By Viveca Stone
In sweet company I am home at last. -Margaret Wolff
I feel as if I know these women, more than know them. I feel as if they are friends of mine. Olympia Dukakis, Sister Helen Prejean, Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, Le Ly Hayslip, Riane Eisler … They range in ages from 31-91 … They are writers, priests, Fullbright Scholars, Seneca elders, freedom fighters, historians, psychotherapists, dancers, authors, mothers…
We hung out many nights in the time it took for me to end my day, slide between the sheets and feel soothed to sleep by their stories. After a night with “the girls” I always seemed to awaken extra energized and optimistic. They gave me hope. They gave my heart a home.
Before I met them I met the woman who gathered them, Margaret Wolff, author, In Sweet Company Conversations with Extraordinary Women About Living A Spiritual Life.
I interviewed Margaret when I was hosting The Get Ready For Love! Show. A friend gave me her book one evening and I went straight home and started reading. It intrigued me from the bold cover design, to the fact that we were neighbors, to her eclectic mix of women. Timing is everything. You see, I was in search of some spirit for myself that night.
Margaret’s book consists of fourteen interviews. Its creation began sixteen months after a catastrophic car accident in which she lost 80% of her peripheral vision and much of her ability to process and communicate information in a linear fashion. She says “I wrote this book to carve new pathways in my brain, to restore function and order and meaning to my life.”
In it I met Le Ly Hayslip, peasant girl, Vietnamese warrior, international ambassador and author whose book and life story inspired Oliver Stone’s film “Between Heaven and Earth.” She writes God with a little “g”, does not take freedom for granted and advises us to nourish our spiritual life by spending “time alone so you can discover how you respond to things when you are not under the influence of others.”
And there’s Sr. Helen Prejean … her simple act of kindness, becoming a pen pal to a convicted murderer on Death Row, transformed her into an advocate for compassion and her story into a film called Dead Man Walking. She asks “What it each of us were judged solely by the worst thing we ever did in our lives?”
And then there is She Whose Voice Rides on the Four Winds, Founder of the Seneca Indian Historical Society and Riane Eisler, author, The Chalice and The Blade and Reverend Lauren Artress who says that “Faith is knowing Something Bigger than you is attempting to live Itself out through you.”
Each of Margaret’s interviews end with a special Q & A. What do you think is your greatest accomplishment? What’s the secret of your success? Do you have any advice you would like to pass on to others about how to live a spiritual life? Looking back is there anything you would do differently?
To know them and to know how each of them answers, order your copy. Savor it like I did – read just a few pages each night and make it last. In Sweet Company by Margaret Wolff is an affirmation of what is possible for all of us – you & me. Right now.
When you are done, do pass it on to a friend.