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: