A Modern Day Alchemist
“Alchemy? What? Modern-day alchemist?
What is this about? Who is this Peter Archer guy?”
“I suppose it all began with my discovery of the book.
It was sometime in May 1992. Late autumn, here in New Zealand,
and I was living in Nelson, just before moving to Wellington,
right on the cusp of that huge change in my life, the “new beginning”.
I had been planning this big change for months, and the time was fast
approaching for the move. I had written my C.V., and sent it to all of the
appropriate employment agencies, complete with photograph on page one,
I had almost finished winding up my affairs in Nelson, the closing down
of the computer sales business, saying goodbye to the old customers, and so on.
So, here I was, on a gray day in May, browsing on the herbalism shelf at the
local public library, looking for books that would add to my knowledge of
medical herbalism, which was my latest “big discovery”, and there it was,
on the shelf, right amongst all those books on the medicinal use of herbs,
a slim little paperback volume. I picked it up, and flipped through the pages.
“A New Perception: Flower Essences of New Zealand”, only
160-odd pages, with a small photograph of the author on the back cover.
Mary Garbely. Copyright 1990, published by the “New Zealand
Flower Essence Co-operative Charitable Trust”. Hmmm. Who are they,
I wonder? And, who is Mary Garbely?
I flip through the pages. There are some photographs of some flowers.
Montbretia, Puriri, Kowhai, Rata, a few more. A chapter on “Vibrations
in New Zealand” which looks interesting, and at the front,
intro. by the author about her life and her purpose in writing this book.
May as well begin with this, and then I can decide if it's of interest to me.
I must have stood there, by of that library shelf, for twenty minutes or more,
compulsively reading that little book. With an awareness that here was something
that was very important. Looking back now, ten years later, it feels like it was not the
actual words of the book that held my attention, that caused me to be totally fascinated.
It was the energy of the experience that held me captive, almost as if Mary was reaching
out directly to me and touching me somewhere deep within my being.
Or, maybe it was a subconscious awareness of just how important this was soon
to become to me. Or, maybe, with the wisdom of hindsight ten years later,
I am just imagining that.
Anyway, whatever it was that was the cause, I was hooked. I remember taking
that little book home and reading it cover to cover that same evening,
and then re-reading it several times until I had to return it to the library by June 5th,
which was “D-Day” for me. The day that I embarked on my
“big adventure”, my new beginning, the big move from Nelson to Wellington.
So, at around 5:30pm on the evening of Friday 5th June, 1992, just as it was getting dark,
I drove my
car off the ferry, after the three hour trip that takes one across Cook Strait, between the
South Island and the North Island of New Zealand, all eager to begin the next phase of
my life. I had several job interviews lined up for the next few days, and I was certain
that my fortunes were about to take a turn for the better.
As I drove through the rapidly darkening streets of Wellington, our capital city,
through the Friday evening rush-hour traffic, from the docks towards the suburb
of Karori, that little book of Mary's, and the subject of flower essences, would have
been far from my mind. My thoughts were firmly focussed on the excitement of finally
being here in the big city, and free!
Free of the disasters of the past few years.
Free of the business collapse, and the marriage breakdown and “failure”.
And free from the pain and disappointment of the recent relationship with the woman
who I really had believed was my “soul mate”, which had ended with so
much pain and bitter disappointment.
Freedom! Yes! “Wellington, here I am! Bring on the opportunities!
I am here!” I really felt like I had, by physically moving from one city to another,
and across the water of Cook Strait, from the South Island of New Zealand to the
North Island, that
I had left all my troubles behind me, and was now free to make a fresh beginning.
That here I would find happiness and fulfillment. That here I would make new friends
and carve out a new life for myself. And a new “fortune” too.
That here, amongst the opportunities of the capital city, I would very soon gain
highly-paid employment, and all my financial problems would be a distant memory.
I plunged myself into the first step towards the fulfillment of my dream, finding a job
that was worthy of my talents. Over the next few months, I must have applied for thirty
or forty jobs in the computer industry. With many of them, I never even received an
acknowledgement to my application, with some I received the usual type of rejection
letter, and with a few I scored an interview.
With three of the jobs, all of them well paid with quality employers, I was told before
the interview that I was considered to be the leading candidate, but in all three interviews
I somehow blew my chances and missed out!
My funds were running very low, and my credit cards were nearing their limits.
I was offered a part-time commission-only job, and, with little choice, accepted this
as a temporary solution. This “temporary” solution was actually to last
for almost two years.
Click here to go to Part Two of the story.
As an “aside” from this story, you might like to read a
“flashback” about some of the events that led up to this
point. In 1998, six years after the events described here, I sat down on a
rainy Saturday morning in October and began writing.....
later, I had produced, primarily for the purpose of self-therapy, ninety pages that
describe many of the experiences
that shaped my life up until that time. I will be interweaving parts of
this 1998 version of “My Story” into this present (2002)
Click here to read Part One of the 1998 version of the story.
If you have already read some of the 1998 version of the story, and would like to
re-enter the story at the point you left off, click on the appropriate link below....
Section One, Episode Two Many changes, and marriage finishes.
Section One, Episode Three 1991-92 Cynthia, and Wellington.
Section One, Episode Four 1992-93 Cynthia Revisited.
Section Two, Episode One 1993-94 The Journey Begins.
Section Two, Episode Two 1994 A Romantic Interlude.
Section Two, Episode Three 1994-95 Breath Express.
Section Two, Episode Four 1995-96 Meagan.
Section Two, Episode Five 1996 Quantum Dynamics.
Section Two, Episode Six 1996-98 Jane.
Section Two, Episode Seven 1998 Jane - resolved.
Section Three, Episode One 1992-93 Health and healing.
Section Three, Episode Two 1993-94 Essences, homeopathy, etc.
Section Three, Episode Three 1994-98 Flower Essences.... in depth.
Section Three, Episode Four 1996  Hakomi.
Section Three, Episode Five 1998 Energy Healing Devices.
Section Four, Episode One 1950's Growing up in suburbia, 1950's style.
Section Four, Episode Two 1950's Sex in suburbia, 1950's style.
Section Four, Episode Three 1950's Fear and despair in the classroom.
Section Five, Episode One 1964-65 Peter grows up, and discovers girls!
Section Five, Episode Two 1965 The agony of teenage love.
Section Five, Episode Three 1965-66 Searching, desperately, for love.
Section Five, Episode Four 1966-67 Teenage pregnancy, and adoption.
Section Five, Episode Five 1992-93 Epilogue. The final redemption.