Merrill, Nan C. 1931-
MERRILL, Nan C. 1931-
PERSONAL: Born December 3, 1931, in Swampscott, MA; daughter of Ernest Jefferson (a book bindery executive) and Merle (Austin) Crerie; married Raymond E. Merrill, June 19, 1954 (divorced, 1975); children: Deborah G. Merrill Ripperger, Mark C., Pamela R. Merrill Ray, David A., James P. Education: Simmons College, B.S. (library science); studied at Foundation for Religion and Mental Health and Guild for Spiritual Guidance. Hobbies and other interests: Nature, counseling, grand-parenting, reading, social and ecological justice.
ADDRESSES: Home—129 Skunk Hollow Rd., Jericho, VT 05465.
CAREER: Worked as a children's librarian in Lexington, MA, 1953–58; Guild for Spiritual Guidance, assistant director of training course, 1979–84, advisor, 1980–. New Spirit Bookstore, Montery, MA, owner, 1984–88.
Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, Continuum Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1996.
Meditations and Mandalas: Simple Songs for the Spiritual Life, Continuum Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1999.
Lumen Christi, Holy Wisdom: Journey to Awakening, Continuum Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2002.
Editor, Friends of Silence newsletter, 1987–.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Peace Planet, a prayer for every nation.
SIDELIGHTS: Nan C. Merrill told CA: "I've never set out to write for publication; each book has emerged spontaneously out of an inner imperative to express my deepest yearnings. Peace Planet is a heartfelt response to the '9-11' tragedy and the violence so rampant in our world today.
"I truly believe we stand on the brink of either a great darkness beyond imagining or, if humanity can awaken to our environmental, societal, institutional challenges, we can create a global garden where lasting peace, true justice, integrity, cooperation, freedom, and respect for all peoples and all of creation will reign. I believe that as individuals offer their 'grain of sand' gifts, a tide of growing goodwill and service will wash over the earth—a groundswell of renewed life for everyone. A naive dream, some may say, yet dreams come to fruition one step at a time. This is what motivates me to offer my life toward that dream; this is why I shall continue to write, honoring my gift as an offering as my heart dictates.
"Inspirational books have always played a major role in my life. The people who have influenced me the most are those with a passion for love and life, those whose lives, words, and work are lived with integrity, those who have gone the extra mile—like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Peace Pilgrim … those who quietly spread goodness, kindness, and hope to those others may bypass, those who courageously stand for their deepest truth even if the world persecutes them, those who spend their lives in solitude and silence praying over the world … the hidden saints and angels among us.
"I write when and wherever the muse beckons. Once in a while a major theme will present itself. I feel a strong intuition to follow its thread; it won't let me go. Then, I trust it is an invitation to say 'yes.' I have five or six books 'in the closet' because they are either outdated, unfinished, or touch on controversial themes that I don't feel ready or willing to share … my growing edge.
"Spontaneity is my main discipline after meditation and prayer. If I were to write simply for publication, I doubt that I could keep the ego in check. I consider writing to be a sacred trust, especially if others may eventually read it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 1996, Ray Olson, review of Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, p. 300.
Heron Dance, http://www.herondance.org/ (September 7, 2004), interview with Merrill.