Hello and welcome to my world!

I’m a retired Episcopal priest and Board Certified chaplain  (I’m far more spiritual than religious these days…;). I attended Ripon College-Cuddesdon/Univ of Oxford UK and Church Divinity School of the Pacific at Cal Berkeley (M.Div.). I also studied history and have an MA from UNLV in that field.

My blog reflects my fascination with our ideas about the unknown as well as my penchant for humorous writing (“Well, I Thought It Was Funny!”). Along those lines I’ve written three collections of ghost stories (some of which are also funny) – Death Be Not Loud and Rest In Fleece and Sepia Seepage – a serious nonfiction book about ghosts unimaginatively titled About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook, and a collection of haiku called It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku, two Mob Haiku volumes (which tackle dastardly topics with humour and let’s face it, bad taste ;), and some serious work around devotional art and literary commentary (yes, a bit of a jumble, isn’t it ;).  For the intrepid, my work is available at amazon, here:  Jan’s Books

I’ve written academic book chapters and essays about spirituality and contemporary fiction (coauthored by Bill Kupersmith), blog essays and book prefaces about art (jamesstanfordart.com) and various magazine columns about everything from food to the paranormal.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy the blog!




203 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you for visiting, would love to know as former priest and chaplain, how you view things like ghosts – although im sure your understanding may not be identical with Anglican and Catholic viewpoints

    Having about six months ago lost my dad – am struggling a little. It wouldnt seem strange to me that peoples presence are left behind, both in a good or bad way in places very familiar to them

    A little while after my father died, my son and i drove past the hospital by accident because of an accident on the main road – we really didnt want to be there because he was still there and i got a very strong feeling/smell of his presence with us as we drove away – right until by accident we found ourselves at Ikea in Croydon and then it seemed to leave us. I think his spirit was fed up being in the hospital (he did get impatient) and we somehow facilitated him on the first leg of some sort of adventure he was making. I almost felt, events happened to bring us there. maybe he wanted to see my son again.

    This happened a few more times in other places when we were going for drives – i felt he joined us.

    But perhaps this is my own way of coping.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks so much for your remarks. My views are probably along Anglican lines (that means “nothing definite” 🙂 — thanks for relating your fascinating story – you could indeed explain it as coping, or as a presence. If your son also smelled/felt the presence, that would be corroboration (I had an experience once when I saw something, the other person didn’t, but we both heard music and saw light. (And no, it wasn’t a Night Out :). Fascinating. It’s hard to say “there’s no such thing” when so many people report seeing or sensing paranormal phenomena. Thanks again for your story!

      Liked by 2 people

      • My take is that we can’t explain away bad things – they are as much a part of life as good, and they do not necessarily happen to those who “deserve” them – they are usually quite random. (Religious perspectives can be unhelpful – they can turn into cliche like “God never gives you more than you can bear” said to someone who is totally overwhelmed! Or, sometimes implying, like Job’s friends, that you must have done something to deserve your fate. So unhelpful. I do think angels look out for us, too – and often at those times when we absolutely doubt they exist!

        Liked by 5 people

      • Dear Jan,

        Having read several of your posts, I can see that you have been very productive over the first quarter of 2021!

        I hope that you have had a lovely Easter weekend! Perhaps you have taken the chance to make some lovely Easter cakes and Easter meals.

        Speaking of what I have got myself occupied in, I have stayed up till very late to complete some new graphics and animations plus more pertinent information for my special Easter post entitled “Easter in Modern Multimedia Perspective“, which you can easily find at the Home Page of my blog, as it is currently the Featured Post. You can also access the post directly at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/easter-in-modern-multimedia-perspective/

        You are very welcome to peruse the extended and updated post at your earliest convenience. I would be delighted if you could kindly submit your feedback to my said post, as I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of it.

        May you find April very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and blogging about whatever topics that take your intellectual fancy or tickle your gustatory delight!

        Yours sincerely,

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jan, there is more to this life and world than you could possibly imagine. Thank you for reading my blog, it’s not the most mainstream subject, but I do what I can to show the world that there is another side and anyone who chooses to can see it.

      As for your accidental driving by the hospital, there are few accidents. Most things are subtle nudges that we never connect to one source. If your dad is still at the hospital that means that he chose to stay there and not move on to what’s next. It wouldn’t be imprudent of you to just go and sit outside on the bench near the parking lot and just be still for a while. If he wants to connect with you, he will.

      I recently dealt with a departed soul that was trapped here, a child. Interesting what you can find if you choose to look…

      Liked by 6 people

      • Thank you for writing, the incident above wasn’t mine but was shared by a reader of the blog. Your blog looks fascinating, and thank you for visiting mine 🙂


