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My partner and I have been going to a nearby urban agricultural high school with a dairy farm for about five or six years. Since then our friendships with the cows — and with one cow in particular — has inspired us to become vegan and follow a healthy plant-based diet. Then the cows inspired me to write a novel, partly from the voice of dairy cow.

Cows are very intelligent and I think they’ve been trying to speak to me for years.

I’m working on revising this novel now so thought I would share an excerpt.

Cinnamon: a dairy cow’s path (and her farmer’s) to freedom

a novel excerpt

By Janet Mason

I heard a young cow who had just given birth recently emit a long whimper.

She had given birth just the other day – and had been sighing ever since.

I was facing the opposite direction in my slot in the barn, but had my ears turned back so that I could hear everything.

The cow in the last place next to her stall told the new mother that if she didn’t get up, the farmhands would assume she was sick and send her away.

“And then what?” asked the young mother. Her voice was distant. It sounded as though she was still laying in the stall that was at the end of the long area where we were hooked up to the milking machines.

I had seen her just minutes before, when I had been herded to my milking space, which was much narrower than the birthing stall. I imagined her big brown eyes looking up inquisitively as she spoke.

“Will they send me somewhere special and help me get better?” she asked plaintively.

“They’ll send you someplace special for sure – the slaughterhouse,” the standing cow replied, with the deeper voice of the two. I remembered her as black and white but mostly black around the shoulders and face. Black spots dotted her white mid-section.

 “My advice is to toughen up. They’re going to keep you pregnant for as long as they can so that you provide them with milk.”

“How long will that last?”

The new mother with the higher voice sounded young. This must be her first-time giving birth. I felt sorry for the poor thing. I was still standing in my slot on the other side of the aisle and had already been hooked up to the machine to give milk so I couldn’t turn around. 

The standing cow with the deeper voice sounded like she had been around for a while. I strained to hear what she had to say.

“After we give birth, we can produce milk for close to a year so it’s a long time,” said the standing cow.

“I guess that’s the amount of time that I should have been with my baby,” sniffed the younger cow.  “I was barely able to lick off the placenta before they whisked my baby away.”

“Oh. It must have been a boy,” said the cow with the deeper voice.

“Whatever do you mean?” The younger cow’s voice was suddenly higher.

“I didn’t mean anything,” said the cow with the deeper voice. “I was just speculating.”

I surmised that older more experienced cow, as jaded as she seemed, didn’t want to tell the young cow that if her calf was male, he would be sent away immediately.

“We’re pregnant for nine months,” said the cow with the deeper voice. “That’s almost a year and it’s a long time to be carrying our young. Of course, we develop feelings for our calves when they’re still inside of us.”

The other cow whimpered. 

“That’s why I feel so badly,” she said sadly.

“Of course, you feel badly,” replied the older cow. “We all feel bad. Let me give you some more advice: it doesn’t help to wallow in your pity. Stand up and be counted. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do something to change your circumstances,” said the older cow with an edge of irritation.

Her tone wasn’t lost on me. It seemed like the young cow heard it too.

“But what should I do?” The young cow’s higher voice trembled.

“If I knew the answer, would I be standing here?” The older cow with the deeper voice snorted and then said, “You have to figure it out for yourself. I can’t do it for you.”

“It might help if I knew what was going to happen to me next,” said the younger cow.

If you stand up, the farmhands will assume you’re healthy. Then they try to make sure you get pregnant again – and you hope you do –”

“Why would I do that?”

Youngsters are apt to be impertinent, and this one was turning out to be no different.

“So, you can give them what they want – more milk. This will buy you more time to figure out what to do before it’s too late.” I heard the dullish stamping of feet against dirty straw and cement. The cow who was talking must be stamping her feet in frustration.

 “Do I have to tell you everything?” the standing cow asked with an edge in her voice.

“I’m afraid you do,” answered the younger cow. “There was an older cow who I used to stand next to when I grew big enough to go to the pasture. She was like a mother to me. I was taken from my own mother. I assumed something happened to her.”

The sound of the standing cow’s voice was kinder when she answered. “All of us have been taken from our mothers. Hopefully, your mother was able to get pregnant at least two more times and give milk for almost a year between each pregnancy. Then she would’ve gotten sent away.”

