Anorexia is an insidious dis-ease afflicting an ever increasing number of young people, girls in particular. It can be genetically pre-disposed, or reactive to chemical imbalance, but in my clinical experience it is most often related to sexuality and in the case of girls, the trauma of entering the sea of adolescence without the rudder of social/emotional support. Often a family affair, anorexia strikes the daughter who has being valued as being "good;" that is not rebellious, experimental, or securely individuated. Fearing the parental disapproval that inevitably accompanies adolescent rebellion, the girl chooses a secret weapon, one that she considers safe; food. After all, if she can control what she puts into her mouth, then she expects to be the victor in the power struggle. Sadly, and too swiftly, food ceases to be an effective weapon, but rather the girl's own enemy. Once the struggle is internalised the voice of the controlling/restrictive self becomes so strong, that the girl succumbs. For those looking in at this dis-ease, it is almost impossible to comprehend. It doesn't make any sense: it is illogical, dangerous, even fatal. In my book Finding Artemisia, the inner world of anorectic thinking is revealed by Artemisia, a desperate, anorectic girl, barely 14, who shares her thoughts through her scrap book, the Oracle, which she hopes will help other girls recover, even though she has given up on her own life.
Saturday 21 January 2012
In this age of cyber space , telling your story in a few words is a modern art form. Only at home around the dinner table, in front of the fire, over coffee can we really share our stories. So reducing the vast world of my book, Finding Artemisia-a journey into ancient women's business, to a back page blurb is a challenge. Ironically the journey takes the reader into a world where story telling is still an ancient art, but you have to read the book to get there. So for now may I tempt you with this humble attempt at enticing you into that world by sharing the back cover blurb:
When psychologist, Dr Diana Verdi sets off to Central Australia to attend an international conference, she takes some very weighty baggage with her: the recent loss of her mother, a fraught relationship with her father and a floundering marriage. At the same time Artemisia, her fourteen year old patient, critically ill with anorexia, has disappeared.
Miles from nowhere, in the middle of the desert, Diana finds herself participating in ancient women’s ceremonies, under the watchful guidance of Aunty Millie, an indigenous elder skilled in traditional healing.
At first Diana resists the old woman’s mysterious ways, but eventually the power of the ancient culture breaks through. Diana’s relationships, both personal and professional, begin to take on a new light and by the time she leaves the desert women Diana realises they hold the key to Artemisia’s healing.
Desperate to impart the traditional women’s wisdom Diana returns home, but Artemisia is still missing.
Will she find the girl in time to impart what she has discovered?
Are you ready to take the journey?
Saturday 14 January 2012
It's fascinating to see that facebook actually censored photos of beautiful babies nursing at the breasts of their mothers. In such a visually pornographic world, it is so refreshing to see breasts being shown fulfilling their natural purpose. Modern women need to be honoured and supported for their valuable roles as child bearers and nurturers. Women must be able to feed their children in public and NOT feel ashamed or embarrassed about doing so; it is essential to their health and that of their children.
Thursday 12 January 2012
I'm really excited to be in the last throws of getting my book, Finding Artemisia-a journey into ancient women's business, off the press. I can't wait to see how the cover is coming along. So much for the old addage you can't judge a book by its cover. So many of us are attracted to a book by its cover; its colour, its touch. And I want my cover to give the reader a feel for what is inside: a rich, textured journey of up and down shapes, of beauty, depth and majesty- like a woman's body, curvaceous, mysterious, changing in the light and shadows, swelling in the rain. I want my cover to feel like a woman's body because my book is a journey for women, taking them back into their wildness and out of the trap of body image.