A Tribute to Ann Napier Maddy Harland
Helping hands have been,
and will be offered.
All you need to do
is take them
when it feels right
– Ann Napier
One of the most valuable relationships a writer can have is an encouraging editor. To be given the opportunity to write, and to be guided and constructively critiqued is an act of deep nurturing. To be nurtured within the context of spiritual writing is yet deeper still.
There are few who are able to hold this mantle but Ann was one and she did this for many of us. Now her body has gone, I sense this enabling will continue in a new dimension and her inspirational presence will endure.
I first met Ann and Geoff in the early 1990s at the Mind, Body and Spirit exhibition in London. I had just co-authored and published a book to help complementary therapy practitioners run their businesses efficiently so that they can focus on the important work, the well-being of their clients or patients. We were budding authors and new publishers and Ann and Geoff had just set up Cygnus Review. They did all they could to help us and we reciprocated too. They were our allies and kin in the brave new alternative publishing world.
Years later in 2008, Ann wanted to engage Cygnus readers with practical, Earth-friendly permaculture ideas. She was always a visionary exploring new edges. She approached me, by then the editor and co-founder of Permaculture magazine, to write a column. I was delighted to be asked. Over the years, our focus has grown beyond its original intent and Ann has encouraged some of my most heart-felt and intimate writing.
I think this is Ann’s gift – to connect, encourage and tap the depths of an author’s potential. She has left us with a tangible legacy – an archive of stories and writings inspired by her vision. It is a rich testimony to ‘another world is possible’, and her vision of what this better, more loving world can be. The act of defining it brings it closer into manifestation.
Now we honour her passing, celebrate her life and commiserate with her dear family and friends who must miss her terribly. Ours is not over, however. We will continue envisioning this better world and bring it into being. I feel assured that Ann is lending us all a guiding hand with a powerful new perspective..