Yesterday and Friday I had the distinct honor of being in a holiday craft show at the park where I live. I offered my book and some of my framed images of gates. Everything was well received… many said my work was lovely… and few bought. Still, I had some great conversations with people… a few were very spiritual in nature.
The interesting thing was, I had the opportunity to relay to many people the story of how the book was born. You see, I did not write the verses to go with the pictures. It happened the other way around. I was photographing these gates, and then was titling them so I could sell them to galleries.
Separate and independent of my photo-taking was my journaling – daily writings to try and deal with feelings associated with my sobriety, my recovery. I wrote much about my thoughts and feelings in an effort to work through my emotional difficulties.
One morning, I wrote in my journal a phrase, a verse, that described a gate I had just titled Webs of Fear. I was quite taken-aback, and was prompted to search my journals for other writings that matched or described my titled gate photos. I found around 25 or 30 writings that matched up with images!
Imagine, having written these things before I even photographed the gates! It was all pretty amazing to me and I think, as a result, that the book was divinely inspired, divinely guided. That was in late November of 2004 when I discovered the prose and it was at that point that I realized I had a book I had written and could continue to write. I started working on coordinating verses with photos.
By 2008, I had the book pretty much pulled together, wanted to publish it, and I was terrified for people to read it. I felt very exposed, very raw and vulnerable. I was afraid to expose my story. It took me two more years before I could get up the courage to actually put the book in the hands of a publisher. They, however, rejected it and so I decided to publish it myself.
I felt its message was too important to wait until such time as a publisher accepted it, so I went through the process of publishing it. One of the images from my book is Curls of Kindness. I’d like to share it and its verse with you.
”If now is not the time to be kinder and gentler to each other and to ourselves,
when will it be?”
This is just one of many verses that ponders the question of how we treat each other and ourselves. There are additional ones that invite us to act with more tolerance and respect, more compassion and gentleness. As a result of acting in such a manner, the book promises the experience of grace and hope, serenity and joy… and peace.
Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing is an accounting of my own journey into and through sobriety. It takes you along on the path from great angst, through self-awareness and into discovery of so many things which have allowed me to live with joy and peace in my life.
I invite you to check it out in more detail by clicking on the “About” button, and scrolling down to “The Book.” Order your copy today and I will send you a signed copy. Read it in its entirety as a pathway to peace or use it as a daily meditation book when each verse is read individually. May it bring you hope and peace.