Merle grew up listening to stories, poetry, and music, and began to write short stories, poetry, and plays in the third grade. She has been committed to the music and magic of the spoken and printed word ever since. Her favorite writers are Louisa May Alcott, Jorge Luis Borges, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Par Lägerkvist, Anne Tyler, Les Von Losberg, and W.B. Yeats. Her favorite filmmakers are Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, and Akira Kurosawa. She loves music -- Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf lieder; medieval, Renaissance, and classical Western European music; Celtic and British Isles traditional music; American blues and Appalachian folk music, and much more -- and plays simple folk instruments -- dulcimer, penny whistle, Celtic folk harp, American Indian plains flute, bowed psaltery -- and a bit of keyboard.
Merle is grateful to her family, friends, colleagues, and the many people who have helped her learn and grow. She has attended seminars conducted by Robert Jokel and Lawrence LeShan, and continues to study with Robert Jokel. She is grateful for the years she has spent on the Blue Planet in this remote corner of the ever expanding cosmos.
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?"
~ Rabbi Hillel
The enduring insight and strength of what Hillel the Elder said is that he didn’t offer answers, he offered questions. Those questions can be asked by each of us often, perhaps even several times a day. We each have the opportunity to wonder — and to discover that perhaps there are no “right answers”; we discover that there are new situations, new moments of contemplation, new times of stress, and we wonder again, and again....