann Lamotte, Claire Blatchford, my brother and sister. I know I would feel quite alone on this planet without these curious, open voices.
I hope to take a running jump at transcendence, enough perhaps to lift us to the next, slightly higher truth. At the same time I promise never to draw such a hard conclusion that it can’t be kicked aside for something better. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, we might catch sight of something beyond the world of blobby matter.
I live these days in Bucks County Pennsylvania, and write from a beloved old stone house (built some 200 years ago by a far-sighted farmer). I share this home with my husband and jazz musician/producer Matt Balitsaris, and a multitude of semi-domesticated animals. My days are spent mostly outdoors, walking a nearby woodsy path with my dogs, or on my farm with my horse and a various array of farm animals. I write about these creature friends often.
My Grandmother, Jane Morton Norton (isn’t that a wonderful name?) was a painter for most of her life. Her paintings grace this site.
For more information about the paintings, contact me.