I have a new story in my mind. This one is dark and Gothic. I am soaking up the atmosphere of nineteenth century Australia and letting my imagination carry me to new places. My Irish heritage no doubt has much to do with this. I found an old trunk as a child on the verandah of my grandmother’s house is Caringbah, in NSW Australia, a place close to the largest ocean in the world. The trunk was filled with books: Girls Own Annuals from the early twentieth century and books about Ireland, all magical. I don’t know who they once belonged to, probably an older cousin. I can still recall the joy of searching through those books on a hot, still afternoon, with the scent of eucalypt drifting on the breeze. The books have long since gone to other homes but I still have one: The Little Good People, Folk Tales of Ireland by Kathleen Foyle, pictured by Peter Fraser, which was published in 1949. As a small child this book enthralled me: changelings, the little goose girl, a magic lake, the sowing of heartsease, lepruchans and fairies.
Another book I found some years ago that I love is Speaking from the Heart a selection of unpublished writings by Joan Grant and edited by Nicola Bennett, Jane Lahr and Sophia Rosoff is a book that is a success on every level; spiritual, practical and clarity of writing. I first discovered the writings of Joan Grant nearly thirty years ago when I read her autobiography Far Memory and her Far Memory novels based on her ability to recall earlier lives. The strength of Joan’s spirit shines through Speaking from the Heart’ and includes descriptions of her Edwardian childhood, the discovery of her unique gifts in recalling past lives, psychometry and her personal ethics for living. The book gives the reader a clear, richly evocative description of past life regression work, the supra physical and death and contains the wisdom of many lifetimes. Joan Grant was a woman of great compassion, humour, and unique psychic ability, a woman I did not meet in this lifetime and certainly hope to meet in my next lifetime. If you should read Speaking from the Heart I’m sure you will want to discover more about this remarkable woman and the gifts she has left us in her other books. Jane Lahr is the daughter of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion, in the Wizard of Oz.