Since its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way in which a place can shape a life, Holy Land is ultimately about the resonance of choices—how wide a street should be, what to name a park—and the hopes that are realized in the habits of everyday life.
My life has always been one of spirit. I have always been very intuitive, what some have called psychic, since I was a very small child. This has never presented a problem for me; I just accept it as who I am. I have been doing “readings” since I was in my teens and began to know that the things I saw, or felt, were most often able to bring peace to others. It was, and is, the greatest desire of my heart. To bring, and give, peace, joy, and happiness to other people.
I guess to properly tell this story of how I began doing readings, I need to take you back to around the age of three. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother (whom the family called “crazy” or “out there” somewhere, but to me she was just a whole lot of love). The family was restricted by their own beliefs and unable to really see her for who she truly was. When I began to see people who weren’t there, or hear voices from out of nowhere, it was Grams who explained that I had “the gift.” At three of course this meant absolutely nothing to me, but the fact that she took it in stride and was even proud of me (a chip off her block) made me simply accept what went on around me. Never was I frightened by the souls I saw or the voices I heard.
As you can see, it just came naturally to me, this ability to somehow know things. Throughout my life I have used this gift for others. I have been able to bring them peace about a loved one’s passing, enabled people to connect with their personal guides, and hopefully brought a sense of understanding about the wonders of the spiritual world.
This way of being has brought me to this time of a new awakening for me. Why it waited to occur until I was in my fifties will be understood later. Now let me share with you a new growth along my journey.
In 2007, while in Happy Camp, California, doing some gold mining with my husband Bruce, I met a remarkable woman named Annie. She is undoubtedly one of the most spiritually balanced people I have ever known, and she has led an amazing life. (That is her story to tell.) After speaking together, she requested a reading from me, and during this reading, she told me that she had gotten a “hit,” as she called her own spiritual inspirations. This inspiration told her that I was to be a channel. Of course I looked at her like she was out of her mind. ME. No, there had to be some mistake. I had never even had a thought to being any more than what I already was, and this had served me and others for many, many years. As I said, I was able to bring a sense of closure or understanding to many with the messages I carried from loved ones who had passed on, or from their own spiritual guides. When Annie told me that she thought I would be a wonderful channel for those entities from other planets and universes, I was very taken aback. I guess it really wasn’t a whole lot different than speaking with the deceased, or people’s personal guides, except in the manner it occurred. While doing a reading, I was given images and feelings that helped me to understand the message that was to be given. In Channeling, your voice is actually used to give these messages, and you truly become that conduit from one place in time to another. At first I struggled with this. When I went into my meditations, I asked if this was truly to be my calling. If it was, I on