About me

My name is Julia Marks.  I was born in Damariscotta, Maine, and graduated high school in its sister town, Newcastle.  But I lived in the village of Sheepscott (which was sometimes spelled with just one ‘t’).  The road I lived on, which was only paved a few hundred yards, like the town, didn’t even know its name.  Sometimes it was called the Old Indian Trail.  Other times, Sheepscott Road.  And I seem to remember even other titles for it.  The greatest thing about this road was that if you followed it, you would walk past the last house on the road (that had guard geese in the yard) and into five miles of woods, and eventually come out in Damariscotta.  The problem generally being that after all that walking in the woods, I would want someone to come and pick me up to take me home again.

I had my first vision not many years after I learned to walk.  After that vision, my heart felt completely open to God.  From this time through my teens, I studied such things as the different aspects of time.  (This was stimulated by the experiences of having a vision and then experiencing what I had envisioned at another time.  The question being, how could this be?  How could I, through God, poke my finger through the march of minutes and hours and see something that had not yet occurred?)

I also studied the nature of God.  What is God?  What is not God?  My ultimate challenge, because I lived on the coast of Maine, was, how could a mosquito be an expression of God?  The answer, if you can hear the sound of God in the buzz of a mosquito, then you can hear it anywhere.  Indeed.

I also began a study of the nature of evil.  To be honest, this study did not interest me much.  I think this is so because the feelings I had about being free to think about God while lying in a field of sweet grass made me disinclined to consider anything on Earth to be anything but incredibly wonderful.  Thinking was my passion as a child.  I used to consider myself the president and sole member of the Theory of the Day Club.

As I aged, my visions began to cover such things as prayer, soul structure, the realms of God, and more evil.  This past summer I delineated a classification of evil.  Then there were the thousands and thousands of lessons, such as the lesson of the rose, the lesson of silence, the lesson of source and orbit.

Over the years I have tended to wrap this gift in a shroud of silence.  I neither appreciated it when people advised me to rejoice in the reality of this gift, nor did I enjoy watching someone to whom I was attempting to explain myself shift emotionally out of the conversation.

But I guess I have aged and have experienced my weirdness long enough to be able to write about it now.

When I was young, I felt that sailing and cross-country skiing proved the existence of God beyond a shadow of a doubt.  But my true gifts to the world are my two children: Nathaniel Clay and Lila Grace.  When considering the question, if I had my life to do over, would I do it differently, the answer is an emphatic, no.  For if I had taken any step differently, then Natty and Lila would not be here on Earth today.  And, for that, not only am I eternally grateful to God, I also cherish my whole life.

This blog is dedicated to the Anglo-Catholic Church worldwide; to my two heroes: Evelyn Underhill and Bernard McGinn; and to the four angels of my life: Bill Riggs, Barbara Seidman, John McKendrew, and Diane Brenneman.

53 Comments on About me

  1. Dear Julia,
    To my sister in Christ. As Anglo-Catholic Mystics who both have blogs, it appears that we have much in common. Thanks for your comments today on Soundings.
    Pax,
    Fr. Dale Matson

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  2. What need have I for this……………
    What need have I for that…………….
    I AM dancing at the feet of my Lord, all is bliss, all is bliss,
    Aum, Shanti, Peace Amen………………….

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  3. I used to go to Damariscotta, where my father-in-law lived. Grace has indeed happened and we’re now off the coast of MDI all year.
    I was interested with what you said about mosquitoes. To me, the wenches have always been evidence of The Fall – flies, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. I saw a photograph on the front of a university magazine, with different parts of the mosquito in different colors, and the face and her needle smack in the middle. Mozzies are truly designed by God, in which case they shd be in Heaven; when Adam and Eve fell, they certainly took the rest of the world with them.
    I admit there’s not much of St Francis’s animal love for insects in me. I send mosquitoes on the “St Francis Express” as fast as possible: he’s welcome to them!

