Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Robert Downes - November 3rd, 2005
Author of Aaron’s Crossing looks to broader horizon
It’s been a thrilling year for author Linda Alice Dewey, whose first book, “Aaron’s Crossing,” has received a blizzard of publicity from Michigan’s press since she penned the 232-page manuscript a year ago about her encounter with a ghost in an old cemetary near Glen Arbor.
Much of that is due to Dewey’s considerable hustle: sending out waves of press kits and review copies, establishing a an elaborate website, and generating stories and reviews in more than a dozen newspapers and magazines, including the Detroit Free Press.
But a savvy P.R. campaign alone doesn’t move books, and it’s obvious from the ascendency of “Aaron’s Crossing” as a regional bestseller that Dewey has struck a nerve with local readers.  She’s sold out her first run of 3,000 books, primarily through test marketing the novel/memoir in northwestern lower Michigan, and now she’s heading for broader horizons.   Currently, she’s preparing for a downstate tour of Ann Arbor, Gross Pointe and Kalamazoo, followed by a national push this January through California, Arizona and onward.
Somewhere down the road, she hopes for an international bestseller, possibly a musical and a film, and definitely a follow-up book.  

In the meantime, the challenge for Dewey is growing acceptance of “Aaron’s Crossing” nationwide.  “The problem when you’re working with a small publishing company is that if you get on ‘Oprah,’ you’d better have the stock out there for the readers,” she notes.
But having the sizzle provides half the recipe of success, and at that end of the kitchen, Dewey has managed to tantalize readers.  “’Ghost Whisperer’ is one of the hottest shows on TV right now, and that’s just what I did,” she says with a laugh.
That brings us to the plot of “Aaron’s Crossing” and how Dewey got involved.  Born in Detroit and raised in a metaphysically-oriented family, Dewey practices a technique called “spiritual listening.”
Basically, that means tuning in to the voices of folks who are trapped in the afterlife in the form of ghosts.
“I grew up with a fascination for it,” she says of her spiritual sensitivity.  “And I think a lot of people have have a fascination possibly have a gift for it as well, like those people who have a deep fascination for music.  It wasn’t until I really started investigating deeper that I developed some skills.”
That was in 1987 before she began co-facilitating a spiritual listening group in Glen Arbor.  It was in 1991 that Dewey came across a 100-year-old cemetary where she began sensing the presence of Aaron Burke, a long-dead Irish farm worker.  Aaron’s story gradually unfolded in Dewey’s thoughts: he claimed to have been kidnapped at the age of four by his father and brought to America.  Years later, he abandoned his own children after the death of his wife to live a fairly miserable, solitary experience as a farm laborer. Killed in an accident, Aaron lingered on in
ghostville until Dewey established contact with him
and set him free of his guilty, grief-stricken burden.

“Aaron’s Crossing” is meant to be a heart-warming, uplifting tale of redemption, rather than a bloodcurdling ghost story.  Needless to say, this is also a tale for true believers willing to be seduced by Aaron’s credibility.
All of which leads to the question of how spiritual listening is done:
“What I learned to do -- and I have to say a word of caution because there’s all kinds of stuff out there -- but what I do is clear a place in my mind for it and ask for divine protection or say a prayer,” Dewey recounts.  “And I clear my thoughts and the words will come in.  You can think you’re imagining things, but the way you can tell you’re not is that you’ll receive words and concepts that are not your own.  It’s what we call the Work with a capital W -- spiritual Work.”
Working with ghosts requires keeping a lid on things.
“You really have to put boundaries on contact with ghosts because they don’t have boundaries and limits themselves and they’re desperate,” she notes.
Dewey has had other encounters with ghosts since receiving Aaron’s tale and has indeed had to impose limits on the process if only because of the busy task of marketing her book.
Speaking of which, one of the pleasant side effects of her booksignings is that she has received dozens of stories from fans of their own encounters with the Other Side.  Such as that of a woman who lives on Torch Lake near the purported site of an Indian uprising years ago, who gathers spectacular pictures of spooky visions at night.
Does she plan to have a follow-up book to “Aaron’s Crossing,” based on the many anecdotes she’s gathered?
“Definitely,” she says.  “Whenever I go to a signing I have a file folder of releases and a tape recorder and I try to follow up on the phone.  That’s what Dr. Raymond Moody did in the ‘70s, gathering life-after-life experiences.  People  usually don’t want to talk about these things because our culture is very closed to spiritual matters.  The rise of science in the 1900s made us throw away the knowing of such things, but that was like tossing the baby out with the bathwater.”
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, much less being able to communicate with them telepathically, there’s no denying that Linda Alice Dewey spins a good yarn and is an engaging live wire.  And it’s nice to know that somewhere, poor Aaron is smiling as news of his redemption climbs up the bestseller charts.

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