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Revel HQ
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April 1, 2022

How She Revels: Gretta Keene

I have written a book, Your Way There, that will be coming out this summer.

I am a synesthete. I see numbers and letters in specific colors, read in color patterns and remember words, names, and even whole conversations by their color.

Age: 70

Location: Stillwater, New York

What’s your story? 

As a child, our family moved around a lot, and as an adult I have continued the habit. In the early 1970’s, I lived for two years in a Canadian bush town, 70 miles from the nearest electricity source, accessible only by driving 10 miles on a dirt road and crossing the wide Fraser River in a boat. I chopped wood, hauled water, ate moose meat, took photos and collected biographies of the assorted people I found living in the wilderness. 

Eventually I landed in an MFA program in Atlanta, doing etchings and lithographs depicting scenes from that experience. My day job as a preschool teacher led me to become a professional mime, performing on streets and in theaters. I was a mime who loved words, and I starred in and toured my original show based on a Jungian allegory that resembled a fairy tale. There was a narrator, musicians and sets that were rear-screen projections of my watercolors. I did a month-long run at in a New York City theater, which led me to move there and begin writing and illustrating children’s books. 

I ended up getting married and moving to L.A., where I had my two girls and adventures in Hollywood. I continued writing and illustrating, working on children’s books and adult novels, and eventually moved to a Brooklyn brownstone. My work as an artist, teacher and spiritual seeker, has always been about understanding life and human nature, so I went back to school and became a psychoanalyst in my mid-forties. In my early fifties, I reconnected with my teenage love who had become a psychologist. We became partners in life and work. 

I have written a book, Your Way There, that will be coming out this summer. The book uses stories from my life and the lives of fictionalized clients to illustrate the original mindfulness concepts and tools that we use in our work with clients and in our life together. My husband, Bill, also an artist and musician, did the illustrations and is composing music that will be used in the audio book I am narrating. 

We now live in upstate New York, where, besides having a full psychotherapy practice, we garden, kayak, and enjoy life with our poodle, Ukulele, and visits with seven children and nine grandchildren. We look forward to finishing work on the mystery novel that we wrote when we first were together.

You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin @mindyourweather.   

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently?

Bill and I were invited to be guest speakers at the International Feldenkrais Conference.

Last Google search?

A search for the Agatha Christie movie with Kenneth Branagh.

Best books you’ve read lately?

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.

Show you’ve streamed?

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, the series with Geraldine McEwan.

What are you most looking forward to right now?

Working on the garden, kayaking in the Adirondacks, and seeing more family and friends.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I am a synesthete. I see numbers and letters in specific colors, read in color patterns and remember words, names, and even whole conversations by their color.

Current obsession?

Playing canasta with Bill and looking at gardening catalogues.

Interested in writing for our blog, The Reveler?
Email [email protected] with your idea.