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Clay Road

poetry of Emily Isaacson

A spiritual touch from the Royals

It was apparent from the moment Duchess Kate reached out to the waiting crowd that there was more to her anticipated touch than just the graces of royalty. She quieted a screaming crowd. She had the Lady Di-like essence of being able to impart a spiritual touch. This is also evidenced in her calling to the disenfranchised and those struggling with addiction.

It is in the history of the monarchy to reach out, even since the Middle Ages. They are anointed, reputedly by God, not only to touch in a spiritual manner but also to heal. We can historically recall that Charles II touched 92, 107 persons with spiritual intent. Kings and queens in England laid claim to touch patients and children with the gift of spiritual touch until the 1700’s. French kings laid claim to the same divine power as far back as a.d. 481. On Easter Sunday, 1686, Louis XIV touched 1600 persons with these words: “The King touches, and God heals you.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have included in their tour of British Columbia, opportunities to touch not only the common citizen, but also those less fortunate. Take for example, yesterday’s visit to the Downtown Eastside. The interactions between single mothers struggling with addiction, their children and the Royals were meaningful on both sides. Was it what they expected to find after receiving a book written by Emily Isaacson about a king in modern times who visits the Downtown Eastside? Her book arrived at their doorstep only weeks prior to the official visit. They abruptly changed their schedule to include a noble effort at seeing the real story behind the poetry of A Familiar Shore.

It is not the first time Emily Isaacson has affected the Royals with her spiritually-driven work. Her first collection of poetry in three volumes was called The Fleur-de-lis and included a poem called “Spiritual Touch.” It was a Royal Wedding gift for Prince William and Kate, and arrived at the time of their April 2011 wedding. It was released only a month before, on the same day as Britney Spears’ 2011 CD Femme Fatale. Emily Isaacson is often mistaken for Britney Spears. She has a huge fan following on her website called The Wild Lily Institute and she also suffered from mental illness. It was this that ended her in the hospital four times, prior to being a published author. In fact, while she was in the psych ward it was all over the tabloids and magazines that Britney had a mental illness. This news Isaacson took with a grain of salt.

Regardless of the obstacles, Isaacson has published four books of poetry with Tate Publishing, and even published a novel—City of Roses—last year, under her own imprint. Isaacson, in fact, suffered from an eating disorder as a teenager and wrote the novel about her own experiences. She was first a patient, then a careworker, at Montreux Clinic in Victoria. The famed eating disorder clinic was founded by Peggy Claude-Pierre in two mansions in the Rockland area of the city. Claude-Pierre, over many years, made Isaacson her confidante. Isaacson lays it bare, telling the untold story of the clinic and its closure in her fictional account, based on the true story. Claude-Pierre even traveled to England to visit Princess Diana. She was a counsellor to Princess Diana during her illness with bulimia. A fictional depiction of this account is told in the novel.

Isaacson has been faithful to continue her discourse with royalty. She has been the recipient of seven personal cards from Prince William’s family at Christmastime, each with a photo of their immediate family from the preceding year. She also has sent them cards at Christmas and a few letters over the last decades. The reasoning of her first poetry collection, referencing spiritual touch and the poems about this gift, invite reflection. They would almost lead us to believe that she sees more to spiritual touch than meets the common eye.

Isaacson visualizes a gift that was passed down through Princess Diana in her reaching out to touch the sick, the poor, the distressed: patients, war veterans, starvation victims. Isaacson believes this gift of spiritual touch was passed though his mother Diana to Prince William. In continuance of Isaacson's belief, she has come across much controversy, even cries of “heretic!” for thinking that the gift of spiritual touch indicates a true monarch: a monarch with God’s blessing to heal. Yet Isaacson grew up in the church. She was a Presbyterian Minister’s daughter. She has now published over 1800 poems.

It cannot be denied that Prince Charles doesn’t quite reach out, and that the monarchy in its youthful vivacity around Duchess Kate can’t help but rule a modern empire of kindness and compassion. It is that special touch that reached the Downtown Eastside yesterday at Sheway, a pregnancy outreach program for women struggling with substance abuse. It made an impact that is hard to minimize. We will remember it for years to come.