A Book Worth Reading

For the past two years I have been editing/writing/helping my 90 year old friend finish her book on Franz Jung, C.G. Jung’s son. I’m pasting the write up below. It’s an interesting journey whether you are familiar with C.G. Jung’s work or not. The book is published by Shanti Arts Publishing, a small but dedicated press in Maine. If interested, you can buy the book from that site. For those of you who want to publish, Christine Cote, publisher of Shanti Arts, puts out a journal four times a year. She has been publishing my essays for many years and now is readying my full length memoir for publication: From Ocean to Desert, a Memoir. Check Shanti out. A great publisher. And accessible.

About Franz by Mary Dian Molton with Janet Sunderland

New Release—About Franz (son of Carl Jung),  

SHANTI ARTS PUBLISHINGNew Book Release   “As I turned toward the stairs, I was met with a great surprise. I was faced by an enormous, stunning, blue-and-white star. . . This was the only moment when I was completely alone during this trip to Bollingen, and it was also the moment in which I felt closest to the singular spirit of Carl Jung . . . I remained there for a time, imagined Carl Jung standing just there, painting an image of such incredible symmetry and mystery in this silent, narrow space . . . I have never forgotten it. A truly wondrous star, so close. In succeeding years, when I’d again hear Carl Jung’s response to the question of whether he believed in God—“I don’t need to believe; I know”—I think of this star.”                  —Mary Dian Molton About Franz:
Remembering C. G. Jung—
A Son’s Story

by Mary Dian Molton
In 1988 Mary Dian Molton was taking classes at the Jung Institute in Küsnacht, Switzerland, when she inquired about the possibility of visiting the Jung family home. She was directed to contact Franz Jung, Carl Jung’s only son, who was living in the home at the time, to see if a visit might be possible. Indeed, Franz Jung was most gracious, and Molton’s first visit was followed by several more over the years as well as the exchange of many letters.
 Over the next eight years, until Franz died in 1996, Molton had the singular opportunity to peer into the inner and outer worlds of Carl Jung through the lens of his son, Franz. A battered suitcase in Molton’s office came to collect sets of letters, notebooks, and journals within which she stored the artifacts of her treasured relationship with Franz that brought the world of Carl Jung—his prominent work as a psychologist and writer, his art that was on display at the family retreat at Böllingen, and his role as a father—up close for examination. It took some years, but Molton eventually opened the suitcase to tell this great and important story about Franz, talented architect and gifted artist, who in his later years became a generous and gracious ambassador for his father, Carl Jung.


An old ditty just sprang into my head, one of my mother’s: Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is.”

2012-03-28 11.59.24-1

Well, here’s the Texas bluebonnets in the front yard which come up every year with no prodding, and some tulips in between. I’m not necessarily a precision planter. In Texas at this time of year, bluebonnets cover miles and miles of pasture, climbing up slopes to crown the hills, diving down to line the fencing. You can drive for miles and miles and they are still overwhelming pastures. For those of you who have read my posts for several years, I’m probably repeating myself from some other spring, but that’s what happens when you get old.

I, for one, am grateful to be out of sweatpants and wooly shirts. Even when the lighter clothing also points toward a massive amount of cleaning out winter debris. You may, if you look closely, see dried oak leaves mixed among the flowers. That’s the cost of living on a quiet two blocks long street lined with big and old Oak Trees. But they are beautiful. Right now, they are still covered with stringy yellowish-green things which oaks seem to grow first for whatever reason I’ve not discovered. But they do. The backyard has a willow, now gracefully filling out, and one purple flowering tree and another that fills with white flowers. Yeah, I got carried away with planting when we moved in here 15+ years ago. That seems to be a strain (or stain, however you want to think of it) from growing up on a farm and planting things. I have planted things.

I’ve not yet ventured into the far back garden against our wooden slats fence. I’ll get to it, but right now I’m out of leaf bags and must make another run to the hardware store.

I have, however, completed “From Ocean to Desert” and sent it to the publisher. Now, as promised….sometime…I’ve begun the Mexico book. It’s been a hard start as I have so many false starts from over the years scattered across my writing room floor. However, I finally decided to just start writing and see where it takes me and worry about the editing later. That seems to be working. And recently wrote a lovely memory of swimming in the crystal waters of a cenote in the Yucatan.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, and doing, actually for most of my life it seems. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing in one thing or another. I graduated from a diary to a notebook somewhere in my early 20s so as you might imagine, I have a lot of history on pieces of paper.

Happy spring to you all. I hope this finds you well. We’ve all had our covid shots but I still don’t go out much and always wear a mask when I do. I guess this will go on for awhile. In the meantime, I dream of getting on a plane and flying to Ireland. Why not…..