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  4. The more I read from your excellent blogspot, the more my ‘soul heart’ resonates with what is revealed. You say so many things that resound deeply… I guess I shouldn’t be so amazed — as they say, “deep harkens to deep” — and we’re on the same ‘descent’ journey… The journey into the “Cloud of the Unknowing”, to coin St John of the Cross…

    I look forward with much anticipation to following your brilliant updates, Julia!!!

    Pax Christi, Alan

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  5. Glad I happened across this site – looks like much to come back to as time allows.
    Thank you.

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  6. I would like to unsubscribe. I am just too over committed at the moment. I am sure I will come back. Thank you so much.

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  7. Blessings my sister in Christ… So glad I stumbled upon your blog!

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  8. I’m not sure how to start this comment. I just found your blog this morning And I am almost rendered speechless. I also live in Maine- Hampden. In 2 weeks I am starting RCIA through St. John’s in Bangor. I have a blog about my struggles since finding out that I have Huntington’s disease.

    A couple of years ago I became fascinated with Catholic art and icons, and started collecting it. I was an atheist, and had been for about 20 years. I was in a thrift store and a picture of Mary on a book caught my eye. The book was The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis du Montfort. I do believe Mary entered my heart through that picture and that book. I felt softer and more loving, And the whole world looks entirely different with God present. I have since dedicated myself to reading everything that I can get my hands on, especially the Christian mystics… Because I do believe I experienced something mystical and beautiful and unexplainable. This spring I went and spent a week at a Franciscan monastery in New York State, so that I could dedicate myself entirely to prayer, and learning about the Catholic Church. Early one morning towards the end of my stay, I went to meditate on the stations of the cross, which I had never done before. As I dropped to my knees in front of each of the stations, I again felt the presence of God so strongly around me.
    I have three children, the oldest of which went away to college this year for the first time at St. Olaf in Minnesota. I also have a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old, and I count them among the greatest of the graces that I have received in my life, which are so many that I don’t know how or why such graces would be bestowed on an atheist- I am a sinner, and I did nothing to deserve the graces that I have received.
    I have practiced centering prayer but prefer contemplative prayer, And I experience so much comfort and joy every time I say the Holy Rosary. I am so excited about starting RCIA- I have waited a long time!
    And addition, please don’t scoff at this… I feel called to some sort of vocation. I could never leave my family as I love them all so much, But as I progress through RCIA and finally get to receive my first Holy Communion, I am keeping this feeling tucked in the back of my mind. Perhaps I could participate in some sort of vocation as laity. Regardless, I am keeping my heart open so that I may finally do with my life what God has willed to be.
    I just felt compelled to reach out to you. I am excited to have found your blog, and will be following! I have a sponsor for RCIA purposes, but no real spiritual advisor to help me further explore contemplative prayer. I would love to talk with you some more about your experiences, so if you feel compelled to do so, please contact me at my email address.
    I am currently experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul, just as St. John of the Cross described. I was initially elated, and now as I start RCIA, I am finding it difficult to feel God. Great timing, right?
    I have lately experienced a great deal of difficulty with my family in regards to Huntington’s disease, and I desperately pray daily for the ability to forgive and have compassion for my mother and sister… So far to no avail. My heart is heavy with anger and pain, and I want so desperately to be able to just let it go, but I don’t know how. And I know I cannot do it without God’s help.
    Please say a little prayer for me, as I will be praying for you!
    Thank you for writing this blog. I am so thankful to have found it!
    Many blessings,
    Stephanie Strong

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    • Stephanie, thank you for your writing. I’m sorry for the confusion. I no longer live in Maine. Instead, I am an exile living in Virginia. I would be more than happy to talk with you as much as you would like. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stephanie
      Somehow your comment arrived in my inbox and prompted me to return to this excellent site. So Thank you.

