Around the Island

Revisiting landscapes of the Celtic soul

COURTESY PHOTO | Jeanne Marie Merkel in Mullaghmore, Ireland.
COURTESY PHOTO | Jeanne Marie Merkel in Mullaghmore, Ireland.

Join Jeanne Marie Merkel for an evening of Celtic music, poetry, image and storytelling at Friday Night Dialogues at the Shelter Island Library on March 18.

In her presentation, “Inner and Outer Landscapes of the Celtic Soul,” Ms. Merkel will reflect on her May 2006 vision quest in Ireland and what she learned about the Celtic way of being in relationship to the earth, how it can enrich our inner lives and awaken our dedication to protecting the landscapes we love.

As part of a group that camped for a week at the base of Mullaghmore, a sacred mountain in County Clare, Ms. Merkel was immersed in the elements: wild winds, torrential rains, ever-changing skies and the powerful presence of the mountain.

Heightening the experience was a three-day fast that she said boosted her sense of where she was and her role as a steward of the earth.

As Ms. Merkel describes, “It awoke in me a new sense of what it means to be an earth-inhabitant, a being designed for living in close proximity to the land.”

Ms. Merkel is a practioner of SoulCollage, a method of self-discovery and intuitive analysis, and became a facilitator in June of 2004. She is founder of Wellspring Community Support Services, LLC on Shelter Island and has worked in East End public libraries for over 25 years. Her studio space is called “Wellspring Creativity Cottage.”

Wellspring is dedicated to inspiring people to awaken to their potential for creative living through SoulCollage workshops, personal growth seminars, community building, interfaith spiritual counseling and rites of passage.

Ms. Merkel is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is a lifetime student of archetypal psychology, spirituality and creativity, and indigenous wisdom. She is the mother of three grown daughters, and a grandmother, and takes great joy in nurturing spiritual growth and soul friendship in open-hearted community.

The program, which will feature photos by Ms. Merkel and Kathryn Szoka, will begin at 7 p.m.

Coming up: On Friday, April 1, Friday Night Dialogues will feature the Shelter Island Poetry Project as it celebrates its eighth year of presenting great poetry to the community with a reading entitled “Do I Dare to Eat a Peach,” curated by Bliss Morehead and read by Shelter Islanders.