This brief requiem for my mother and her passing is a meditation on the transformative healing power of listening. From my mother, I learned that listening doesn't require a college degree, professional training or expensive, sophisticated equipment. We can do it without a penny to our name, and do it whatever our age. We can do it anywhere, anytime, for as much time as we can spare. It costs nothing, unlike large government health programs. Unlike pills and medicines, it has no negative side effects. You need no one's permission to listen. It offends no religious belief, so is applicable to any person's faith, or lack of one. Yet it can produce miracles, restoring hope and confidence and purpose in people who have lost their way - as all of us inevitably do at some point in our lives.
Michael gives an overview of the book:
"My mother Rayanna never graduated from high school. She lived in Arkansas as a child, on a farm, and grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Maybe she ran around without shoes; I don't know, but I suspect she did. She knew how to pick cotton and hitch a mule. She could make corn bread (she called it corn pone) in a big black iron skillet. And she played the piano from a very early age. She didn't own one; they were too poor, but the church did. She was raised Baptist in a fire-and-brimstone family and attended Friday night church services and backwoods tent revivals where singing was the highest sacrament. She accompanied their voices on the piano, and when the preacher wasn't there, she played the blues like St. Louie Woman and Old Man River. But her real gift was the ability to listen to anyone who needed to unburden their heart."
Michael Schmicker is an investigative journalist and nationally-known writer on scientific anomalies and frontier science.
He just finished writing "Alessandra, Queen of Spirits," an historical novel with a paranormal twist set in Italy in 1899 (logline: "Downton Abbey...
In the 1930s J.B. Rhine launched a series of experiments focusing on extra sensory perception (ESP) at Duke University 's Parapsychology Lab. To both accolades and criticism from the scientific community,...