|Everyday Magic, by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg|
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Meadowlark - December 2017
BISAC: Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth
BISAC: Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth
Everyday Magic features the best of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's blog of the same title, fields notes on the mundane and miraculous unfolding around us, and how to live with greater verve, meaning and joy. Journey through whimsical, tender, and fierce explorations of travel and homecoming, beloveds and the art of loving, grief and resilience, the arts and politics, spirit and being a body in essays as varied as “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Parenting,” “Satan Called: He Wants His Weather Back,” “Body Is As Body Does,” “The Glory of Failing,” “Have Torah, Will Travel,” “How to Make a Decision About Anything,” “Why Poetry Matters,” “If You Give a Dog a Bagel,” and “I Wanted an Enchilada, I Got a Prairie Fire” as well as meditations praising Clarence Clemons, Mexican food, Benazir Bhutto, bathtubs, Laura Nyro, Marian McPartland, and Davy Jones, among others.
Reading this book is like having a wise friend take you by the hand and walk you down a healing path. Thank you, Caryn, for showing us how to embrace the beauty, joy and pain in everyday life.
~ Harriet Lerner, Ph.D, author of NYTimes bestseller The Dance of Anger and Why Won't You Apologize?
Many thanks to Caryn for these beautiful lessons in living, really living from a poet laureate who reminds you of your best friend. It's wonderful to feel so deeply inspired by a world that feels so deeply familiar.
~ Dar Williams, Singer-songwriter, and author of What I Found in 1,000 Towns
Like Da Vinci, Caryn is in love with the world, knows its many ways, excels at all she does, and captures the hidden emotion behind what she studies. Those gifts and skills manifest in volume in this collection of essays, where Caryn meditates on her world in all its daily-ness. Miracles are to be found everywhere, and Caryn finds them and pins them to the page. My world opens up, when I read these. Yours will too.
~ Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-2019, All That Jazz
Enter the amazing world of genius writer Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as she ruminates, rejoices, revels, and reflects. Her book Everyday Magic is a passport to her remarkable life as mother, wife, daughter-in-law, friend, professor, community leader, and writer. The author’s Wells Overlook homestead becomes as familiar as my kitchen table when I read scenes from her rocket-speed life.
~ Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, author of Turtle’s Beating Heart
“It's not just a body, it's an adventure,” is the title of one of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's essays on the exceptionality of the everyday. This body of work is an adventure—not necessarily the roller-coaster-ride variety, but one of the turning of the moments of a life into opportunities for introspection, for sharing, for recognition that this instant in time is truly meaningful and lovely and deserving of notice. That Mirriam-Goldberg is a poet is evident here. Nothing gets by her, and she turns her observant eye to herself and those around her so lovingly that as we read we feel ourselves becoming a part of her community of friends and loved ones. Here we meet and grow to love a menagerie of people, dogs, cats, foibles, occasions of grief, days of joyous abandon, of all the ridiculous and sublime and ennobling and embarrassing things that enrich our lives and make our days worthwhile. Here is a paean to the human experience as is occurs: in the commonplace details and the nitty-gritty day-to-day unfolding of life, the individual seconds and minutes that make up what and who we are. After reading Caryn's book I found myself paying more attention, noticing those crystalline little orts of the day's events that so easily and often slip by beneath notice. And that is a precious gift.
~ Roy Beckemeyer, author of Music I Once Could Dance To
“Listening to another means learning a new language,” writes Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. This former poet-laureate of Kansas is absolutely present in the world. This book is an invitation to join her in a celebration of mundane moments illuminated by her loving presence. Wrap yourself in a warm embrace of words.
~ Sherry Reiter, PhD, Director of The Creative Righting Center, and Poetry Therapy pioneer
Once I read the first piece in this book, I couldn't stop. Each piece is a window into a room in the author's mind, each so enticing that I wanted to see the next room, and the next. This house is a well-lived-in home, filled with compassion, honesty, wit and humility.
~ Doug Lipman, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for storytelling, National Storytelling Network
In Everyday Magic, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg describes a spirit trip, her family’s drive to Colorado to visit a dying cousin. A spirit trip, she writes, is “usually sudden, regardless of what’s in the bank account or on the schedule, guided by a simple yearning to be with someone we love to say, hello, goodbye, I’m here for you.” With an open heart and often with sly humor, Caryn shares stories of bad vacations, burritos, family, faith, navigating a difficult childhood, and the passing of people dear to her. In these graceful essays I marvel, as always, at Caryn’s skill with language. Words are in her care and her command: “a jewelry store run by paranoia and good taste,” . . . “slogging through the potholes of grief,” . . . “The night smelled like roses, honeysuckle, car fumes, and popcorn.” As these essays journey through the joys and complications of life, Everyday Magic becomes a spirit trip in itself, a trip rich in depth and meaning, one that will remain in our hearts long after the last chapter is read.
~ Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State
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