Suzanne’s Note-I met author Garnette Arledge about ten years ago during a Hands of Light weekend at Vivekananda Ridgely Retreat in Stone Ridge, Upstate NY. She wasn’t participating in the program; instead, she was living at the retreat. That weekend still resonates in my memory bank; my dear friend, Joy flew in from Austin to drive with me upstate from South Jersey. The high point of the weekend; meeting Garnette and her books. The words of the preface to the Wise Secrets of Aloha were life changing for me. Read it and your heart breaks, learning the story of how Garnette found purpose and the strength to write in the midst of profound grief. She was my hero for a very long time. Meet Garnette Arledge.
From Garnett’s Amazon Page Award-winning author Garnette Arledge has traveled the world, been a pilot and poet, Hospice Chaplain and newspaper Editor. She teaches how to write your own stories transformed into published books. She performs poetry and laughter therapy, teaches conversation skills between adults and other generations. Recommends the writing life with a wing and a prayer.
Novels: One Hundred Thousand Lights: love song to India, Summer, 2012, Singing Stars Press. Spiritual South India, journey to ashrams and gurus.
Night of the Mothers: Four Magi Follow the Star, Fall, 2013, Singing Stars Press. Re-imagining the wise women, as midwives bring useful gifts for babies.
Self-help books: Wise Secrets of Aloha, Weiser’s Books, Spring 2007, healing with Lomilomi, the Aloha Spirit and hands-on touch.
On Angels Eve, meaningful support you can give family and friends at and during the dying journey. Square One 2004.
Festival of Writers: My Turn, December 2013, a meditation on solitude and writing at Hobart Book Village, NY.
On Angel’s Eve – Hospice chaplain Garnette Arledge has helped hundreds of people say “good-bye” to loved ones who are about to pass away. In this unique book, she explains how to make the most of this period of passing, which she refers to as “Angel’s Eve.” The author begins by exploring your understanding of death. She then offers spiritual support by showing how Christianity,
Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism provide healing perspectives on dying. She also includes suggested activities to help make the most of your time together.
Wise Secrets of Aloha – With Harry Uhane Jim, one of the last Kahuna of Lomilomi, Keeper of the Deep Mysteries of authentic Hawaiian esoterica. He shares the secrets of this ancient oral tradition with readers for the first time in Wise Secrets of Aloha.
Recognizing that the world is in great peril, Kahuna Harry was blessed by the Halau Guardians who instructed him to share the true teachings and tools of Lomilomi for the practice of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. He writes: “Now is the time to share aloha with humanity. `Aloha’ means the Breath of God is in our Presence. It is time to reveal the profound Lomilomi secrets of the kahunas for personal and planetary peace.”
Wise Secrets of Aloha is as simple as it is profound, as contemporary as it is ancient. It is true to Hawaiian esoteric teachings and available to all who bring the right attitude. Aloha calls. Listen in the the splash of waves, in the breeze–the air is filled with aloha. All the abundance, joy, and freedom from old wounds readers have ever yearned for can be found by adopting the aloha spirit.
Review I have read (in many cases slogged) through all Kahuna-type and Hawaiian Mystical I could find. From Max Freedom Long, to Fundamentals of Hawaiian Mysticism and so on, to the somewhat clearer The Sacred Power of Huna: Spirituality and Shamanism in Hawaii, Hawaiian Magic & Spirituality to the much better The Secrets and Mysteries of Hawaii: A Call to the Soul In all of these works other works you really do have a reconstructive approach to the Hawaiian ways that is done by an outsider to one degree or another. Pila, perhaps because of his Cherokee heritage was able to look into the ways of his Island brothers and unravel much of the mystery there. But this book by lineage holder Harry Uhane Jim is something in another class by itself.
This book conveys a high degree of clear consciousness from beginning to end. And what is important here is that Huna and Lomilomi are not presented as technique but as life-affirming and healing perspectives, ways of looking at the world. The spiritual essence that this book carries is very high and very pure. It reminds me of the best of the mystical works of the Sufi’s and others who see the unity behind the essence of a light and life.
