A More Personal Post

In these days just past the threshold of summer, I am finding myself amidst a period of immense change. It has been a little over a year since I graduated from CIIS with my PhD, and in that time I have both been trying to recover from the intense process of writing and defending a dissertation, while also continuing to work on several ongoing projects and even embarking on some new projects as well. I have found this time to be full, exciting, and yet also exhausting. So I am trying to bring a change into the pace of my life, and create a balance between the work I love to do and the many other ways of being in this world that are calling to me.

Yuba River
Photo of the Yuba River by Samuel Sohmer.

As part of that intention, as well as for many other reasons, we are moving out of the Bay Area to Nevada City, a beautiful little town in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. There are numerous reasons for this move, but a major one is to live in a more rural area, amongst the trees, close to multiple creeks and streams and the Yuba River (my favorite river in the world), in a place where the stars shine brightly at night. As someone whose first home was in Big Sur, this feels like a returning to my natural roots in many ways.

Professionally speaking, I am continuing my astrological counseling practice both online and in person. While I will no longer see my Bay Area clients in person, I am available online and I hope to establish my in-person practice in Nevada City as well. I am also continuing to teach at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies online hybrid program.

One of the biggest projects I have been working at slowly since completing my dissertation is the seventh issue of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. While the process has been far slower than I expected, I feel confident about the collection of articles and book reviews that make up this issue, and will be delighted to publish the volume this summer—more news to come on that soon. A couple other writing projects are in the works too: Journey to the Imaginal Realm: A Reader’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings that will be published by Revelore Press, and an article for the fourth volume of Jung’s Red Book for Our Time, edited by Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt, which I am extremely honored to be contributing to. I know many of you are eager for me to publish my dissertation, The Back of Beyond, as a book as well and I do hope to carve out time for that as soon as possible.

I realize I have not been posting writings here to the extent that I used to, and I hope after this move to be able to cultivate a new relationship with my creativity: to my writing, both poetry and prose; to my artistry and painting which I have barely engaged with since starting graduate school; to my music and harp playing (I have returned to taking lessons with the extraordinary Cheryl Ann Fulton during the last six months); to my skills as a gardener and a cook. Nevada City is a place that has drawn numerous musicians, artists, poets, and philosophers, and I hope that this place can draw forward more of those facets of me as well.

But most importantly, I want to slow down and learn not only how to do but how to be. To come back to stillness, and quiet. To listen to the sounds of the wind in the trees, the song of birds early in the morning, the animals moving through the undergrowth, the echo of moving water, the sweet harmony of the stars and the song of planets in their orbits, the sound of my own heartbeat. These are the primary reasons for leaving behind the wonderful, exciting, sometimes frenetic urban life of the Bay Area, to create a new home closer to the Earth and closer to my heart.

5 Replies to “A More Personal Post”

  1. Thanks for sharing this news from your personal life.
    I wish you well with the re-prioritising move you are undertaking. Sounds like a step in the direction of a harmony more tempered by Nature’s flow.
    All the best…

  2. so dreamy and evocative. thank you for this eloquent, palpable sense of your life and your beautiful new home. i’m thrilled at the culmination of your years of hard work -and now the reality and prospects of your new now, and of the future. sending so much love.

  3. Welcome to Nevada City, Becca.

    This is an open invitation to lunch in town, when you get settled in. Bring a friend if you like.

    I’m reaching out because we share a love for Tolkien and Jung. I appreciate what you’ve done to connect them. Your talks on the Red Books are lovely.

    As a brief introduction, I owned and operated Underwood Books for 40+ years. Mostly collectors editions and coffee table art books, including MIDDLE-EARTH: VISIONS OF A MODERN MYTH.

    I knew some of the early Tolkien publishers, back in the day…. Don Wollheim, who ran Ace Books and published the first paperback LOTR. And Ian Ballantine, who put out the authorized editions.

    I’d like to hear about what you’re currently working on.

    I’ve been in Nevada City for thirty years… ten minutes from town and fifteen from the Yuba. A pretty nice place, as I guess you know. 🙂

    With good wishes, Tim Underwood

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