Without you, there is no me!

Stafford Whiteaker
Stafford Whiteaker
For many years I lived as a hermit in the mountains of the Pyrenees in France. It was there that I started writing the story of Banios-sur-Ange. Maybe it was the storms that inspired me or the great eagles riding the wind. Maybe it was the meadows of wild flowers. Maybe it was because I got lonely and wanted company. In any case I started to write this story, The Cloud of Goodness.

The Cloud of Goodness
by Stafford Whiteaker

For years I had made my living as writer of non-fiction and here I was writing a story about a once-upon-a-time village lost in a far valley beyond the forests. A little history of vice, virtue and the devil. What I wanted, above all, was to get as close to my readers through this story as possible. That is the company and companionship I wanted. I wanted you to be part of my life. In short, I made this website so I could offer the story of the village of Banios-sur-Ange (Banios-by-the-Angel) to you, a place to meet where it all happened, a way of knowing each other, a way of saying, without you, the reader, I would not exist.

Without you this Banios would not exist. It would merely be lifeless words on a page. Only you by reading it can bring Banios alive—the people, their stories, what happened to them. With you, Banios will live. Join the adventures in The Cloud of Goodness.

Meditations for Lent
by Stafford Whiteaker

Meanwhile I have been working on a paying proposition—that is, a new non-fiction book to be published next year—Meditations with Challoner for Every Day of the Year. Well, even hermits have to eat. Especially in France.

As I am trying to share my life with you, I thought why not also share Meditations for Lent, a bit of this other book. Lent seemed as good a time as any, because it is a season of the year that takes us from the reflective restrictions of winter—snow, rain, floods and wind—through to the spring of snowdrops and trees in new leaves. A time of new creation. A time of waking up again. A time when we feel our minds, bodies and spirit have woken up along with everything around.

Lent reflects all this, because it leads us through examining our lives in all the light and darkness of our interior winter and finishes with a determination to do better. This wanting to do better is a joyous reconciliation, a new awareness that we too are part of this new spring, this new creation. Meditating on a changing time and the examination of the interior self helps us to be fully who and what we are. These meditations are to help you to be led by the spiritual and not just by the mind and body.

Meditations for Lent from this new, spiritual book will run here on this site starting from 7 February 2016. All you have to do is use them as best you can.

Start the adventure with me

It is with great excitement that I start this new adventure in my writing life. I am hopeful and nervous and feel scared. Will you read a little and leave Banios? Will you tell me what you like and what you dislike in Banios? Will you laugh or cry or get angry? No matter what, please join me at Banios-by-the-Angel—the hidden village of mystery, goodness and the Devil himself.

It would be wonderful to see your comments on this blog. But to begin, I better show you a picture of Banios so you know where you are going… where everyone is waiting for you!

Click the image to join us there:

Banios in the high mountains
The village of Banios-sur-Ange in the mountains, by Blanche Odin.

13 thoughts on “Without you, there is no me!

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  1. Strangely enough, was thinking of you this morn… Whilst letting out the chickens and sprinkling corn for the wild ducks. Spring is definitely abound, as winter never came! Today, the last few days of storm have dissipated into this wonderfully chirp filled, brilliant skied morning. The daffodils have already been blooming since 2 February. I’ll be showing up for a walk – a visit to Banios? – market day in Bagnère-d-B.? Great site. Right up your style and elegance. Content, colors, structure & landing pages are all tiptop. I will look forward to the reading of your wisdom & adventures. A bientôt cher ami.

    1. Dear Jac, Wonderful to hear from you and that like your garden you seem to be blooming too. Thank you for your kind words about the new site. I no longer have chickens but I do have Michelle and Peter Rabbit.. Michael was an actor in Paris on the stage but retired here and Peter just came along to be a companion. I do hope you will come to walk with me in the wonderful mountains of the Pyrenees. The organic local carrots for sale in the Bagneres saturday market are waiting for us so come to Bangers this year! A bientôt cher ami.

  2. Dear Stafford, thank you for sharing your reflections. I love the peace and beauty of the picture of Banios-sur-Ange. May your writing bring you comfort and companionship, and your readers, illumination. Your framing of Lent resonates – as a bridge season when we can attune to our desire and determination to do better. With gratitude, Sarah Rozenthuler

    1. Dear Sarah, Thank you for your kind words! How right you are about Lent being a ” bridge season” – it is a time when all of us can take another look at where we are in this life. Re-examine too our goals and see if they really fit what we want from our life. A determination to do better is what everyone really wants – a better day, hour, minute, a better feeling of contentment with who and what we are. These are goals that really matter. As you pointed out Lent is a season set apart to discover more about ourselves and more about how we think we could do better. The fact that it is also traditionally a time for a bit of fasting helps everyone. It just goes to show that in the olden days they might have got it right with Lent in making it a time to think about important things with a little fasting to help the body along and then…the spirit soars. Blessings to you, Stafford

  3. Hi Stafford , what an amazing gift, thank you , the web site is amazing clear, concise and easy to follow, I am looking forward to being part of the on line community. With love Kim

    1. Dear Kim, Your kind words are much appreciated and give me courage! I hope as Lent unfolds you will find in this Spring of 2016 new life and a fuller expression of ” being”. I hope too that as you read The Cloud of Goodness, you will have fun with it. Tell me what you like. Be sure to tell me what you don’t like. Everything you and others tell me is important in bringing the people of Banios alive! Blessings to you, your life and your work. Stafford

      1. Dear Kim & Ann. How glad I am that my site found you for each other again. Nice to renew
        friendships even though you are a whole stretch of chanel water apart. How lucky we are to all know each other. Blessings to you both. Stafford

  4. Inspirational to see you still have the energy Stafford to keep doing what you believe. I look forward to more chapters from Banios-Isur-Ange. Cool website

    1. Dear Barry, Great you like the site…and thanks for your kind words. Remember every week there will be a NEW chapter about Banios by the Angel. Will the Devil get his way? Will his temptations seduce the villagers? Look forward to hearing what you have to say about the story as it unfolds. All your comments are welcome. Every one helps! Stafford

  5. Why not do it, indeed! Super proud of all your hard work. Great-looking website and wonderfully easy to navigate. Heaven forbid you become a couch potato. I, for one, am very glad you are still using your gifts, talents and abilities to the benefit of others.

    1. Hi Kate, Great you liked the new site! Thanks for telling me. I feel encouraged by your kind words and hope you will like The Cloud of Goodness story as it unfolds. No yoga in it.. well not yet anyway but then you never know with the Devil. He might just take up exercising! LOL Blessings to from Stafford

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