Even if you are not specifically interested in Hawaiian mysticism or healing this book is sure to re-awaken aspects of your being and help you to live more fully. Very highly recommended.
One Hundred Thousand Lights-A Love Song to India – Leaving behind a two-timing fiance and job stealing colleague, carrying only her smart phone and a spiritual guidebook, lost Grace Avery lands alone in India to a Mumbai strike, Trivandrum riot, wild Chennai bus ride, the beauty of Pondicherry, the peace of Tiruvannamalai, the brilliance of Puttaparthi and a reconciliation in Bangalore. Guided from one mystical experience to another, surrounded by found compassionate friendships, deep spiritual teachings and love, she finds inside the real meaning of her name, Grace.
An Interview with Garnette Arledge
- How long did it take you to start writing in earnest once you knew that was what you wanted to do? All I ever loved, and would say when asked what did I want to do, was read. But my father wouldn’t allow me to major in English or History as I wished (plenty of reading there) so I signed up for journalism. Took more English and History than J’lism. Didn’t know I could write but the professors thought so fortunately. I’ve been reading ever since. With occasional writing interspersed. Ten books now and piles of news and magazine articles.
- Did you launch into self-publishing immediately or did you try the traditional route first? Working on newspapers and magazines set the groove for having editors, copy editors, paid colleagues to get my work out. My first two books, Wise Secrets of Aloha and On Angels Eve (the hospice book), were with medium sized publishers I recruited at the American Booksellers Assn. Convention in NYC. I acted on my own behalf but felt frustrated with the confines of their operations. As much as I loved the copy editors. All the others, novels and memoris, I have self-published which has its own liabilities, mainly distribution and those eagle-eyed copy editors.
- What was the most difficult part of the journey? Marketing – even though I also worked in PR. It takes good money to promote your own books and a different kind of discipline than writing. That I am easy with. Not self-promotion, not my cup of tea, I’d rather promote others.
- 4. You have several books, including a series. Do you want to do a stand alone? Or are you compelled to continue your series? Or both? I do not have a series. Only in my mental attic. Once I’m done with a book, even if it is by another author, I continue thinking of further outcomes. But I’m eager to leap for another project – must be the journalist in me.
- Do you jump right in to write once you get an idea, or do you plan and outline? Outline extensively, then follow the flow. I love to observe where my mind kicks in and something else than what I was planning consciously contributes itself. Often that is more fruitful than the outline.
- Where do you write? Do you have any rituals or necessities when you write? Is noise a hindrance? You learn quickly in journalism to pull a cloak of invisibility around your desk area in order to focus on the work. When I started there were fifty other journalists in the room, each focused. Now I sit looking out at Milton Mountain, the huge sky, next to a 45 year-old ficus in my study. Classical music. The dog. The phone. I miss the wisecracks of the newsroom. Well, maybe not. Peace and serenity is good.
- Do you write more than one piece at a time? I can, have done. Just like I have several books I’m reading going now. What’s in the works now? I’m making a book of my writings: poems, interviews with spiritual greats, maybe an editorial or two. I feel a gathering of my life-time’s work coming on. Making order out of paper chaos appeals to me. Better than in files or boxes.
- What encourages you to write? Discourages? What do you do to motive yourself through the rough times? I had the world’s best teacher of writing: journalism. “Don’t think: write” the professors said. It helped greatly that the story was based on interviews or facts, a sort of outline. Over the years it became ingrained to rely on gathering the material first, or living it, then writing it. My practice is to put my fingers on the keyboard and let them do the work. There’s an esoteric flow out of those fingers that seems to by-pass the mind. And I do a lot of walking in these mountains by the Hudson River with my dog. Mindlessness becomes Mindfulness, something mysterious happens when I am not consciously thinking about the work. When I get back to the keyboard, although now I am telling bits to Siri even on the walk, new material comes. I learning to pull over, give Siri a poem title or first line so back at the laptop, the work is jump-started. My blog is called Scripta Divina. Not the ancient church’s meaning of reading divinely inspiring works. But my own meaning: that my writing is inspired by the inner, transcendent Self. I imagine that’s true for writers, although I wonder at the minds of the ones writing on hard-edged topics. Peace.
Find Garnette Here