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Petals and Blood, Stories, Dharma & Poems of Ecstasy, Awakening & Annihilation Reviewed By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez of Bookpleasures.cm
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Sandra Shwayder Sanchez

Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections (A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one novel, Stillbird.

Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being  reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.


 
By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez
Published on October 31, 2013
 


Author: Gavin Harrison
ISBN: 978-0-9891998-2-7



Author: Gavin Harrison
ISBN: 978-0-9891998-2-7

The best of literature should enlighten as well as entertain. The purpose of literature from its inception in myths and fables all over the world and across all cultures and religions has always been to inspire listeners and readers to be the best people they can be. This collection of spectacularly beautiful photographs and amazingly inspiring poems does exactly that. And not only has this author given his readers a special gift in this book but he donates  money from its sale to help children in South Africa through the Woza Moya Project and the Group of Hope. An artist of extraordinary talent who uses his gifts to keep on giving . . . it doesn’t get any better than that.  The poem that introduces this wonderful work tells us we are not alone and advises us to:

“Fall from the contraction
of your mind
into the Cathedral of your heart.” And moves along with grace and wisdom to the end:
“ . . .be available
To the grace
And the good fortune
Already upon its way,
Bowing before the possibilities of
This sacred time together”  (p.5)

And that turns out to be excellent advice, beautifully phrased.  Whether your spiritual inclinations lead you to worship God, the Father or The Mother Goddess, Adonay,  Buddha, Jesus, nature  and/or your ancestors, these spiritually motivated poems will facilitate a spiritual and psychological excavation  revealing your deepest feelings and clues to the most important and  deepest truths about who, what and why we are: most definitely enlightening as well as uplifting. The poems are grouped into chapters with titles like “Longing”, Togetherness”, “Gratitude” that revolve around a theme the author discusses in frank and moving stories about his own life, a life that has been devoted to learning to understand the meaning of life:

“A significant blessing of my life has been the clarification of what is most important to my heart. At long last the inner ducks are in row now, fortifying my willingness and fueling my longing for union with My beloved no matter what, every moment of every day.” (p.10)

and later in the chapter titled Togetherness:

“Invisibility and hiding were the tools of my early survival. Those impulses accompanied me into adulthood, complicating my life and affecting those around me. Coming into new relationships with others has not been a simple endeavor. Emerging from isolation is on ongoing journey.  Discovering connectedness and communion has been a long and winding road. Step by step, circumstance by circumstance, my willing footfalls have inclined towards deepening intimacy with those around me.” (p.48)

The author credits the Sufi poets, Hafiz and Rumi for turning his world upside down, challenging him to “settle for nothing less than unbridled liberation here and now.”  An obviously brilliant student and equally brilliant teacher, his prose as well as his poetry are among the best pieces of writing I have ever read. I am grateful to him for his work as was the Dalai Lama who presented him an Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award.  Read this book, be helped by this book and help the author help others. Its time to sing the praises of this hero.

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