as Literal as Angels: Songs, Dreams & Memories from the Labyrinth of a Triple Spiral

A book by Janet Robbins

As Literal as Angels is Janet Robbins’ first published collection of writing, encompassing lyrics from her music, both released and unreleased, poems, autobiographical sketches, dream fragments, whimsical meditations on color, stream-of-consciousness wanderings into ancient landscapes and across the boundaries of space and time, accompanied by original full color images created from photographs and drawings. 

Evocative, often haunting and often hilarious and frightening at once, multi-disciplinary artist Janet Robbins’ writing asks the reader to journey with her “into the mystic” and ever deeper into the soul of the world. In her musical compositions, her visual art and installations, in her travels as well as her writing, Janet Robbins is always following the thread of the sacred. As Literal as Angels is itself the beginning of yet another journey, as she prepares to work her multi-disciplinary magic to bring the text to the stage with music, projections and the collaborative artistry of other performers. Stay tuned.

Available from Blurb Books


Size 6×9 in, 15×23 cm
190 Pages in Full Color
ISBNL: Softcover: 9781714108800

From The Author’s Preface

To give home to. The writing wanted a place to rest, gather, and feel complete before I moved on again. A hearth to place fragile offerings and fire to burn transgressions, where smoke spells out names I had almost forgotten. The qualifier past mixes fluidly with now moments as the necessary ingredient to flower in the most spectacular and unexpected seasons. 

My garden yields a harvest I didn’t know I planted – have no      idea where the seeds came from – where bugs eat what I thought would have grown. So I smile, swear a little under my breath, pull weeds and enjoy the surprise.      

Words arrange themselves in unexpected ways, images allowed to roam freely on the page produce a sensation of freedom. Sometimes words fall with gravity, and sometimes they soar. Sometimes I would rather pick figs and drink wine, as my eyes tire from the strain of the computer – which, I frequently fantasize falls into, or is thrown into, a deep ravine. I think about travel arrangements and shipping containers as I box the few things to return to America with me. I fantasize about the weeks I’ll stay in Manhattan and the shock that will likely be to my system after living in Glastonbury, England, for two years, and I think of all the homes I’ve lived in, all with addresses that reduce to the numbers 12, then 3.

Aristotle wrote, “The Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bounded by threes, fore the end, the middle and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of Trinity.” In the overlap of transition, I find life has the quality of floating; past, present, future – all released from their linear constraints. When I dredge bottom, I find anchor and sleep comes easily these days. What remains and what continues is the constant dialogue with myself that really isn’t needed.

“With the triple spiral labyrinth as your guide, you will enter the quiet place in the centre of your heart and meditate on what to let go and what to claim.”
  Jai Paul Dudeja

Even though it’s early summer, I light a fire in the log burner. I let the smoke spell out a greeting to those who’ve passed before me – to let them know I see them and to thank them, and that I recognize the outline, shadow, and scent of their leavings as nourishment for lives yet to be lived. But now. The ever-restless root about to seek the next ground to tap itself into, I’m glad for this home of the heart – vessel of immortal flame that lets me sometimes speak with the voice of a child, with the instincts of a Nomad whose terrain is worlds eagerly crossed, and with infinite trust in these improvisations of the soul.