Linda Cassidy - Poet/Author
Like most writers, reading books has been the golden thread woven under the surface of my daily activities. Time and time again books have revealed vast horizons of knowledge that I would otherwise have missed.
Twenty years ago, my choice of reading began to move towards books with a spiritual theme. I found traditional religions unsatisfactory as ultimately it involved building on sacred texts and theologies written by humans thousands of years ago. This shift eventually turned into a full-throated search for a direct experience of the divine, or what I came to call a quest for “Something-Other-Than.”
I served as a disciple of a yoga master and for eight years attended meditation workshops at his yoga ashram in Pennsylvania. At the same time, I was drawn to the work of the psychologist C. J. Jung whose discoveries revealed dreams as more than foolish scribbles of the mind. According to Jung, dreams are direct image-driven communications from the unconscious portion of the human psyche to the conscious mind. I spent four years with a Jungian analyst analyzing the potential meaning of my dreams as I also turned to writing poetry. In my later years, it pleases me to share the fruits of my research and experience in this exciting quest for the universal human spirit.
In my writing life I belong to the Writer’s Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and the Heliconian Club for women actively engaged in a career in the arts. I learned the craft of poetry from attending a curated workshop at the University of London (UK), from a residence at the Arvon Foundation in Devon, England, and a course at York University in
I’ve resided mainly in Montreal and Toronto with short stints living abroad in Surrey, England and Adelaide, Australia. For the last twenty-five years, I’ve lived in the lakeside town of Oakville, Ontario with my husband and two sons. After the death of my husband, I moved into the harbourfront area of downtown Toronto where I now enjoy writing poetry and attending
readings and critique groups. My two adult sons and their families live nearby.
While I’ve read and been inspired by many books, my main influences derive from the inspirational writing of poets such as Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, and Rainer Maria Rilke. I’m a fan of the polished writers in the mystery genre especially P. D. James, Michael Connelly, and Ann Cleeves. I love the word “mystery”, as it connects in my mind with
the greatest mystery of all – why are we here in this vast cosmos and why are we dispatched into an unknown void with many more lives waiting to be created. And so I read books, write books, and will continue to do so until the end. I wrote a poem that expresses this driving force in my writing life.
BOOKS I WANT TO READ
The list of books I want to read
grows longer and more various
as chapters of my life speed past.
Sometimes I try to read
three books at a time
but somehow nothing sticks.
I put these three away for another day
and then I find two new ones
that make my mind purr with excitation.
My bookcase grows and grows
with the remnants of my mind’s travels
each shelf marking the passing of a decade.
For my funeral I have requested
a second plot, a second casket
to hold the books I still want to read.