Once again taking a break from proofreading my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words." I am about 40 pages out from completing the three chapters I wanted to revisit, which I should be able to finish, today. I am simply blogging, now, rather than writing an essay with any particular point in mind.
As I proofread, I have three purposes: 1) to catch any remaining typos or grammatic errors; 2) to reduce, as much as possible, any confusion in the mind of the reader, and to make it read as smoothly and comfortably as possible; and 3) to work my most recent discoveries, of Mathew's earliest work, into the narrative, as foreshadowing. A fourth agenda is to make sure that discoveries aren't assumed, in the narrative, before they are officially introduced. In other words, I can't blithely refer to Mathew writing a travelogue as "Quails" on page 300, if I don't actually introduce this subject until page 450 (just by way of example).
I believe I have accomplished all these objectives. They are absolutely necessary, because of how long the book has become (over 2,000 pages). But it was adding subheadings in the lengthy chapters, a couple years ago, which saved it. The sub-topics are rarely longer than ten pages apiece, and some of them considerably shorter. This breaks it up in such a way, that the reader can take them like popcorn.
I was worried that I skipped around too much--a result of having to add in new discoveries months, or even years, after the insertion point had been written. I find now, however, reading it straight through as though for the first time, that these digressions are actually a welcome and refreshing break from the topic at hand. Skipping around, in other words, works just fine, now that I have the subheadings in place as anchors.
I am also struck with something I've mentioned before--how many shocking discoveries are peppered throughout this book. One can go from subheading to subheading in ten pages or less; but one can scarely read for 10 or 20 pages without encountering yet another knock-your-socks-off piece of evidence. Authors typically speak in hyperbole regarding their own work, and the public has become desensitized to it, taking it all as "hype." But I kid you not. This is largely a result of my astral wife, Abby, having used her mojo to bring these things into my orbit. How she manipulates synchronicity to do this, I don't know. I only know it is roughly the same method used by loved ones in the spirit world to present "signs"--a well-documented phenomenon.
I'll just give you one example, which I've mentioned, before. I see, on Ebay, two tiny deer carvings which are said to have been owned by Mathew's brother, John Greenleaf Whittier. They are broken, in a box within a box, and the bid is starting about about $100. Not expecting to win them, I simply place a minimum bid, but nobody else bids on them (incredible in itself), and I win them.
Some weeks or months later--I have the exact dates written down and given in the book, but I'm writing from memory--I am reading a travelogue written by Mathew, as he is traveling in Europe, being now in Lucerne, Switzerland. There, he mentions these same carvings--not these specific ones, but clearly, the same type. When I go back and look closely at the "deer," I see that they are, in fact, chamois. I won't go through the clues, now, but it appears that these carvings I have in my office, on the shelf in front of me, are the same carvings I am reading about in Mathew's 1851 travelogue. And this travelogue, itself, came to my attention in a similarly synchronistic way.
I'm not giving the only example and implying that it happened more often. It happened dozens of times; and this is why you can't read very far in my book, before you bump into yet another of them. It definitely keeps things lively.*
The same goes for verifying my past-life impressions; and the same goes for wresting Mathew's work away from plagiarizers and imitators. I would say, having attempted to read this book as though seeing it for the first time, that it's pretty darned engaging. There is a fine line, for extremely lengthy works, between boredom and fascination. Nobody (at least, not the fans) minded that Tolkien's trilogy was so long; and none of them minded that the film stretched to nine hours. Nobody seems to mind that Ken Burns' documentaries take an entire week to air, and so-on. I think that this book will be received similarly, someday.
In a few days, my researcher will access the remainder of Mathew's early work, from 1832 and 1835/36. I don't expect too many surprises, but of course there may be clues I need to work into the book. Then, I need to digitize and proofread all of this new material. At that point, the book may be finished--at least, until the next big surprise lands on my desk. I have given up pronouncing that it is completed--it seems to be an ever-evolving organism. It will be completed upon my death, at which time I hope it will be preserved until the day when it can be appreciated.
Or, I may actually live long enough to see it appreciated in my lifetime. I hope so, mainly because that will make it easier to insure that it is carried forward. My worst nightmare is that I die with the work still not understood; and from the astral world, I have to watch as the last flash drive, containing the book, is crushed under a bulldozer in a landfill, somewhere.
Well, we will see. With a work like this, people have to get "over the hump," meaning, that hump of inertia which separated Tolkien's work when it was being entirely ignored, from the trilogy which is venerated by millions. If this sounds grandiose on my part, fine. My Guru, Meher Baba, instructed us to eschew false modesty, and to simply tell the truth. He said that honesty would protect us from false modesty, which, ironically, leads to egotism.
I will simply say that my recent read-through of this work tells me it is worthy of being discovered, someday, in a similar fashion.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*I suppose this also keeps things scary for those people who shun my work because they're secretly terrified that I'm going to effectively challenge their materialistic views and assumptions. Watch out--this book is not for you.
Music opening this page, "Galileo," by It's a Beautiful Day, from the album, "Marrying Maiden"