      • Dear Jan Olandese and sharpwriter,
        Greetings! You have quite a comprehensive page of introduction here, Jan.
        I concur with sharpwriter who attests that “After half a century I’ve learned that there is still mystery to be found in this life as long as you’re not afraid to be wrong sometimes and admit it…”
        Needless to say, 2020 had been a difficult year, not to mention having to deal with the pandemic. It was all quite surreal, perhaps in some ways more bizarre than ghosts and the paranormal. One could say that we live in interesting times indeed, but often for the wrong reasons. What a day it was to unfold with sedition, insurrection and coup d’état on the 6th!
        2020, the Year of the Rat, has brought us not the plague (black death) but Covid-19. And 2020 also brought out the worst of divisive politics and demagogic incitement. Could it really get even worse in 2021?
        Whilst some of us may take some comfort in our living somewhere else, there is the danger that oppressive politics may spread elsewhere or be mirrored by other corrupt politicians outside their origins.
        Democracy is not a given. It can be quite fragile, can fail rather badly, and often is approximately as good and benevolent (or bad and malevolent) as the members who practise, control and/or legislate it. We all need to do our parts in contributing to the smooth and equitable functioning of a civil country and democratic society. I have done mine in highlighting many of the most fundamental causes through my writings, and I hope that you will find more answers and solutions to these thorny issues in my latest and recently expanded post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity” and published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/misquotation-pandemic-and-disinformation-polemic-mind-pollution-by-viral-falsity/
        I would be delighted if you could kindly submit your comment to my said article, as I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of it regarding the increasingly pressing issues that many of us are facing, worsen all the more by mental pitfalls (or even mental health), social media, digital globalization, populism, Trumpism, illiberal democracy, and other behavioural and sociopolitical factors. As “a retired Episcopal priest and Board Certified Chaplain” who has attained “MDiv from Church Divinity School of the Pacific at UC Berkeley, CA and Ripon College-Cuddesdon at the University of Oxford, UK; MA in History from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, BA in History from California State University at Northridge”, I am certainly very interested in your perspectives and insights into those matters discussed in my said post. Thank you in anticipation.
        By the way, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy New Year. May you find 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating topic! As one who takes the Bible as true, I completely believe in the spiritual world, although I believe we are instructed to avoid intentionally engaging with any ghost besides the Holy Ghost! 🙂

    Some of your titles are really cute word plays. You must be a very bright, creative person. I wish you joy in your journey and many wonderful experiences with the God of light and love!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m lov’n it all, Jan! This is a fantastic blog. I am a huge lover of the not so para,paranormal and spirituality. Your Haikus are greatly appreciated as well, I love a good chuckle with a little tongue in cheek thrown in.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hi, Jan! Thanks so much for following The Write Edge Bookshelf. I hope you find the reviews interesting and informative and that you might even find a new read there. All the best to you on your writing. Hope you have a great day and week!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Very interesting. I think there are many different ways to enter the spiritual respectively to express and describe it. The most important thing is that we try to access it because it is finally what makes us human. Maybe a more human world means also a more ‘normal’ view on the still so-called ‘paranormal’?!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. It’s true. You woke up and found yourself in Uncle Bardie Country. Now that you have followed Uncle Bardie, you may find yourself at that fork in the road that you have to take. With Uncle Bardie for a guide, you can be comforted that you may stub your toe on a pun, find you can’t resist laughing at those things you never thought funny, and wake up to wonder what Uncle Bardie is up to. It’s okay. That itch can be scratched. Simply tune in to the next Post, It could very well be a doozy or not. Either way it will be coming from the whacky mind of Uncle Bardie. So thanks for following Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. It beats bananas any day. Unless…but that’s a whole ‘nother thang. And one last thing. Have a great day (or night, depending on your perspective).

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Thanks for sharing, very interesting background! Thanks also for the ‘follow’! Look forward to seeing more of yourrs! Apologies for my tardiness, I am catching up on reading and am a few months’ behind! Peace and blessings! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Jan, thank you for your blog. It is probably semantic, but I have no interest in the “paranormal”, yet I am aware that angels are always on my shoulder. I am moving from recognizing them only when I need them, to a more universal acceptance that each of my living moments have gentle guidance.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. As I saying before the gremlins (?) took over, we have a resident ghost at home who makes his presence known at the oddest of times, his favourite being when I am on the lap top, a button gets pressed and stays stuck. He sucks the energy from my lap top and gets quite annoyed sometimes. He delights in scarying the lastborn kitty.
    🙂 No lies


    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thanks for the follow – now I’ve found you. 🙂
    I have a story for you. I work as a event manager for a major catering company. In 2010 my boss & company founder passed away suddenly from heart failure. Our sales manager purchased the business from his widow, life went on. 6 months later his widow decided to sell the building, we were looking for larger premises anyway so no hard feelings. Widow agonized over her decision, departed husband bought the building 20 years earlier and built a thriving business from scratch. Regardless, realtors began showing it to potential buyers.
    A few days later we had rare occasion to finish work late afternoon. Premises were empty and alarmed when the security company called our operations manager to say the alarm had been triggered. Ops manager wasn’t far away so he circled back to investigate. Sure enough, he found a finnicky side door hadn’t latched when shut. He swung door open, went inside to look around.
    He was about to leave when a large Hawk flew inside. The hawk wasn’t afraid or aggressive, it flew around a corner into the kitchen. It hopped from counter to stove and dish pit before settling on the handle of a 3 tier cart. Ops manager slowly rolled cart outside, hawk flew away.
    To put this in perspective – it was 5 pm on a hot summer afternoon along a busy street in the heart of Vancouver. Insane! Hawks don’t enter buildings in the city! WTF?
    Next day the widow stopped by, we told her about the hawk. She started shaking, needed to sit down. What’s wrong? Seems that shortly after her husband passed a friend convinced her to visit a psychic. Psychic said he would always watch over her in the form of a hawk or eagle. Hawks don’t fly into buildings in the middle of a city. It had to be him taking one last look before she sold the building. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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