Posted in:   Goddess

Magic Your Summer Reading: Tale of the Lost Daughter

Excerpt from Tale of the Lost Daughter: Chapter 1

Without a word, she dropped a brochure on our table and then headed out into the frosty, winter air. It was from one of my favorite Toronto hangouts, the Art Gallery of Ontario, or the AGO in local lingo. The front page featured a traveling exhibit from the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Even with my limited knowledge of Canada’s geo-cultural map, I knew Vancouver was a West Coast, urban destination for the alternative and spiritually-minded, and most certainly a raven hangout. I felt a faint, downward, fluttering sensation in my gut, and then a soft, tingling touch, as if something as light as a feather had come to rest inside me.

Sometimes things have to get messy. Sometimes you have to get a little wild, a little crazy, to really be alive.

“The first feather clue from my raven dream,” I said to Jules, pushing the AGO brochure in front of her.

Jules turned to the door but the woman had vanished from sight. Then she gingerly ran her fingertips over the brochure.

“How do you know?” she asked with a wide-eyed look that mirrored my own disconcertion at this sudden turn of events.

“I don’t know,” I said, “Something in the woman’s look when she left the brochure on our table told me it was a clue. And then I had an odd sensation in my belly when I saw the visiting exhibit from Vancouver.”

“Things just got a little wilder,” Jules said with a quick grin, “Are you going to go?”

“Yes. I have to. Can you come with me?” I asked as I quickly pulled on my coat and grabbed my purse.

“I can’t. I’m so sorry,” Jules said as she also stood up to leave, “I promised my Aunt Lily a month ago that we would have a Christmas shopping day together. It would break her heart for me to cancel. Besides, I think you need to figure this one out on your own.”

Thirty minutes later I stood, my whole body rigid and alert, before a riveting, modernist canvas entitled “Big Raven” in which the artist, Emily Carr, depicted a larger-than-life raven gracefully awaiting its death and return to Mother Earth. In that moment an alternative reality, one where ravens talk, direct your dreams, and show up in breathtaking paintings, truly kicked in. This stuff was not a fantasy game I’d cooked up for my entertainment; it was real, scary real.

I stared at this oil-painted masterpiece of the West Coast mythos, absorbing the vibrant, bold strokes of the down-flowing radiance of sky, and the swirling, momentary embrace of flesh and forest, with the raven, earth-anchored and heaven-reaching, suspended between the two.

My own flesh hummed with these big, untamed, primal forces that danced my heart to an erratic, cacophonic beat. My hands clenched and unclenched at my sides. Terror and delight, equally present, equally powerful, coursed through me, leaving me paralyzed in doubt and confusion. One part of me fumed and sputtered that this was utter nonsense, spiritual pap for the weak minded, and that I should squeeze my eyes shut until it all went away. The other, breathing heavy, legs spread wide, and fingers reaching out hungrily, knew good food when she saw it — soul food that she had been waiting for her whole life.

Emily Carr was a passionate, free-spirited woman who refused to be domesticated by the Victorian strictures of her early years, or to let her spirit and magnificent originality be broken by the backwater isolation of her Canadian West Coast home and the misogynist ethos of her times. All around me her masterworks spoke of her feral, ardent communion with the forest and the earth-rooted, aboriginal culture in a language that I have always, innately understood: the capturing of energy, color and beauty in art form.

“Fuck your tidy ways,” I heard her whisper through the palpable, wild otherness reaching out from her canvases, “Fuck your fears. Be bold. Be brave. Be free.”

Feather number two, this one plucked from the oil-painted back of Big Raven, fluttered down into my belly and rested beside its ebony sister.

Feather number one had pointed me in the direction of the West Coast. Feather number two suggested a location closer to Victoria, Emily Carr’s hometown located on Vancouver Island, a large island off the British Columbia mainland. A slow, delicious smile spread across my face, melting the clenched tension in my jaw, as my thoughts turned to feather number three, and the possibility that it held the secret destination of my raven dream.

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What Readers Are Saying:

 I suggest everyone reads this book! First time read this book like the beautiful story it is. Then read it a second time slowly to start transforming your life.  Kathleen McCutcheon

It changed my life- for real! I hadn’t had an actual “connection” to the Goddesses until I read it!

Then the dreams started and it’s just moved me from one thing to another. It caused a hunger I couldn’t feed, but gave me a fullness I have never know. Amazing.  Jody Sutfin Delva

I’ve read Tale of the Lost Daughter two times, and will read it again. Sarah is me, or at least that’s how I felt as I followed her through her adventures. She is a businesswoman and a spiritual woman at the same time, and she learns to listen to her heart rather than just her head. I didn’t want to put the book down.  Sherry Farrell

Photo Credit: Frantzou Fleurine on Unsplash

Tale of the Lost Daughter