“Sent away? – that doesn’t sound so bad.  Where did they send her?” asked the young cow with the higher voice. I heard hope in her voice.

I heard the older cow emit a resigned sigh. It didn’t sound like she was going to try to sugarcoat her answer.

“Whenever you hear the term ‘sent away,’ it’s never good. It almost always means that someone is going to the slaughterhouse. We all get sent away eventually. Most of us get eaten by the humans.”

“Ohhh,” whimpered the young cow. “How terrible.”

Even standing behind them, I felt the sadness in the young mother’s whimper.

“But you’re still young,” said the standing cow. Her deeper voice softened with compassion.

 “Maybe your mother’s still here…”

The older one was silent for a moment as if considering not saying what followed.

“There’s even a chance that I’m your mother.”

“Oh?” said the younger one.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” said the standing one rather crossly. “I can’t make everything better and it’s too late for me to nurture you. All I can tell you is to stand up before the farmhands report that you’re sick — and you get sent away.”

“I am young. I bet I’m the youngest one in this section of the barn. My play mother/friend in the pasture was very sweet. She never would have told me such horrible things.”

The milking machine chugged away. The silence wasn’t only mechanical. There was a tension in the air. The older, more-experienced cow probably felt insulted. I imagined that she was thinking that the horrible things that she told the younger one were true. Her only crime was to tell the truth.

What she had said sounded right to me. I had given birth twice and was used to the milking machine. I was horrified at the thought that I only had two years left – if I could get pregnant again. But a year was a long time and two years – well, I knew enough math to know that two years was twice as long.

I still felt bad for the young mother. I didn’t feel any less bad for her because she had insulted her elder. Insulting someone wasn’t going to change her reality. I knew that even if the young cow was too inexperienced to know much.

There were some interesting looking yellow grains on the concrete floor outside of my area. It looked like some feed had spilled on the floor. I thought about kneeling after I was unhooked from the milking machine so I could reach it with my long tongue but sighed and did nothing instead. Even if the grain was good, what was the point?

Eating the yummy looking grain wouldn’t change anything.

Despite my lethargy, I began to think of what I could say when I walked by after I was unhooked from the milking machine on my way out of the barn to make the young mother feel better. Finally, the farmhand took the clamps off me. Relief. I backed up and walked by the stall with the young cow in it. I noticed that she had taken the older cow’s advice and was standing.

“Don’t worry,” I murmured when I walked by.

Then I stopped.

The straw under my feet was filled with dung. This wasn’t unusual.

Lately, there was more dung than hay. I had heard one of the farmhands — the one who travelled with a ham sandwich in the front of his overalls – claim that he had cleaned out our barn when he had done no such thing. I assumed he hadn’t felt like it the first time. Then when he found he could get away with it, not cleaning out the barn became a habit.

Even though it stank to the high heavens, I lowered my head to my front leg as if I was scratching my leg with my nose so I could speak to the young mother.

“It will be okay. When you leave the barn – in a week or so after you’re done milking – you will pass by the calves’ stall at the other end of the barn. There’s a chance you can see your little one.”

I stood up and looked over quickly as I stood waiting in line to get out of the barn and be herded into the pasture. She looked heartened and determined – suddenly strong like young mothers often look. I noticed that her legs were still spindly. She almost looked like a calf herself.

As the line started to move, I felt a little guilty. I hadn’t bothered to tell the young cow that they kept several calves in a stall and she would have no way of knowing which was hers. I also didn’t tell her that if she had given birth to a male calf that he would be sent away almost immediately. Hamburger. Steaks. It’s all the same thing to me. I’ve heard the term “beef-cattle” used but I call it what it is: murder.

That’s how we lived our lives then. But at the same time there was our daily reality of breathing in and breathing out while we stood in a rolling green pasture. Sometimes we were doing other things too.

To learn more about my latest published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Since I came across Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease and since heart disease runs in my family, I decided to read the book and share what I learned. However, since this ground-breaking book is such a tome — about 600 pages which no doubt was why it was in the Little Library where I found it — I’ve decided to read it and share it in sections.

Both of my paternal grandparents died in their early forties from heart disease. Currently, heart disease is big business. This book talks about the medical establishment making big bucks through surgical procedures including bypass operations. It also discusses the benefits of going to a plant-based diet in reversing heart disease.

