“Do make the home your career, for this is the greatest career any soul can make in the earth. To a few it is given to have both a career and a home, but the greatest of all careers is the home, and those who shun it shall have much yet to answer for. For this is the nearest emblem of what each soul hopes eventually to obtain, a heavenly home. Then make your home as a shadow of a heavenly home. For the home where there is unity of purpose in the companionship is the nearest pattern in the earth of man’s relationship with his Maker. For it is ever creative in purpose, with personalities coordinated for a cause, an ideal.”
Edgar Cayce (1070-1)
Mari’s husband, Rod moved from his home state of California to Virginia/North Carolina partly to be near where Edgar Cayce had lived and where his readings, his life’s work, are stored (The Association for Research and Enlightenment). As a young man, Rod had become dissatisfied with the state of his health and turned to the readings of Cayce for guidance. When we were married, Rod taught me, Mari, what he’d learned and had been practicing for many years.
Born in southeastern Virginia into a military family, Mari Mann had the usual shuffling about in her early years, but finally was settled and grew up in Norfolk. She was plagued by nightmares as a child and eventually taught herself to control her dreams. She became an avid reader and lover of art and also felt very close to the animal world and anything earthy and old–like old bones and stones, deeply buried. This idea extended itself into the area of deeply buried memories and perhaps even lives.
With her varied and slightly off-beat interests she wasn’t sure what to do with herself. She worked on a ranch for years and ran 60 horses. She married and they bought a farm next to the Great Dismal Swamp called the Ponderosa. After a divorce she went back to school and focused on art.
She took a B.A.degree at Virginia Weslyan College and then a Masters in Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Her thesis was on Maya Jaina Island burial figurines from the collection of the Chrysler Museum and is now part of the museum library. But, instead of using the degree in some way and digging deeper, Mari went to work for an investment firm in a tall building in downtown Norfolk.
A few years later, in another reversal, she spent time in the Southwest in New Mexico and then attended an Archeological field school at Southern Utah University. Their dig that summer was an ancient Anasazi site near Little Creek Mesa where the nights could be filled with ghostly howls.
Her second novel, “The Call of the Coyote”, slated for 2012, is based on that experience and is set in a completely different world than her first novel but has one central theme in common: It deals with present realities buried in the past.
In Parisian by Heart, Mann digs into the history of her dreams and reading life and makes some of those writers come alive in what is sometimes called, “the City of Light”. She read long before she was ever able to seriously dig in the dark earth for old bones and old memories.