How did you become a writer?
S: I've been a writer all of my life. I was writing poetry
as a little girl. I had little validation for it, but loved it and
it was my passion. My former husband was poet and he said my poetry
is really good.
I worked at Stanford in the English department with lots of recognized
scholars. One, Diane Middlebrook , championed my poetry and helped
me get published. Then I wrote for Runner's World , the San
Francisco Symphony and I owned an advertising agency. I was also
having some mystical things happen to me and my psychic abilities
increased. After my divorce I gave up my advertising agency and
began a practice as a clairaudient.
In 1989 I was swimming in Napili Bay in Maui. As I dove under the
water this thing with a beautiful face came toward me. Her eyes
delivered me from all of my years of self-criticism. I went to a
space of self-realization and oneness with the planet. A year later
I was walking by an antique store in Palo Alto and saw this beautiful
head in the window. It was the same face I had seen under the water.
I started sobbing and didn't know why I was crying. So, I went into
the store and though had very little money, I bought the head. It's
the same one as on the cover of my book.
I put the head in my office and immediately I felt closer to her
than words can say. I started giving readings about why the soul
comes back and I moved from being a psychic to teaching people how
to look at their beginnings. With Quan Yin I could access the akashic
records. She made herself so delicate. I allude to her as a piece
of violet silk in my book and that is how it has felt to me the
last 12 years when she has come to me. So I have been blessed to
help educate people about her for the last 11 years.
It has been my honor and my life. I don't feel like I even had
a life before until I met her energies. She allowed me see that
I am a mirror like she is. It has been quite a fascinating journey
I have studied the history of Quan Yin and her history is very
mysterious. There are only three books out there now. This is the
first novel about her that has mixed literary fiction with spiritual
When I first started working on the book it came through me in
about 24 hours. Oh, I forgot to mention a very important component.
I was in New York in '95 and I was walking down Fifth Avenue with
a friend. There was a woman lying naked in a garbage bag in the
center of the sidewalk.
C: Just like in the book!
S: That's right. We walked over to her because it was clear
that she was dying. I bent down and I looked in her eyes and I felt
the same presence I had felt under the water in Maui coming through
her. That was the second mystical thing that changed my life totally
when I realized that I was her. That every woman has that archetype
in them and unless we start moving with compassion we will never
be able to heal.
C: So what does compassion mean to you?
S: I went on a quest to find out what compassion really
means. There's a lot of confusion over what compassion really is.
You can't really have compassion unless you are in a place of oneness
and equality with every living thing. Most people don't know that.
C: I also had to go on a quest to find out what compassion
meant to me. I realized what I had been thinking was compassion
was co-dependence and that I had no idea what compassion was.
S: I guess some of us were being tapped on the shoulder
pretty strongly. For me I started off looking into that woman's
eyes and thinking I had to give her something. She didn't want any
of it. She was in an exalted state because she was verging on leaving
her body and she was fine.
C: What brought you to write this book?
S: A combination of things. And what tipped the scales
was meeting that woman in the street. And coming back and being
so blown away by what she transmitted to me in her eyes in the brief
3-minute moment in my life. For some reason I was hungry enough
for truth that I reached out.
The book was much more mystical when I first wrote it. Then on
a trip to Maui I was told "don't write it for a metaphysical
audience. Write it for everyone. This has got to appeal to Archie
Bunker." And later, one of the first people to read the book
was the man who co-wrote All In The Family.
Everything has been like this. One bizarre and affirming circumstance
after the other. For instance, the photo shoot for the cover--we
wanted to have eyes coming through on the face of Quan Yin. So we
hired a model and she's 18, it's her first shoot, she doesn't know
what it's for, and what does she have around her neck? A Quan Yin!
She sits down and I tell her what we want and she says, "I
don't know if my mother will be able to handle this. When I was
growing up it was very difficult and we prayed to Quan Yin every
night." I have one story after another like this.
C: What do you know about the flowers blooming in Korea
that have not bloomed in a hundred years?
S: Very little, but I feel like I'm a flower that bloomed
on that statue because I was so deeply moved and touched. I feel
the Quan Yin energy appears constantly and all we have to do is
pay attention. The reason it is being displayed so boldly is that
it's time to wake up.
C: I find it interesting to see spiritual books at Costco.
S: And I hope mine gets there, too. People are so hungry
to find something spiritual. They want a taste, a glimpse of the
essence. I even see this wonderful understanding and celebration
of death now and it is so profound. It's in the media now. It's
finally coming to the mainstream. Anyway, I'm thrilled at how people
are responding to my book, it's my life's work.
C: Thank you for talking to me today and I look forward
to seeing you in June.
Simone will be presenting a Friday evening talk about Quan Yin,
Compassion and her new book at New Renaissance Bookshop on June
8, 2001. To register call New Renaissance Bookshop, 503-224-4929
or on-line at www.newrenbooks.com
Connie Hill works at New Renaissance Bookshop and is a local astrologer.
She can be contacted at 503-291-8229, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.