“I get impatient with dogma and dictum, but somewhere way inside me and way beyond impatience or indifference there is that insistent, infernal, so help me, sacred singing — All is well, All is well. My own church, inhabited by my own people — I would be cosmically orphaned without it.”- Emma Lou Thayne
I first met Emma Lou Thayne at Benihana’s- a Japanese steakhouse. We shared a table, watching the chef stack onions & dice peppers at rapid speeds, swapping stories about our individual travels through Asia. I bumped into her a few months later at a conference, & once more at a film screening. I was deeply impressed with her handle on life & her view on Mormonism- although her stories were her own, she inspired me to create a better story for myself through her sharing. When I was presented the opportunity to interview her- I jumped at the chance. The following podcast is less of an interview than we had planned, and more of a casual conversation held one afternoon in Emma Lou’s home. We cover a range of topics- from her memories of pre-correlation Mormonism, the ERA, & Helen Keller, to her work in raising awareness for mental health.
Emma Lou Thayne is a nationally ranked Senior Women’s Singles & Doubles tennis player, she taught for many years in the University of Utah’s Department of English and Division of Continuing Education, she is an award-winning poet, a well published author, and a leader for the arts, education, and business.
The Thayne Community Service Center at Salt Lake Community College (named for her), had this to say about her: “Emma Lou Thayne is a peacemaker, she cares deeply about people. Whether writing of love or loss, triumph or suffering, Emma Lou sees the extraordinary in the ordinary, she recognizes dignity in daily experience, and she magnifies moments that many would allow to pass without recognition. Emma Lou Thayne is a poet, and her poems celebrate connections.”
Her most recent book- “The Place of Knowing- A Spiritual Autobiography“, can be found online & at a bookstore near you.