It’s a Long Road Back to Eden

This song title from The Eagles seems to fit the day. It’s the end of January, February peeking around the corner. The wind is blowing like a March wind but it’s a cold wind, less promising.

My desk, after editing two manuscripts, one for my old friend Mary Dian and one from an even older friend from back in my K-State days when I took ballet class with here, resembles the wreckage an earthquake leaves behind. Nothing is broken and the bookcases still upright, but mercy there’s a lot of stuff scattered around and behind my laptop, which is also running on it’s hind legs and endeavoring to get me through a couple more months before dying. Maybe spring will revive it, too.

There is, however, a great deal to be thankful for. My large and extended family, six siblings, plus nieces and nephews, great-nephews and nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, are all fine. No one has succumbed to Covid, or even colds as near as I can tell. And thankfully, we all keep in touch reasonably well, which is something to applaud as our family residences dot across the U.S. from Hawaii to Florida. The downside, as is probably the downside for many of you, is there’s nothing much to talk about except Covid. Oh. And the election. Since all of us have been Democrats since we were kids and Dad indoctrinated us, we’re pretty relieved Joe Biden is in the White House.

We went out to our hairdresser, Venessa, for haircuts (yes, with masks and she wears a mask and has a notice on her door saying mask required) we were safe. We’ve been going to her for somewhere around 15 years now. That was our big excursion for the week. Other than getting our hair cut, about the only excitement to that trip was a sort of wiener-shaped little black dog with very long toe nails and white hair around her snout, which Venessa rescued out of the parking lot just before we arrived, and which went clicking around the salon while we received haircuts. After she cut mine, I went into the little kitchen, found a container for water and put it down for said little dog. She lapped at it for awhile but mostly, I expect she was hungry. The end of the story came later in the day when Venessa called to say she’d called her vet (they are a dog family), took said little dog to vet for nail trimming and then home for food, and little dog was happily running around their yard.

Listen, with all the chaotic news, the news about a little dog being rescued and treated well is a good story. I found a picture and seems it was a small Dachshund.

We got some sleet and then snow on top, but nothing like what the upper Midwest and East Coast are getting. I suddenly remembered a note my mother sent me years ago saying she didn’t have much to say, so she’d give me the weather report. “It’s partly cloudy as opposed to partly sunny,” I remember her writing. I guess that’s where I am except I wanted to say hello. Here is all the way cloudy.

An up date on my book: The publisher is now working on From Ocean to Desert and it should be out soon. Whatever “soon” means as I asked her to set aside my book and work on the manuscript for my 91 year old friend, Mary Dian. Her husband is 93 and they spent several worrisome weeks/months in hospital after Mary Dian was exposed to Covid from a woman who came to work with her on exercises. They may be the only 90+ survivors of the nasty virus. But fabulous news that they did.

My husband gave me Barack Obama’s book, A Promised Land, for Christmas and I’ve been reading the 500+ page book bit by bit. What’s so interesting is that his time entering office was just as chaotic as Joe Biden’s is now. To remind you, that was during the financial crisis when money was melting. Well, not exactly melting but certainly disappearing. And what happened then is so eerily similar to today except the crisis was money instead of disease. That was twenty years ago and we’re back in turmoil.

“I grow old; I wear my pants legs rolled,” one of my favorite lines in poetry from T.S. Eliot – at least I think it was T.S. Like everything, my memory is getting wobbly.

I’ll let you know when my book comes out. Likely, it will be hard to miss the announcing from the rooftops I’ll be doing. My next task, after making sense of this desk, is working on what I call the Mexico book. It came time wise before Ocean to Desert, but it’s huge – and years more than Ocean, which is probably why I’ve been putting it off all these years. After cleaning the desk, I plan to pull out all the primary material – the journals from those years, the notes, some of the pages I once started, and the stack of journal entries my dear friend, Kay Unger, send from the journal she kept. Right now, in my mind, it’s called Two Gringas Loose in Mexico. She, hearty soul, brought her car from Montana to Mexico (although it was impounded for some weeks when it arrived) and we traveled and wandered. Including to the mountain in southwestern Mexico where monarch butterflies roost over winter. There. That might peak your interest. It was an extraordinary trip. I can still remember the butterflies lighting on my shoulders, in my hair, as we walked, the branches loaded with butterflies. Well. I guess I’ve finally talked myself into writing again.

Thanks for listening/reading. I’ll be back again eventually.

Blessings…Peace, Janet

Sometimes I wonder….

