This month Beauty taught me it will not be rushed. My impatience is ugly by comparison. Whether repairing the fire damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, or doing all the necessary tasks to properly complete a memoir, rushing does not give the best results. Beauty deserves its due.
As the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Dress me slowly for I am in a hurry.”
I felt this strongly when taking time out from working on the book recently, to visit two of my three grown children, who live on the West Coast. My son took me to see the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens in Los Angeles because he knows how much I love circles, wheels and sacred spaces.
Our docent guide explained this labyrinth’s design is based upon the one built in 1214, at another French Cathedral, the one in Chartres. Centuries later these labyrinths are still in use. They were not conceived or built in a hurry.
Walking these labyrinths in a sacred manner was considered an acceptable substitute for making the much longer pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the city whose name means Peace. Unfortunately few could afford to travel to the Holy Land for centuries during the Crusades, as the region was as dangerous then as it is now.
Memoir Launch Date & Workshop
Some have asked when the memoir is coming out:
Summer Solstice is our target for the unveiling. The book will be available via Amazon by Friday June 21st.
We chose this date because editor and graphic designer Gigie Hall will be visiting Rhode Island from the West Coast. This means she is also able to join us for the promised workshop on Sunday June 23.
We can only accommodate eight participants for this pilot. Respond to me right away if you are interested. The workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $58 and it will be held at my home in Hope Valley, R.I.
You will receive an autographed copy of The Importance of Paris, program materials with the step by step process we used to complete this memoir, and a light lunch, coffee/tea and snacks.
Our Summer Solstice Lodge ceremony will be held on Saturday the 22nd of June. Please RSVP as these Solstice and Equinox ceremonies fill up fast. Visit our Facebook page for any information about ceremonies.
Excerpt from The Importance of Paris Preface:
Addendum: I almost shelved this memoir project in October 2018. I got cold feet after no one was held accountable for the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist and truth teller, Jamal Khashoggi.
In my book, I mention not only meeting other members of the Khashoggi clan but also the founder of the Mukhabarat. That Saudi security agency was responsible for murdering and dismembering Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi diplomatic consulate in Turkey. He was silenced for daring to publish the truth about the corruption going on between the leaders of my country and his, the Arabia where I grew up.
In Paris during my university years, I met Kamal Adham, the now deceased creator of that Mukhabarat agency. Too young then to grasp the scale of what was going on (or their recruitment tactics) I became involved in their social circle nevertheless. What I came to understand convinced me not to collaborate with them or any other agencies. My agenda is my own, as you will see in this book. Freedom of conscience and personal agency are worth more to me than all the gold in the world. The intervening decades have proven the value of this truth a hundred times over.
I was waiting for regime change to make it less dangerous to publish a truthful book but I am already older than Khasshogi was when they killed him. The brazen way he was butchered telegraphed a warning to all fighters of corruption: keep quiet or this could happen to you. I am not a paranoid person, but his death gave me pause. The limited release of this memoir is my effort to encourage conversation, activism and resistance.
In 2018, 53 journalists died doing their jobs and 43 of them were deliberately targeted for their reporting on corruption. As this book went to press, not a single one of their murderers has been punished. We cannot fight corruption, or ignorance without the truth. This is why my fellow truth tellers have my utmost respect. When the lies are killing us, the truth is worth dying for.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi women’s rights activists presently in prison in Arabia are at the mercy of the same Saudi security agents who made Khashoggi’s body disappear. Each brave truth seeker deserves our help. If we hope for progress, peace and justice, we need to hear what they know. I hope they live to tell their stories, and that Georgina Rizk, the Lebanese refugee you will meet in my book, will one day share hers.
“If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.” — Louis D. Brandeis, United States Supreme Court justice and professor of law.