My theory is to prevent heart disease — and other illnesses — before they happen. This is part of the reason that I went to a healthy-plant-based diet almost two years ago. But I also changed my diet for health-reasons that had already occurred — namely, a giant kidney stone that had landed me in emergency surgery in a hospital two and half years ago. I looked around me, woke up, became disgusted with the medical system. I must have subconsciously decided that I had a choice (to be healthy or not) since I changed my diet when my acupuncturist suggested it a few months later.

But my partner and I became vegans for ethical reasons as well. In particular, we had been visiting the cows in a local farm for a few years so we knew that the cows were slaughtered after they were done being milked. And then when we went back and looked in those big brown eyes — we eventually found that we could no longer eat dairy products.

Even now we are continually amazed at how good we feel ourselves and at the health changes among people who had gone to a healthy-plant-based diet.

Many of those health changes are gone over in Dr. Dean Ornish’s book. in the beginning of this book, is a rather lengthy letter from a man who reversed his heart disease through diet and lifestyle.

The man, who was anti-gay but who was working on his feelings and making progress on his feelings. The man is just an average guy — you can imagine the (unreformed) type waving his MAGA hat at a rally. But he observed that the longer he was in the program, his feelings changed.

“I mean it’s totally different. I go down the road. I can drive without yelling at people. I look at people differently. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m beginning to like what I see. I don’t say bad things when I walk past the mirror anymore. I have more respect for myself. I just feel like a new human being.”

The message is — as this average Joe would tell you — that anyone can do it.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Yesterday, I was very excited because my partner was taking me to meet a chicken.

I’ve had very little contact with chickens — unlike cows which is a large part of the reason I’ve become a vegan.

Because I follow a strict plant-based diet (for health reasons), I do not eat any animal products including eggs, chicken, dairy, and fish.

Also, I have found that the longer I have been on a vegan diet, the less likely I am to consume any animals or animal products or to consider that animals are here for human consumption.

In other words, I have more compassion for the animals — including myself.

But I initially stopped eating chicken because I was appalled at the way chickens are killed. I felt grossed out at what people put into their bodies. To make a long story short, the information on the way chickens are killed gives new life to the term “chicken shit.”

I’ve heard that eggs contain a huge amount of cholesterol — more than a Big Mac.

So yesterday, I went to the backyard of a large stone house in a nearby neighborhood excited to see the chicken coop. The people in the house kept hens for laying eggs.

What I found was several hens in a coop that maybe was about six feet wide and four feet deep. It might be considered humane by chicken coop standards, but I would not like to live in such a small space. The hens were really squawking at me. I wondered what they were trying to say.

Maybe they with telling me that they wanted to keep their eggs, to have them fertilized so they could grow into healthy and strong chickens. That would be a natural thing to want.

One of the chickens and I made eye contact and held it. It was a transcendent experience in that I saw the being-ness of the chicken.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

A months ago this summer (of 2021) we received a notice from the City that a complaint had been lodged against us because of our overgrown backyard. Ultimately, we looked at it as a positive thing, since it motivated us to do things we’ve long been meaning to do. But clearing out the overgrown back of the yard wasn’t on the radar.

You’d think the yard might be too much for two senior lesbians — but thanks to our newish found healthy plant-based diet, we’re rising to the occasion.

Here are some photos from our journey:

We hired a crew of landscapers to clear out the back but my partner Barbara decided she wanted to cut down the wild bush above the back and on the side herself since she knows her way around a hardware store and how to use power tools.

Barbara also used a regular saw to cut down the wild bush. Look we can see the fence!

Since I can see these from my office window — on the second story on the back of the house — I call them “crop circles.”

This is the offending back of the yard that we had to have cut down. I used to imagine that the unicorn in my last novel lived back there but was surprised and appalled at what the landscapers found.

This is what the landscaping crew found. They took out hundreds of empty beer bottles. It’s ironic that same (American flag waving) neighbor who reported us throws big beer bashes on patriotic holidays. I imagine that it doesn’t help that we are lesbians. But as I said to the landscaper who showed me this, it’s a shame that people don’t respect nature.

Addiction is a complicated thing. The people suffering from them have to hate themselves before they hate others.

