The Zoo Fence

A Commentary on The Spiritual Life

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The Zoo Fence Nancy Russell Artwork

The Zoo FenceFrancis and Nancy, husband and wife, are the founders and sole owners of The Laughing Cat, the parent corporation of The Zoo Fence The Zoo Fencewebsite. They own the copyright on all of the material that appears on The Zoo Fence website except where specifically stated otherwise. For more about that, please click here.

Nancy (sometimes known as Anna, especially on The Zoo Fence’s Open Forum) holds degrees from Skidmore College and the British Institute of Homeopathy. Francis (formerly Stefan) is a graduate of Hamilton College and Columbia University’s School of International Affairs (now School of International and Public Affairs). He began a course of studies at the Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary, which he chose not to complete. Before undertaking their spiritual journey, both Francis and Nancy lived and worked successfully in the main stream. He was an officer in the US Navy and the diplomatic service. Nancy, besides serving as the wife of a diplomat (a job in itself), held administrative positions in various institutions, academic and governmental. In addition, throughout her life, Nancy has pursued a continuing interest as a professional artist. In 1974, they “left the world,” and built a house themselves at the end of a very rural road in the woods, where they enjoy a simple life as homesteaders. Nancy and Francis consider themselves to be contemplative monks, and they live accordingly. Some of their story is told here and there at The Gazebo, and on TZF’s Open Forum, particularly at Nancy’s Blog, and as “true fiction” in The Cranberry Tales and A Continuing Fiction.

The Zoo FenceSCN at TZFFrancis is the creator, editor, and webmaster of The Zoo Fence, and, except where specifically indicated otherwise, the author of everything on the website. Thus, his work may be found throughout the site, including at Letters, Brother Theophyle, The Gazebo, Definitions, The Sacred Riddle, Editor’s Desktop, Miscellanea, and Books & Stuff. Nancy is the author of Nancy’s Page; in addition, she is the creator of many of the paintings and etchings on The Zoo Fence (please see TZF’s Art Gallery and her own art website). Both Nancy and Francis were frequent contributors to The Zoo Fence’s Open Forum, which is now accessible in read-only form. There her username is Anna, his is ZooFence and Speculum. Visitors interested in some of the specifics of Nancy’s and Francis’s spiritual journey may wish to read “Nancy's Blog” here.

Although no longer doing so, some years ago Francis and Nancy taught in various venues across the United States on their experience as seekers of Truth and homesteaders.

Francis not Stefan?


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The Zoo Fence is Made in Maine