A Tribute to Ann Napier
More years ago than either of us will care to remember, and exactly where I do not recall, I met a very young Geoff Napier who was manning an MBS bookstall. He told me that it had always been his and his wife’s dream and that they hoped to expand in the future. Neither of us could possibly have predicted how far that dream would take them and how the Cygnus family would grow. I have always felt privileged to have been there in the beginning and so grateful for how instrumental Cygnus has been in my own book sales. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ann in the flesh, although we spoke on the phone often enough for me to think of her as a beloved soul sister. She was an incredibly sensitive and insightful editor for my contributions to the magazine that grew out of that early stall, as well as a warm and wonderful human being. It was a delight to work with her. Her constructive criticisms were always gentle and led to a great improvement in the way that I put over what I wanted to say. As any writer will know, that’s a real gift to find in those who could otherwise trample on our carefully chosen words. I will always remember her advice: ‘Tell people how it can work for them, change their lives by example.’ Something she lived by. It deeply saddens me that she is no longer in that role, but I know that her legacy lives on in her own writings and the lives of all she touched. She was, and remains, a shining light. But that light is now moving deeper into the divine. Perhaps I can remind you what Ann said when asked by a reporter where she saw herself in a year’s time:
‘Wherever I’ll be will be far better than I can imagine right now.’ Enjoy Ann, enjoy. And perhaps one day you’ll find a way of communicating in your own inimitable way what you’ve found there.
Go in love.