This keeping up with a blog, along with life and covid and staying safe and cleaning up the leaves in the yard and keeping up with email…. well, it’s all a lot of work. More than, say, ten or so years ago when I began… not the leaves…the blog.

But here I am, back. I may be repeating myself, but my memoir, From Ocean to Desert, is soon forthcoming from Shanti Arts Publishing: Shanti Arts — Nature, Art, Spirit Check them out. The publisher, Christine Cote, also publishes a journal four times a year, which is how I got to know Shanti Arts, as she has published several of my essays over the years.

I’ve also finished revising and editing a book for my 90 year old friend. She and her 92 year old husband both were infected by covid and spent several weeks in hospital/rehab/etc but are finally home with round the clock nursing. What a year this has been. We, in this house, have stayed healthy, but then we seldom go out. My eldest son who lives with us is teaching 7th grade math from his basement cave; my husband is teaching college philosophy from his upstairs office; and I have, after sending off my memoir to Shanti, have been cleaning up my computer and writing room. It astounds me how much I have managed to save for some reason or another in my several years old laptop. Dropbox has a lot of it, but so do files so deep in the machine I didn’t even know they existed.

However, in all that digging about, I have found a series of posts from back in 2013-2018 on spiritual writing. I have now, hopefully, over the past week+, copied all the posts worth saving for when I write another book on spiritual journeys. Or something. But now I don’t have to keep that WordPress site and continue paying for it. At least that’s the plan. Carrying out the plan and managing to delete the site from WordPress is next. I will, however, keep this one.

Speaking of which, what are you guys doing??? I haven’t had a post from anyone in a long time.

Oh yeah, I just remembered. Incoming posts are linked somewhere else that I’ve forgotten where and will need to search for. Mercy, one more thing to do…..

At any rate, Happy Holidays to you all. May your days be peaceful and safe. And when you have time, let me know how you’re doing, and I will endeavor to remember and find where the incoming posts are all stored.

My very best, Janet

Speaking of Oaks

Image result for pictures of oaks trees

An old friend died last week. He was mighty, not yet ready to die, still reaching out to shelter others. He didn’t die from Covid or even a heart attack. Perhaps hubris but that’s hard to measure. I can’t even say he died from old age, although he was old, probably at least 100 years.

The friend I’m writing about was a hug oak tree, and the reason I say “perhaps hubris” was that his roots extended so far they broke into our across the street neighbor’s sewage line and filled their basement with sewage. And so, the city came out, began by cutting off his crown, then a mid-section and another and another, until he was shaved to the ground, at which point they dug out a hole some 15×15 feet, and thus, removed the offending roots. Thee city also filled in the hole and replanted the lawn, in case you’re wondering if neighbors still have a gaping wound in their yard.

Perhaps he mourned his old couple who, about four years ago, sold the house where they had raised their children and moved into an apartment. The new family moved in. They weren’t old, but neither were they really young. Their last child was about 13 years old when they moved in and now in his first year of college. So maybe the tree mourned the boy leaving home. Maybe it thought he could get this couple to leave and bring back the old folks. Who knows how trees think.

The city has also come through over the years to trim up lower branches which is fine. It’s certainly helped my view. And a couple of times, my son has pulled out his trusty electric saw for a branch that was too low and hanging over the cars. The tree seems to recover just fine.

Kansas City has many streets lined with old oaks and occasionally, one needs to come down, for one reason or another. Sometimes they have side branches damaged by storms. Most of these streets, and certainly ours, were build by a particular developer, Edward A. Diebolt in the early 1900s with straight streets and young oaks lining those streets.

When I taught night classes out at the Junior College, I’d breathe a big sigh of relief when I turned off the main road and onto our two block long street, oaks sheltering my last few minutes home, removing me from traffic and giving me shelter all the way. I loved the seeing my headlights reflected from those overhanging leaves.

The squirrels probably mourn the tree, too. We have a lot of squirrels in our neighborhood who love acorns, and there’s always a lot of acorns. They drop, and in a wind it sometimes sounds like hail.

We feed birds and squirrels in our backyard. One day, when I went to buy the 40 pound bag of mixed seeds which we use to produce a backyard full of wildlife, the man helping me said, “You must feed a lot of birds.” “And squirrels,” I said. “They like our backyard., too”

The man looked at me sort of squinty-eyed and said, “I just shoot them.” I avoid his check out when I now buy more seed.

I’m glad the neighbors across the street have a clean basement, and I’m glad the tree in front of our house has survived the hammering and digging that occurred when the city recently replaced the water pipes. But my old friend still leaves a gap in my heart when I look across the street.