Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kaye Michelle's Return of the Heroine Rich in History of Joan of Arc With Merge to Story of West Point Cadet...

"Dearest Archangel Michael, why is
it I find myself in this horrid
situation? What did I do wrong?
"Archangel Michael's deep voice
resonated clearly in my head.
"All the clergy in France could not condemn me," I shouted back at him proudly; I would not be bullied or tormented by a priest. "I completed a mission authorized by God. My wish is to return to Him. I am finished here..."

"I had not even a counselor assigned to assist me in this farcical trial. I realized that only a situation as absurd as this would be created by God for some reason beyond my simple understanding, so I honestly answered, "It is God's affair whether or not I am in a state of grace. With all humility, it is my wish to be in God's grace...always. For I would be most unhappy if I were not." God's opinion of me was a serious matter. Nothing mattered more...

"Archangel Michael, one of my three guardian angels, whispered in my ear, as he did frequently, offering counsel and instruction when I needed it. His presence, more important to me than break and water, always offered an insight to the situation at hand. Dearest Jehanne, the question was a scholarly trap. According to church doctrine, no one could be certain of being in God's grace. If you answered yes, then you would have convicted yourself of heresy. If you answered no, then you would have confessed of your own guilt. Well said..."
"Dearest child, you are so brave. You have done nothing wrong. Just as you were born to lift the siege of Orleans and deliver the crown of France to the dauphin, you were born for this...
Archangel Michael continued in a soothing resonant tone, Jehanne, you are a magnificent brave soul who has come to assist in the growth of humanity. You have come to illustrate two things. First by example, you have chosen to lead a life inspired by God, without an intermediary. Your life as a spiritual warrior will inspire many far into the future to follow the divine voice within. Second, your life as a prisoner will, by contrast, illuminate those out-of-balance seats within the royalty and hierarchy of the church.

Return of the Heroine:
 The Modern Legacy of
  Joan of Arc
By Kaye Michelle

Michelle has done an outstanding job in fleshing out the story of Joan of Arc so that it could be effectively used to create a "modern legacy" to a young woman who lives in today's world. Jane Archer might have faced a much more comparable situation than many of us have, but the story rings true so that women, and men, can see how the strength, the wisdom, the faith...and the knowledge can be gained through opening ourselves to guidance.

Jane Archer almost didn't make it when she was born. Although it is not specifically stated that way, there is an implication that she was miraculously touched that day--a day that was exactly 545 year later, May 20, 1976.

..."Never in her wildest dreams growing up in the
little state of Rhode Island did Jane ever think she
would be honored with the role of battalion
commander for her firstie year at West Point. In
her charge were three companies, D-1, E-1, and F-1,
consisting of three hundred and fifty cadets, their
leaders, and a small staff.
"Mary opened her mouth to let out a wait but before she could utter a round, a deafening clap of thunder tore at the sky over the barn. It felt as though the roof of the barn ripped open. The ground shook. Blinding lightning charged and illuminated the air all around them. The horses reared and bellowed and pulled at their restraints. They pounded the earth with their hooves.

"Mary felt electricity surge around her daughter's body and pass into her own heart, making it flutter, before it spread outward through her limbs. She swooned momentarily from the sheer force of it.

"Movement under her hands drew her gaze downward just as Jane's gold-speckled eyes flew open. For a moment the look in those familiar golden eyes appeared wise, ancient, knowing. Jane took a gasping breath in, sputtered it back out, then radiated her usual smile at her mother..."

As most times happen, nothing more was said about what had happened the day Jane was born. Did Joan even then, come to save her charge, so that she would be prepared to one day lead? Because it was not until later, after Jane had already become a cadet at West Point that she first heard Joan speak to her...

In her research, the author had read that Joan of Arc had been at one time separated from the commander to whom she reported. It is not known why, of course, but Michelle used it to created a romantic interest between the two. He was married, she a virgin who had pledge her innocence. But they did fall in love.

