Accompanied by several paintings (reproduced in black and white) and a photograph of a woman lying naked in the fetal position (presumably the author), this poetry collection offers observations on developing a richer life. A brief section on “Practices” follows the poetry, and provides more tangible suggestions on attaining a unity of body, mind, and spirit, including a black mirror/candle meditation, practices for reducing pain and changing perspective, and a walking meditation.
More than 100 free verse poems express lovely sentiments in mostly utilitarian language, such as in “Now,” which discusses constructions of the mind: “To move from the past into the heart, forgive. / To move from the future into the heart, trust. / To move from the present into your heart, breathe.” Likewise, in the poem “Love,” the author says much in few words: “It is simple… / you either trust in love, or not. / If you do, / she will envelop you entirely / and then who will you be? / love.”
Although this work feels deeply personal, the poetry tackles universal themes. The poem “Fear is part of change” addresses the common problem of being afraid to adapt: “It is not about getting rid of fear / but use it’s [sic] signal to grow, / it is about knowing / that something is challenging, / something is calling / to become / more.”
Unfortunately, like a delicious, freshly prepared organic meal served on a cracked plate with dirty utensils, this book suffers from a disappointing presentation. The collection contains frequent errors in usage (“I am laying [sic] in bed, sun licking at me though [sic] all the moving leaves”), spelling (“No, not really, I guess I am a looser! [sic]”), and point of view (“If we have the courage to be very vulnerable about our fears, / our shame and judgments and we share openly / without blame, / it is a powerful way to deepen into your [sic] being”).
In addition, one poem mistakenly appears twice with two different titles (“Same Old” and “Stop!”). Two poems are written in German, “Sehnsucht” and “Loslassen,” without an explanation or translation to aid readers who don’t speak the language. Professional editing would improve this collection (which may include dividing related poems into sections) and elevate the writing to the level of the concepts contained within the book.
JUST LIKE THAT: Poems, Paintings, and Practices offers meditations and lovely sentiments for calming the soul that feel deeply personal while tackling universal themes, although numerous writing errors detract from the overall presentation.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader