Hi! I’m Janis Harper — author, musician, actor. Here you’ll find my books and music and a few other things. If you’d like to visit my site for my private practice in expressive arts therapy, please go to rediscovery.me. Thanks for visiting!
Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story
My philosophical-spiritual novel, Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story, is published by Sacred Stories and available in online bookstores everywhere, in print and as an ebook, or by request at your local bookstore. If you have questions about how to purchase it, please contact me and I’d be happy to assist you!
We are always seeking ourselves.
An eastern mystic, a western psychic, and a broken man who falls in love with them both at a holy, magnetic mountain. More than an unusual love story, Jonas and the Mountain is a quest for the deepest truth, an excursion into the nature of reality.
Jonas has been living a half-life since he lost his marriage, his college teaching position, and his best friend all at once. In his darkest moment, he hears a voice in his head, and strange poems start to come to him. Curious and open to exploration, he joins a friend who is traveling to Mt. Arunachala in South India. There Jonas meets the guru D, who shows him a direct path to enlightenment, and Anamika, an oddly familiar woman who explains the voice and poems and reveals yet another reality of multiple dimensions and partner selves. Jonas seeks to reconcile D’s and Anamika’s philosophies to find what is true with a capital “T,” as he struggles to resolve the pain in his past and the surprising ways it appears in his present.
This is a journey into the heart of it all.
An enchanting odyssey into longing and love—for one’s beloved teacher, one’s soul mate, and ultimately, one’s Self. Accompany Jonas as he climbs his spiritual summit and inspires you to do the same. — Gina Mazza, author of Everything Matters, Nothing Matters
Jonas and the Mountain is a deeply reassuring book. In clear, often crystalline prose, Janis Harper chronicles the lives of both seeker and guru. As a character observes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” If you are ready, this is the novel for you. —Grant Buday, author of Orphans of Empire
Join host and author Janis Harper in her podcast series, “Jonas and the Mountain Journeys,” as she reads eight ten-minute excerpts from her visionary novel, Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story.
In Segment 1, “Meet the Characters,” you’ll meet the three main characters of the novel in three podcast episodes. Janis Harper will be reading excerpts from her book to introduce Jonas, the psychic teacher Anamika, and the guru D to you.
In Segment 2, “Press Pause with Anamika,” you’ll join the psychic teacher Anamika as she offers you ways to engage with your own body’s healing, your past lives, your relationships, and other intriguing areas of self-exploration, in five podcast episodes. In this segment, Janis Harper reads excerpts from her novel in the voice of the psychic teacher Anamika, from the chapters where she is giving her teachings and offering expressive arts activities to her students as a way to bring her teachings home. These passages have been adapted so that they stand alone as self-exploration podcasts, and you’re invited to participate in the activities.
Press pause in your day, in your life, and listen in to yourself. There are worlds waiting to be discovered.
For the full podcast, listen here: https://sacredstories.com/category/podcast/jonas-journeys/
For a sample, here’s the first episode, “Meet Jonas.” The others can be accessed by the link above or found on YouTube.
Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness and Recovery
My body began breaking down a few years ago, not long after I entered my forties, and I found myself in the hospital, having to surrender my body to strangers. I’ve always been proudly independent, and there I was, suddenly vulnerable, at the mercy of surgeons and nurses and confronting my mortality. I never admitted that I was scared. But I was. And I might have felt less afraid and isolated if I’d known that other people had similar experiences, shared some of the same kinds of fears. I needed to hear their stories. I needed a book like this one.
Here are very personal, very true stories written by people who have experienced various kinds of body breakdowns; they are about people discovering they’re vulnerable as they age and the different ways they come to terms with that. Here are stories about interactions with the medical world, about living with pain both chronic and temporary, and about what it means to be sick or healthy or facing death. They are also about how people who have physically suffered learn to find words for, and thus form, the new worlds they find themselves in.
My hospital visit culminated in the removal of my entire large colon; then, a few years later, my gall bladder had to go. My digestive system was being dismantled, organ by organ. But I couldn’t talk about it—there were no words for it; it was too much, too on the brink of life and death. I had ceased to be myself. And if I wasn’t myself, how could I talk to other people?Our bodies are our first means of expression, and they shape how we interact with the world—how we see the world, and how it sees us. When we’re young, we’re invincible: The world is ours, we can do anything. As we age, our bodies begin to tell us that we have limitations. Sometimes the world shrinks to just the body, as it demands attention from us. We learn, sometimes suddenly and often painfully, that without the body, there’s no world. The body breakdown is thus a breaking down of order in the world, of familiar structures of perception. When the body fails, everything falls apart.
Those of us who have experienced body breakdowns eventually learn how to build our own narratives, ways to explain what happened to us. We tell our stories and retell them because we need to: The telling helps us recover from our illness by ascribing order and coherence—that is, “reality”—to an otherwise unreal experience. It helps us recover the world. We also tell our stories because we find out that others really do want to hear them: This is what happened to me; what happened to you? We want to know, not only because we might get some useful information, not just for pragmatic reasons, but because we can relate—that’s all. We all have one. The body is the ultimate common denominator. [. . .]
This book attempts to make the private public, to take the awkward, humbling, and sometimes terrifying out of the claustrophobic hospital ward, the hushed doctor’s office, the darkened bedroom, and into the sunlight and fresh air. Always reflective, sometimes funny, occasionally disturbing—and whether about a sprained knee, a wrong diagnosis, or multiple sclerosis—these stories remind us that everything can change in a moment. And that we’re all in these aging bodies together.
Janis Harper, Anthology, Anvil Press 2007
Emails From India: Women Write Home
India fascinates many people. But why are women especially drawn there? Twenty-seven women writers —from Canada, the US and the UK—share their experiences in thirty-seven emails, and so provide some answers to this question. Poignant, humorous, outrageous and astute, these stories come from the big cities and remote villages, the beaches and ashrams, the trains and buses. They speak to the mysterious relationship that women and India seem to share, as well as to themes common to all India travellers: meeting the challenges of getting from here to there, adapting to the many faces of the unforeseen, and learning the art of waiting. And then there’s the food, the smells, the clothes; the poverty, the distinct gender roles and attitudes, the ubiquitous con artists; and the exuberant children, the spirituality, the discovery that all is not what it seems. These voices inspire nostalgia in those who have already taken this journey, and dreams of India in those who haven’t. Yet.
Janis Harper, Anthology, Seraphim Editions 2013
Find some of my writing in journals and magazines online, like this literary podcast read by me on the UK’s Litro magazine!
Or click on PDF on this page in Canada’s Tessera journal archives to read “What Happened.”
All of my books may be purchased from any bookstore, both real and virtual.
Please follow me on Goodreads!