Now here is where I had at least an initial question, but the more I thought about it, the more I remembered where God had used human love in a plan... Essentially, the voices reminded her of her chastity; however, they did encourage her love, noting that in learning to love someone, she would learn to open her heart to the people of France, for whom she would be fighting, and to the thousands of men with whom she would spend time with in battle. Given her family background, this hypothesis seemed to ring true.

As Joan earned the respect of the men with whom she fought, Jane had been able to stand strong and earn recognition and respect of the leaders and cadets...

But that had not prepared her for what she learned was happening. One of her many meetings with cadets who needed assistance and guidance was with one of her former roommates, Sophia Michaels, who was now a company commander, and who brought a female yearling cadet. She had been assaulted.  "The cadet's body language put her on alert--hunched shoulders, drawn face, clenched fists. Jane's heartbeat kicked up a notch... This is Cadet Katherine Gage and she wants to report a rape. Sophia said and lifted her doe-shaped blue eyes skyward. As if to say, I can't believe I'm doing this again. The year before, another one of her charges had been raped and beaten. Sophia had taken it hard.
"Jane said, "Cadet Gage, do you wish to formally report  this rape to your chain of command?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"First, I am sorry this happened to you. Second, you need to know that this process is not simple and may not bring the results you may be looking for. Not many incidents of rape get reported because the chain of command is famous for letting the perpetrator go unpunished and instead questions the integrity of the victim.

Another addition to Joan of Arc's story was that she was raped by three men while she was held in prison. I don't doubt this one bit. But Joan knew that she must keep the maid image for the men--that she could never reveal that she was no longer a virgin.

While we may understand this need on Joan's part, after all this was taking place in the 1400s, to me and to all living women, keeping quiet about rape is just not an acceptable alternative, even though individual girls and woman might decide to do that for their own reasons. But at West Point? In any military installation?

It was then that Jane received guiding help from Joan of Arc and acted to do what she knew was right...
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake because of the evil men who hated her for what she represented.

The women who banded together at West Point symbolically fire walked in honor of a woman who had once died by fire...

This is of course a story of fiction that Kaye Michelle presents to her readers. It is, however, based upon her own personal, short stint at West Point... And you will see that she has conducted much research in support of her novel. She presents a list of her favorite references as well as contacts at the end. Jane Archer may not have actually done what she did in fiction...but I am sure that there are many untold stories of other women who have and will continue to speak out about the need to crush sexual violence within military actions--by all nations!

The author's signing of this novel to me shouted her own fight cry to others to "Live Courageously..." I applaud her for her own courage in writing this much-needed expose in novel form... May her novel reach the hands of those women across the nation and across the world who need to know there are still women fighting for freedom from evil men's abuse! Please open yourself to allow you to see and know who should read this book. It may be students, it may be wives, it may also be our cadets and soldiers now fighting... God be with you all... And if you have a female friend or relative in the service, send her copy--it might be exactly what she needs to read...


KAYE MICHELLE is a teacher, author and healer who works inspiring others to find their courage within. She co-founded Franklin Yoga, has been published in the 2009 Chicken Soup for the Soul-Power Moms, and 2012 Stay at Home Moms.
Kaye also founded a nonprofit for environmental and human relief. Her experience being appointed to West Point as a young woman was a catalyst for her novel, RETURN OF THE HEROINE, and she is currently penning two more books.
An excerpt from RETURN OF THE HEROINE won an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and placed as a finalist in Hay House’s Visions Fiction Writing Competition in 2012. She published a short story released in March of 2009- Chicken Soup for the Soul-Power Moms, and 2012 Stay at Home Moms.
I believe everyone is more powerful than they think they are and that anything can be healed. Helping people experience their own infinity fills me with great joy.

Learn more about the author at her web site!

Joan of Arc dictated her letters. Three of the...
Joan of Arc dictated her letters. Three of the surviving ones are signed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'd never heard of this group or the song, but, somehow,
I wanted to finish this article with a joyful song...

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment