"Mary Magdalene was a living flesh and blood woman who walked on earth alongside her beloved companion Jesus."

Inward and outward spiritual journeying, dire illness, organ transplant, and renewed vigor have led author/artist Taft to a new stage of life. In this evocatively resonant memoir, she recalls a stable childhood, a responsible and affectionate marriage, a growing need to be acknowledged professionally disrupted by repeated setbacks, a feeling of emptiness leading to infidelity, the diagnosis of a pervasive, life-threatening liver disease, and a gradual recognition of the etheric spirit pervading her life, most strikingly through the personality of Mary Magdalene. Taft describes in rich detail her three remarkable pilgrimages: to the Australian outback where she danced among the aboriginal women; to the Southwest where a shaman helped her dislodge her negative self-image; and, after life-saving surgery, to France to get a closer sense of the true, historical Magdalene.

Taft’s book enchants and inspires despite the grave nature of her physical illness and surgery. Symbolic dreams and miraculous occurrences—like finding two halves of a geode in locations many miles apart—pointed to her rebirth as an artist of remarkable sensitivity. After a failed attempt at an academically based career, her spiritual guides helped her to understand that she was not destined to conform rigidly to externally imposed limitations but to pursue inner freedom and help others do likewise. Magdalene—the reformed sinner who stayed with Jesus until the last and was the first disciple to evangelize his resurrection—is Taft’s model and the subject of many of her richly moving paintings placed throughout the book. These vivid expressions portray their own story of the author’s unique quest, which has centered on “the flow between the light and the dark.” Taft’s reminiscences offer encouragement, not only for those with physical challenges but also for women seeking new, intuitive, creative ways to express their feminine nature.

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