No Beating Around the Bush

There are so many things that happen in this world that we can’t explain. I wrote a whole book about it. In The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide, I recall the events following my son’s death. Oh, heck. Let me just say it out loud right here – I began to communicate with a spirit. There. Most people who know me or who have followed this blog for a while will not be shocked. They’ve had a couple of years of hearing from their friend or former colleague who reached out in desperation and touched something not of this world. If I incur any new readers this week, here it is: I communicate with a spirit. His name is Lukhamen.

I spent over forty-two years in Washington, D.C. and three in the foreign service, where I learned to tolerate  – and use – language that was, to be kind, obtuse. Politicians and bureaucrats (present presidential company excepted – I’m talking about professionals), almost always issue official papers written in high-sounding gobbledygook. What comes out is, a great deal of the time, impossible to understand unless you are a lawyer or unless you’ve learned the language over time, like I did. Have you ever tried to read the Federal Register or the Tax Code? Also, if you listen to a lot of speeches (like I did), you’ll realize that sometimes what comes out is just…nothing. It just sounds like something. Part of this culture is to preserve the mystique of the office – keep it – and their denizens- in an intellectual ivory tower, out of reach, above and beyond question. There is no real reason why laws and regulations can’t be written in plain but careful, understandable English. If everybody understood everything they read or heard from their representatives, the folks in D.C. and in state capitols would have a lot more to answer for than they do now. And I’m just talking about the ordinary stuff of yesteryear – not the torrent of reckless, feckless declarations that now bombards us.

It’s risky to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It was like that for me when I decided to publish a book about a spiritual experience that some people might see as scary, blasphemous, stupid, or crazy. I was afraid of what my friends would think of me. Luckily, I was pretty much retired and my job and my reputation weren’t on the line. But my friendships and relationships were. Oh, but I underestimated them.

Happily, and to my great surprise and everlasting gratitude, my friends and family embraced me, loved me, and read my book without judgement. Of course, even after almost two years, it still hasn’t gone out into the world. Who knows what awaits me there? My net was cast close to home, and I haven’t really tried to get it “out there.” I, like a lot of authors and artists I know, hate to sell. Hate it. That probably isn’t our job anyway. Our job is to write or paint, or do whatever it is we do, and hire somebody who knows what they’re doing to do their job, but I haven’t even done that.

Getting back to the book – I didn’t ask anyone to believe what I came to believe. I didn’t ask anyone to follow my path.  I just wrote down my experience. Nobody called me crazy. Nobody ridiculed me. Some people shared their metaphysical experiences with me, experiences they had never shared with anyone before. Some people said it helped them, which is why I wrote it in the first place.

Here’s why I’m bringing this all up. I’m working on the second book. It’s the sequel to The Messenger, and I am challenged by my writer’s group (and they are right on the mark) to explain this “miracle” of channeling a spirit guide in the first chapter. Right up front, before I begin to tell the rest of my guide’s story (the first part is told in the first book). In other words, I have to do in one chapter what it took a whole book to explain. So now, I have no choice. I have to tell it like it was, and quickly. I have to say what it was like to have contacted a spirit guide and how it was that he told me his story, and I have to do it in plain and understandable English.

I have agonized over this first chapter. I have written and re-written it, but I have just realized that I will either have to start all over again, or make sure that what I have written isn’t spiritual gobbledygook.  I know New Age people who speak only in their own terms, and their language is much like the politicians’ – obtuse and private. (Seems like no one is exempt from purposeful obfuscation.) I don’t have to worry about my guide’s story. He does that one. It’s mine I have to write with all the clarity and honesty I can muster. And feel the risk all over again.

Thank you, my dear friends, for your encouragement. If you want to send good thoughts my way, I’ll take that too.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at or, for a signed copy, go to

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