I send compassion and healing to all people suffering from addiction so the rest of us can be free.

After having the back cleaned out, we saw this praying mantis on the wall of the house. We also saw birds pecking in the dirt in the back — since they had better access to the worms. Also, at another time, we saw three outdoor cats that we hadn’t seen before — in the back to check out the new space. It could be that the creatures were looking for new homes. But I took their presence as telling us “thanks” for holding out so long in letting the yard grow wild.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

This morning I took part in a really nice Unitarian Universalist tradition which is called Poetry Sunday. During the service, I read a reflection about how poetry influences my current prose writing. In particular, I read an excerpt from memoir — Now, from Antiquity: How to survive a father’s death — which I am writing now. I also read the noted poem from William Carlos Williams (who I just discovered was a lifelong UU), The Red Wheelbarrow. The YouTube videos of the readings are pasted below and below that is the text of the reflection. I hope the work has some meaning for you.

In hearing that the theme for this year’s Poetry Sunday is “anything goes,” I decided to reflect on my journey from writing poetry to prose and how it dovetails with my views as a Unitarian Universalist. I started out early in life as a secret poet.  I say secret because I hid my poems in a journal in the doll house that my father made me when his union was on strike. I hid the poems because I was hiding who I was when in I lived in a sea of conformity. I also hid that journal because I had learned to be afraid of being my true self.

After the age of fifty, I became a member of this Unitarian Universalist congregation and learned that the first Unitarian Universalist principle was to recognize “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

By that time, the lines in my poems had gotten longer, often contained dialogue, and I had moved from writing poetry to writing literary fiction. But I am still informed by the image and by the capturing of the moment in poetry.

Recently, I’ve been working on a memoir about my life with my father, who died in 2017.  The memoir is titled Now, From Antiquity: Surviving a Father’s Death. In reflecting on the life of my father, I remember our relationship with antiquity. In the process, I wonder if political differences can be healed and I wonder, perhaps most of all, who I am after my father’s death. In writing about my life with my father, I’m still inspired by the images of memory.

I’m going to end with a section from that memoir:

The other night after teaching a class nearby in the City, I encountered a pickup truck with a large American flag propped up in the back and waving at me. This is an unusual sight in my liberal neck of the woods. I looked at the flag and breathed in. Then I breathed out. I really did feel different. I felt more relaxed. I remembered my meditation when I breathed in the fear and suffering caused by the flag, particularly in those years after 2016, and breathed out compassion. I don’t know if this changes the world. But it changed me. I could feel that I was more relaxed. If nothing else, then it increased my capacity to do good in the world. For me – the American flag has lost the stigma of fear that some might want it to project. The American flag then could stand for something else. And if it could stand for something else, then it will. As the Unitarian minister and abolitionist Theodore Parker first said in 1853 – in a sentiment echoed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is his widely known “I have A Dream” speech which he gave in 1963, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

The autumn after my father’s death, my partner Barbara and I took a long-awaited trip to the beach. We like to go to a wildlife reserve that is somewhat close to us – about an hour and a half away. To get there we took Route 30, which is a two-lane highway, and went past the town of Absecon where my late Aunt (my mother’s sister) had lived. When she was alive, Barbara and I visited her often. About twelve years before my father died, I used to take him down to stay for long weekends at her home. On our ride to the shore, Barbara pointed to the churchyard where my Aunt was buried. We made plans to visit her grave on the ride home.

In the beach town next to the wildlife reserve, we drove to the end of the cement walkway, crossed the relatively wide beach and set up our folding chairs facing the ocean. We were sitting where the waves had rolled in earlier and wet the sand, making it a darker color. The waves crashed in in front of us. What looked like a freighter rode the distant horizon – the line between darker gray-blue sea and lighter sky. On the beach where the white tipped waves crashed, a gull took a solitary walk through sea foam. I turned my head to the right, looking past Barbara to where the buildings of Atlantic City were so small, they were virtually indistinguishable. All I saw was the ocean and the beach. The sun turned to silver as it glinted off the ocean in its autumnal reflection. The ocean, beach, and sun were so beautiful that the present moment was all that existed. Later, I thought, that is who I am, sitting there on the edge of the ocean – which felt like the edge of the world – where I could feel my being-ness most acutely.

