Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Author Emma Lou Thayne; "The Place of Knowing"

Recently we were privileged to meet with author Emma Lou Thayne in her SLC home.  She and her husband Mel welcomed us warmly as we sat to visit about her new book "The Place of Knowing"; a spiritual memoir/autobiography.

18 yrs. ago while driving down the canyon with her son-in-law, she was involved in a terrible accident that nearly took her life.  A six pound iron rod, from another vehicle, pierced through the window and through her face.  She was 'taken out' through a near-death experience and healed slowly in both body and soul.

The book is filled with spiritual messages about the meaning of life, death, how trials help us to find out who we are and.....that 'knowing' is a process, not an event.  She says "Sometimes it takes being anonymous to discover who we are."

On a trip to Ireland with her daughters, years ago, their German guide told them to "roll down the window and listen to the silence."  She carried that on with her own family suggesting an hr. of alone time each day.  And, after her accident she was 'forced to be quiet' as she couldn't read for 7 months.  "I learned to listed to inner music that I'd been too busy to listen to" she said.  Later she added that for her "everything holy comes at night" an indication that silence and listening are necessary for being open to the heavens and .... 'a sky full of stars'.

We were grateful for the rare opportunity to get to know this wonderful woman.  She is now a beloved friend and kindred-spirit of sorts.  In her 87th year she is still a strong soul though her physical energy may be limited.  Recent set-backs have slowed her pace but you'd never know it by the manner she speaks from the depths of her heart or the way in which her spirit-of-light fills the room and opens the heavens.  She's a noble soul to learn from and we truly hope that this younger generation of blogger moms and others - will read her writings and ponder on her messages.  If we are to endure what is ahead we need to learn from previous generations.  They were placed here at their time to set a foundation for the rest of us.  We sincerely know that their lives have had great meaning and purpose -- and that we would do well to learn from their counsel and teachings.  (Think 'wisdom of the ages', 'prophets', 'prophetesses', 'obedient souls'.)


Sister Thayne is perhaps most well-known for her words to a beloved hymn "Where Can I Turn for Peace".  Yet she is also a much honored and anthologized writer of thirteen books of poetry, essays, and fiction.  She has been a pioneer for women in business, education and the arts.

See also:
Salt Lake Tribune: From near-death to ‘spiritual mentor’

HuffingtonPost: On Learning to Go Away: Reflections of a Mormon Poet

Brenda's Blog:

Best-selling author Steven R. Covey:
“I think this book is Emma Lou’s tour de force. I read it in two sittings, resenting any interruption. Her‘voice’ and spirit and visual poetic nature reached my heart and spirit, as if apart from my mind. The depth of her spirituality and belief in the goodness of people inspire me.”