The Harbinger

This book, The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn, was quite a disappointment. It has some fascinating connections between today’s world and biblical passages. But I could not get away from the perception that the author could’ve done so much more with the material.

The story centres around an Old Testament verse from Isaiah:

The bricks have fallen,

But we will rebuild with hewn stone;

The sycamores have been cut down,

But we will plant cedars in their place.

Isaiah 9.10

The author presents his premise in the form of a conversation between Nouriel, a reporter, Ana, an executive in the publishing world, and The Prophet, a mysterious figure who shows up as Nouriel tries to unravel the mystery.

The verse from Isaiah has been quoted several times by American government figures in the wake of 9/11. This book attempts to make connections between this biblical prophecy and what is happening in the USA today.

My disappointment revolves around the fact that I believe there is considerable evidence that 9/11 was not simply the work of “terrorists”, at least not Arab terrorists. And I believe that the turning which the author calls for, the turning back to God, is much deeper than the same old conservative, evangelical perspective we hear so much of from strident preachers. There are levels contained here which the author does not explore.

As I said above, the author, in my opinion, could’ve done so much more with this material than he did. It’s like he began tiptoeing into the water, got frightened of the implications (and possible reaction from certain sectors of society), and turned back.

Oh well, it was a somewhat entertaining read. Not super well-written, but good enough to help me through to the end.

Great Escape

Almost a Great Escape, was a delightful, chance encounter. I ran across this book at a farmer’s market, for the second time in as many years, and this time took the effort to track the book down at my local library.

Written by a Calgarian, Tyler Trafford, it tells the story of his mother, Alice Tyler Trafford. Alice was a Montreal belle in the 1940’s. Beautiful, creative, intelligent, she attracted the attention of a lot of men. One of these was Jens Müller, a Norwegian pilot training in Canada. These two fell in love during the few short weeks Lens was in Quebec. After he left for Britain they corresponded frequently. Jens always promised he would come back for Alice. It was a typical WWII love story.

Alice’s mother, an extremely controlling and insecure person, was determined that her daughter would never marry someone so “beneath” her as a military pilot. She manipulated events to the point of Alice becoming engaged to a British oil engineer.

In the meantime, Jens was shot down over the English channel. At first taken for killed, he was later found to have been picked up by the Germans and imprisoned in a POW camp for airmen. Alice and Jens were able to write a few letters to each other during this time, but very infrequently. Alice was suspicious that her mother intercepted at least some of these letters.

Jens was in the camp where the “great escape” of movie fame took place. He was quite instrumental in engineering the tunnel enabling the escape. When the night came for the escape attempt, he was around 13th in line to go. Seventy six men escaped. Only three made it. Fifty were executed; the other 23 were sent to various other prison camps.

Jens was one of the three who made it out. He managed to get safely back to Britain, and then to Canada. There he found Alice already engaged to Ted Trafford. Under the severe domination of her mother, Alice felt unable to break this engagement. So they went their separate ways.

The author, Tyler (given his mother’s maiden name), had a wonderful upbringing, despite what turned out to be an abusive, dysfunctional marriage between Alice and Ted. Alice gave Tyler a lot of freedom to explore; he grew up with a good deal of self-confidence and a sense of adventure. He also watched his mother descend into a pit of substance abuse and depression.

Upon her death, Alice bequeathed to Tyler a box – a Campbell’s Beef Noodle Soup Box – full of old letters and photographs. At the very bottom of the box he discovered what he came to call the “Jens Album”. It contained all the letters she had ever received from Jens, and a few old photos. Tyler had never known of this prior love of his mother’s, and he began researching. What he discovered led to the writing of this account of his mother’s life.

The book is an absolute delight to read! It is written very poetically and creatively. Tyler paces it well, going back and forth between the 1940’s, and other periods of Alice’s life, plus his own recollections of his boyhood and adult-life interactions with his mother. His research took him to Norway, where he found Jens’ children and learned about the life Jens led after leaving Canada and Alice.

The book is at once sad, and yet so full of love. It is a delightful love story, but also a story poignant with the loss and separation caused by war. It is a story of what might-have-been. It is part heart-breaking, and also a son’s tender account of what became an increasingly dysfunctional life. “She had 41 years of dying ahead” (p 17) Trafford says of his mother. Such a sad waste, caused by an evil bitch of a mother. Alice’s mother obviously cared for nothing other than her own perception of success. She cared nothing for her daughter’s happiness.

I was constantly aware that this was my parents’ generation. Although my own family story is very different, it was the same time period. There are many such stories from that era. And I wept to think of how many lives were warped by war, by insensitivity, by insistence on appearances.

I urge anyone, of whatever age, to seek out this book. You will not be disappointed.

No Regrets, an intro

I want to write more extensively on this topic, but here is a beginning!

I have tried to live my life with no regrets. This is not usually easy! All around us people live regretting things in their past. They regret decisions they have made. They regret decisions they did not make. They regret situations that either of the above resulted in.

I could easily live with regret for things I have done, not done, or could’ve done differently. But exposure to the whole world of soul regression and the Spirit realm has helped me better deal with this. It has given me a perspective of the divine which in turn has influenced perspectives on this life I now lead. It has helped me have a much healthier approach to life and how I view my past.

As I said above, I want to explore this in more detail, but for now I just wanted to open up the topic. It has been high in my mind for the past few weeks and I wanted to at least get started!