I belong to the universe.

–Namaste–

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Below is my review of Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death by Lillian Faderman published by Yale University Press. You can view the video on BookTube or read the review below that.

His death changed a lot of lives — including mine, including yours.  

–Janet Mason booktube


When I first listened to the audiobook of Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death by Lillian Faderman published by Yale University Press in 2018, I thought I knew about Harvey Milk and would just be getting a refresher, something I could pass along.  Harvey Milk is the gay leader who was assassinated in 1978 when he was 48. Having held a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for nearly a year, he was the first openly gay man to hold elected office in the United States.  He was dubbed the Mayor of Castro Street — the gay neighborhood in San Francisco where Milk eventually moved and made his home.

As is described in the epilogue of the book, Milk was larger in death than he was in life.  

His murder — along with the then San Francisco Mayor George Moscone — galvanized the LGBT community across the nation and the world. The anger that erupted after his murderer received a less than two-year sentence was too long-suppressed gay anger and it could not be denied.  

His death changed a lot of lives — including mine, including yours.  

The new information that I found in this book was in the details of his complex background and in the Jewish identity of this man who was raised in Long Island New York, a place that was rife with anti-Semitism during the holocaust when he and his family would listen to the news on the radio, fearful that the Holocaust could spread to America.  

The book, which is part of Yale University’s Jewish Lives series, points out that Harvey Milk was informed by Tikkun olam —  the Jewish philosophy of repairing the world.  After he came out and was radicalized in San Francisco, he was always concerned about the disenfranchised and rose to elected office by building coalitions.  

He was, in many ways, ahead of his time in understanding the power of uniting — or what is now called intersectionality.  

He was accused by the (largely unsuccessful) gay establishment of the time as muddying the waters by focusing on the rights of all oppressed groups and not only on gay rights. But Harvey persisted. And he succeeded in furthering gay rights only as someone who was not concerned with “fitting in” and upending the status quo could.   When I read Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death by Lillian Faderman published by Yale University Press, I knew I was reading about an important part of LGBTQ history but I didn’t know how important it was until the last page was turned.    

This is Janet Mason with reviews on You Tube and Spotify.            

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Heart disease runs in my family. So I’ve been slowly reading Dr. Dean Ornish’s book Reversing Heart Disease (which is a tome). Dean Ornish is known as a pioneer for his successful work in reversing heart disease.

The book is excellent and quite comprehensive but because of the length of it I’ve been watching some talks by him on YouTube to get into it.

He said in one of the talks (a Ted talk) that people are motivated not by fear but by something positive. It’s true that I’ve heard people say that since they’re going to die of something, they’re going to keep eating animals or smoking or doing something else that’s bad for their health.

I went to a healthy pant based diet about a year and a half ago, and my initial motivation was to stay out of the hospital. I had emergency surgery for a large kidney stone and then an infection that nearly killed me.

My partner and I had been thinking about going vegan for a few years out of compassion for the animals. (I should say other animals since humans are also animals.) We are also concerned about the future of the planet.

Very shortly after I went to a healthy plant-based diet (within two or three weeks), I started to feel very good. So that is part of my motivation, too — to keep on feeling good.

Also in going to a vegan/plant-based diet I became part of a world wide community that is healing themselves through lifestyle changes.

Now my motivation is being part of the change.

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Yesterday, my partner and I visited a nearby agricultural high school where for the past four years we’ve struck up a friendship with the cows — one in particular. The cow in the photograph (the black and white one with her back to us) is done being milked and is now being fattened up for slaughter, since dairy cows are paid for by the pound.

All dairy cows are eventually sent to slaughter when they are done being milked (for usually three to five years). With this particular cow, we could tell that her personality changed. She was no longer happy to see us. She did not rise from the ground — she was so large and sluggish that we couldn’t tell if it was possible for her to stand.

The only acknowledgement we had of our visit was a slight shift of her ears when my partner sang a very sweet song for her. We have been negotiating for the release of this particular cow (to have her sent to a cow sanctuary) but our plan may not work.

My partner and I left the farm with very heavy hearts.

From a Buddhist perspective the fact that the consumption of sluggish animal leads to so many health problems for humans makes sense.

Remember, we are all one.

