I have the pleasure today to announce the release of a book that I began some time ago and which, over the years, I’ve tweaked here and there, adding artwork, refining the poetry and the idea of the book, until it was ready. It is amazing how much work is required to get it right. Therefore, I’m so happy to be able to finally say, “It is done.”
The book, as I said, is called Gathered Rain, and it is a collection of poetry and artwork, arranged around the cycle of the seasons. It’s available at Amazon and at CreateSpace. I will also post updates here, and further information at my personal sight at sophilos.net. For those who enjoy digital books, it is also available for Kindle.
I’ve written a small piece which describes how I view this work and what qualities I think it brings that would interest a reader. I’m sharing that below by way of introduction to the book. I will also put up a few samples from the book in the days to come with some narration as to the interesting stories behind some of the pieces included.
Thank you for taking the time to share this event with me by reading this. I think you will find something of value in the book should you decide to get a copy. Of course, I do hope that you will! And please let me know something of your experience in reading it.
Along with the world’s capacity to produce endless and growing moral challenges, there comes an outcry for the morally minded to act, swiftly and vigorously, to counter the perceived negativity of worldly events and circumstances. In the chaos and urgency of these challenges, the less outwardly dramatic, private inner life is frequently overlooked altogether, or else discounted as ineffective and self-indulgent. And yet, from where comes the strength, clarity, and resolve to act ethically if not from deep, empowering and calming pools of inner reflection and gifted insight? There’s nothing more precious or priceless than that. Love, the most transformative force, can come forth only from within the individual who is at peace with one’s self and familiar with the inner worlds of one’s own awareness.
Gathered Rain is a book consisting of writings that humbly reflect the subtle, powerful wonder, simplicity, depth, and spirituality of personal encounters with the great spirit within nature. It’s essence is that of the writings of hermits and sages of the past who sought quiet reflection in a mountain hut or a forest temple and who thankfully received the blessings of insight and understanding born of steeping like silent tea-leaves in the ambiance of spontaneous life, absorbing wisdom from the Great Spirit, both within the individual, and through Its ineffable reflection in the physical world.
Gathered Rain, with it’s pleasing physical, visual, and verbal textures, is the kind of work that can be savored again and again like treasures collected in the wild, like a beautiful pebble, a colorful leaf, fascinating seedpods or a mysterious bone etched with a hidden history. Like little mystical mirrors, such things afford a matrix for quiet self-reflection where one nurtures the will to unfold the highly personal truth and virtue housed within one’s self. This book’s simple message, cloaked in nature’s imagery, is that happily, if unexpectedly, the substance of these virtues and the simplicity of happiness itself already exist in every moment within one’s own consciousness and simply await discovery.
Gathered Rain expresses the pleasure, amusement, and wonder of one man’s efforts to clear his vision and behold the hidden Map within his own life in the world, by virtue of emerging secrets whispered in the lovely little missives of every moment, from the shimmering eyes of a fox standing in an orchard, from frost on a meadow, in the stillness of a pine forest, in the holy quiet of dawn, in the company of a delightful friend.
Gathered Rain is the author’s sharing of personal inner perceptions, savoring the grace and insight that comes from contemplative encounters with life’s vital ebb and flow, in-breath and out-breath.
Gathered Rain offers resonances with the melodious tones of subtle insight that vibrate within the great instrument of the world and manifest in the microcosm of daily experience. The calls of ravens passing over corn fields echo behind its pages. The light of a morning sun rising over a pond in the woods glimmers past its imagery. There’s a soothing breeze drifting upon its leaves, a still hush dropping gently from its verse. The laughter of children on the lawn wafts delightfully as through the window of an hermitage. Fibers of grass, glass-like grains of sand, rope cords of cedar-bark and jewels of brisk pine pitch are woven into its scented fabric. Together these things whisper, laugh and chant of sacred matters which shy away from blatant exposure and prefer instead to sink slowly, like cool well-spring waters through forest loam, into the receptive heart of an inspired soul.