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.