About four years or so, before I became a vegan, my partner and I were thinking of becoming vegans out of compassion for the animals. We were visiting the cows at a local agricultural high school and learned the cows are sent to slaughter after they are done being milked.

Shortly after that I was hospitalized for emergency surgery and subsequently acquired an infection that nearly killed me. I was not in the hospital long but quickly became disillusioned with the entire medical system.

The medical system does have its place (broken bones come to mind) but that is how I felt at the time. That fall (a few months later) on the advice of a local acupuncturist I started going to, I went to a healthy plant based diet.

A year and a half after being totally vegan, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. (My partner insisted that I go.) Because I don’t weigh myself at home, I found out that I had lost sixty pounds. The doctor told me that a lot of her patients lose weight by going to a plant-based diet. In my case, it was necessary to lose weight to be healthy. But many people who are already thin go to a healthy plant-based diet for health reasons. There are also ways to gain weight on a plant based diet for those who may need to bulk up — as is the case for some weightlifters.

I know from exercising and being a writer that engaging in a daily practice is how things get done and how change happens. It is the same thing when going to a healthy plant-based diet. It took a few months of transition but I got there. I was shocked at the transformation and how I could actually feel the absence of animal suffering in my body.

One of the ways that I stay on course is by watching episodes of the Exam Room Podcast (which is associated with the Physicians Committee for Social Responsibility). I feel lucky to have stumbled across it — just like I feel fortunate to have embarked on a path of being plant-based. The YouTube video below is from the Exam Room Podcast.

Since going plant-based, I have a lot of energy. One way that I use that energy is, of course, in my writing!

To learn more about my recently published novel — The Unicorn, The Mystery, click here:

The Unicorn, The Mystery now available from Adelaide Books — #amreading #FaithfullyLGBT

Today, like most Sunday mornings, I attended the now digital services of the Unitarian Universalists of Mt. Airy (until recently it was the Unitarian Universalist Church of Mt. Airy). Today the service was given by two long-term members on the subject of convenent. It was a good service, and I learned a lot about being in community. I have been a card-carrying member of the Unitarians for more than five years, but I do feel like I am still in the learning phase. This is possibly because this is how I approach life. It is also probably related to the fact that I was raised secular. I have a hard time summing up my complex relationship to religion in a few words, but I do know that the religion that I found – combined with my other spiritual practices of doing qigong and Buddhist meditation — makes me a better person. It also makes me more inquisitive.

I am heavily influenced by the gnostic gospels The Gnostic Gospels can help people think in new ways, critical for this time. Consider that “gnosis” is the common Greek noun for “knowledge.” Perhaps, the reason the Gnostic Gospels are scorned is in the name: Gnostic (“knowing”). Apparently, it is heretical to know your own truth.

The Gnostic Gospels were discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. There are some conflicting theories about when they were first written, but some historians say that they were written before the New Testament was written. The Gnostic Gospels were known throughout history – particularly in the Middle Ages – but were always banned by the Church.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the Gospel of Mary written by Mary of Magdala and found in fragments.

I’ve decided to post a short excerpt from my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders(Adelaide Books)that were inspired by the The Gospel of Mary.

Mary looked dejected. Thomas wanted to cheer her up.

“It does not matter,” Thomas said. “You and I are Yeshua’s favorites. We’re the only one he trusts, really. He told me himself that there is no way to know that the apostles won’t abandon him in a crisis.”

“That’s true,” replied Mary. “Besides, we’ll be travelling with Yeshua when he performs his miracles. There’s nothing that Peter can say that will change that.” Mary nodded and then spoke: “Peter treats me like an adversary. But I am trying not to respond with anger. For one thing it would tarnish the feeling that I hold for Yeshua. I do feel that he can truly save us. Also, I know that the angry person’s wisdom is the seventh power of wrath.”

“What are the first six powers?” asked Thomas.

“The first form is darkness; the second, desire; the third, ignorance; the fourth, death wish; the fifth, fleshly kingdom, the sixth, foolish fleshly wisdom; and the seventh, as I told you, the angry person’s wisdom.”

Mary picked up her basket and glanced back toward the Temple. “I should go before the meeting is over and the men come out.”

Thomas looked at Mary with respect bordering on awe. Mary was wise, to be sure. She had much to offer.

To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.