      Like

    • Meg LeSchack // October 24, 2016 at 9:12 am // Reply

      Dear Stephanie,
      I just came across Julia’s site (looking for Denise Levertov’s poem “The Fountain.”) and your note from 2013. The Huntington’s is one heck of a challenge. I imagine you have up days and down days. I have lived with depression all my life. I give great thanks for a wonderful therapist and for medication (and for the blessing of Creation) that have brought me to a well-balanced place. My inner core is now filled with light instead of darkness. I belong to a liberal Protestant church and feel blessed to draw on wisdom from many people and ages. i find much commonality among them in regard to ultimate meaning. For me, Buddhism has been a great source — The Dalai Lama would respond as Julia does — “Thank you for your kind words.” ! :.> ) Gratitude, compassion, and service are central to Buddhism.
      I will hold you in my prayers.
      Sincerely,
      Meg LeSchack

      Like

  9. Dear J
    My friend loaned me a book by Thos Merton, hoping something would germinate in me, I suppose. Before I knew it I was reading about a person from Sheepscot named Julia. It is affecting me in a good way, it seems, and I do have some aspirations of that sort. You haven’t chosen to acknowledge me, at least overtly, so I’m taking the liberty of acknowledging you along with your perpetually probing intelligence.

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  10. Dear J
    All a person wants is a friend, or in this case, more of a spiritual friend.

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  11. thanks julia from catherine in the u.k. it is 2.30 a.m. and I have stumbled across your blog and the evelyn underhill insert…I am a painter..I was meant to find this…thanks for being …as i think they say in america…a ‘conduit’ of the spirit.

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  12. I am joyful I found you.

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  13. Dorothy Konrad // July 12, 2014 at 11:18 am // Reply

    Your opinions please…

    In the poem —

    I shall know why when time is over
    and I have ceased to wonder why —
    Christ shall explain each separate anguish
    in that fair schoolroom in the sky.

    He will tell me what Peter promised,
    and I, for wonder at his woe,
    Shall forget the little drop of anguish
    that scalds me now, that scalds me now.

    Question — whose “woe” is the poet referring to — Peter’s or the Lord’s??

    Thank you sooo much!

    Like

    • My best thought about this is that Jesus is the subject of the sentence. And while Peter is the last mentioned, and following proper grammar, then, the “he” would refer to Peter, I prefer to think that “he” refers to Jesus, as it is his woe that we honor. (In poetry, grammar rules are not followed as closely as in prose.)

      Like

  14. Dorothy Konrad // July 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm // Reply

    I agree completely! If only Emily had capitalized “His”! LOL!
    What exactly Peter “promised” was (Matthew 26:33): ““Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
    Peter’s failure to keep that grand pronouncement was just one more “anguish” added to the suffering Lord’s shoulders.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts!

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  15. I am happy to come across your blog while I was looking for Novena Prayers for Rosa Mystica. Jesus in a message to my friend who is a mystic, wanted all of us to say the Rosa Mystica Novena starting every month on the 13th day and ending on the 21st day of each month (9 days). I experienced the visual presence of Our Lord when I was very ill and he healed me then. I was also visited by Mother Mary on two occasions. I feel humbled that they chose to take care of me. I will certainly return to read your work. God Bless you.

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  16. ‘I neither appreciated it when people advised me to rejoice in the reality of this gift, nor did I enjoy watching someone to whom I was attempting to explain myself shift emotionally out of the conversation.’

    So had to giggle at this statement. I relate.

    Christian mystic, yes, but likely anointed as a prophet. Gods spirit has been pouring out this gift and calling His prophetd in the church to prepare His bride to be without spot or wrinkle.

    Nice to have come across your blog.

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  17. Julia-just curious as to how you happened upon the poem “The Angels” by Paul Ramsey (my father). My favorite poem of his. I can send an MPEG of his reading it.

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    • I can’t believe that I found the answer so easily. I spend a day each week, after driving a few hours, with my nose buried in books at libraries, and I assumed that that is where I found it. (At Catholic University, say.)

      But, no, the book Contemporary Religious Poetry is at my own local library.

