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Black Elk

Opal Whiteley

January 19th, 2009

Blogs are fantastic things! You comment on something and someone surfing on the other side of the world helps you out with a word of encouragement, a source reference, a new insight. I mentioned the film ‘What a Way to Go’ and the director popped in and said hi on the blog and gave his news. Twice I’ve mentioned that I couldn’t find sources and within 24 hours someone has provided them. The latest example of this ‘increased level of connection’ has been in relation to Opal Whiteley. I discovered her story through reading The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley. Her story in this book, written by Benjamin Hoff, is tremendously moving, inspiring, and sad too. I quoted Opal in a blog post recently, and now I’m delighted to see that a film is being made about her. The director saw the post and commented on it and told me where to find the trailer.

The movie’s website is here. A wikipedia article on Opal is here. The trailer is here:

One Response to “Opal Whiteley”

  1. Intrigued by your post, I ventured on to the net to find out more about this fascinating woman. Reading a bio about her, I was reminded of Camille Claudel, the extremely gifted sculptor – muse and mistress to Rodin – who spent most of her life in a mental institution, denied the right to sculpt. Do you know if Opal Whitely continued to write after she was institutionalised? The sadness is that the ‘factual’ truths that people seemed to have got in such a flap about around her diary, seem less important than the spiritual and poetic truths of her writing. I need to probe further but it seems so awful that such tragic events in a person’s life can deny the full expression of their vision, a vision that has the potential to benefit others so greatly. I really hate the thought of her submerged and obscured for 50 years – makes me feel quite tearful actually. I am drawn back to the poem you posted of hers…’The inner most thoughts of a man’s soul walk the highways of the Universe…’ these words appear now to have a deeper poignancy in the context of her later life. Must check our Benjamin’s Hoff’s book. Thanks for this Philip – yet another inspiring path you have sent me wandering down.

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