WILD GRACE: Nature as a Spiritual Path

Eric Alan, Author, Eric Alan, Photographer
Eric Alan, Author, Eric Alan, Photographer . White Cloud $24.95 (124p) ISBN 978-1-883991-53-1
Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
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In this extended philosophical riff on the value of nature as a spiritual teacher, it is clear that author and photographer Alan has spent much time outdoors contemplating the lessons of the natural world. The first section, "Sensing the Spirit," calls to awareness. Using the metaphor of the cathedral, Alan urges readers to consider nature as a place of holy learning without traditional ceilings or floors. He begins gently paying attention to water, wind, earth, stones and the like. His observations here are clear and pointed; for example, he looks to flowing water as a behavior model in various situations, and stones similarly and metaphorically help him "weather" all types of predicaments. Part II, "Living the Spirit," gets more didactic in approach, inserting a naturally wild point of view into 18 familiar topics such as home, religion, exercise, balance, work and sleep. In these selections particularly, Alan also gives an honest appraisal of nature's rougher edges, including the timeless considerations of sex and death. In this handsome book that can be read in one prolonged sitting, full-color photography graces every spread. Alan's writing sometimes lacks precision ("If we barrier ourselves against the physical and emotional rains, we remain rough, untested, unshaped"). However, in the main his worthwhile voice forms a useful and needed bridge to the truly natural language we all share and have forgotten how to speak. (Nov.)

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