      It is such an honor to hear from you. Thank you for your offer. I love your dad’s poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Starr Ramsey Helms // April 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm // Reply

    So glad you discovered the book he edited; it is a fine one. If you will email me with your email address I will send the file.

    Like

  19. James Keller // August 22, 2015 at 2:00 am // Reply

    After many years of solitude, I reach out to share the fruits of my inner labor:
    LIFE IS SHORT, ART IS LONG

    Only in graveyards, death is absent,
    they are gardens of peace
    or neglect where both the famous
    and unknown lie side by side
    and in time are equally forgotten
    by the earth they return to.

    ‘Artists are sad’ is chalked on a tomb,
    no, artists are not sad,
    through their art they go on living
    long after they too are dust
    and their words, paintings or their music
    are always alive for us.

    Eternity is just souvenirs
    that are squirreled away
    to be treasured by the living
    unlike the embalmer’s touch
    of putting on a last cosmetic face
    to be erased by the earth.

    James Keller

    Like

  20. Blessings to you ~ from another Christian mystic ~ Anna Lin

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  21. James Keller // February 12, 2016 at 1:47 am // Reply

    SPARROWS RISING

    A familiar morning sight
    from a bedroom window,
    a family of sparrows
    perched on the bare tendrils
    of wisteria in midwinter

    or is it a scruffy tribe,
    at first sight, a trio,
    no, a quartet, then quintet
    of chirps and at last count,
    a sextet of backyard twittering

    six outlined in bright sunlight,
    their gray, their brown, their black
    and white stands out sharply
    against a pristine blue sky
    safe from depredation, enclosed here.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. How lovely. How well written. How gracious of you to share it with me. Thank you.

    Like

  23. Patrick Tyrrell // February 13, 2016 at 7:02 am // Reply

    Have you ever thought about joining the Franciscan Third Order? Since you appear to belong to the Episcopal Church, here is a link. http://tssf.org . If I’m wrong, there are links to the Catholic and the Ecumenical Third Order Franciscan sites on that site. Patrick Tyrrell, OFS

    Like

    • I am an Anglo-Catholic. And while for most of my life, Anglo-Catholics were a vital part of the Episcopal Church, at least in my diocese, we were officially run out of the church. According to the recently retired presiding bishop, we were fundamentalists and needed to be purged. So we were purged. Now we function as a “continuing” expressing of the Anglican church.

      Thank you for your kind thought for me. It was most generous of you.

      Like

  24. I just came across your blog by reference from the Art & Theology blog & am fascinated by the poetry you post. Thank you! I too am a fellow Anglican (ACNA). How surprised I was to read that you were raised in Damariscotta – we live in New Harbor part of the year. My family is from the Pemaquid area. The Christian community is the ultimate network! However, we have yet to find solid Christian worship/fellowship in Maine. BTW, I also discovered the author of Art & Theology lives several miles from my house in MD. The Internet at its best.

    Like

    • It’s nice to meet you, Fran. I apologize for the delay. I’ve been struggling with an extreme reaction to chemotherapy. I wish I could help you find solid Christian worship in your area in Maine. (Our area in Maine.)

      I have a “friend” on Facebook, a priest who serves a church in Massachusetts, but is from Maine and goes there all the time. He may know where to find the community you are looking for. His name is Father Terrence McGillicuddy, and he is at St. Brigid of Kildare Anglican Church, in Medford. The phone number there is: (781) 801-4813.

      I pray that you find what you are looking for.

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  25. I have found your blog by chance…if there is such a thing. 🙂 You say things that I have thought but have been taught not to voice. I love the thinking. Thank you for writing and sharing. I can’t wait to come back and read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The Matthew written by Kahlil Gibran, Sermon on the Mount, pointed me to this direction. Blessings and Pax Tecum. Perpetua

    Like

  27. Excellent work my friend. May you continue in the Divine Grace you,be been gifted. Dance the joy.

    Like

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