3 out of 4 stars
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Exploring Spirituality in Photo and Verse by Arlene Goetze offers an insightful reflection into everyday spirituality through 65 photos and poems about virtues, ordinary actions, body, soul, and memories. The book is creative and actively involves the reader in exercises and meditations that bring inner peace.
My digital copy has 141 numbered pages, divided into five big chapters, each with a clear theme. The first one is about the innocence of children, while the second one is about ordinary things from our lives. Usually, the author wrote a few introductory words on the subject, adding a photo with a funny little poem. Prayers, meditations, exercises, and other poems often found their place on the pages. I was amazed by the way this book was organized, making each new page a discovery. The author shares ideas from many sources (giving credit, of course) and doesn’t rely solely on her own ideas, making this book a diverse experience.
I was truly interested in some of these topics, especially in the making of a Spirituality Box, which I found wonderful and creative. Other topics taught me lots of new things, like palming, praise dancing, and Earthing. I also discovered new things about old topics, like how people who text on their phones while walking are less likely to trip. The author will familiarize you with any topic, slowly changing the way you see the world. You will find lots of unexpected subjects that will make you think everything can be spiritual in life. As an example, I never would’ve thought that food shopping can be a spiritual activity.
My favorite part of the book was looking at the photographs. They were all taken by Arlene Goetze or her family members and were all black and white. The author’s mastery of photography was clearly showing, as some of the photos were fascinating by themselves. Another thing I enjoyed was the focus on women, which are praised and empowered through beautiful words and photographs.
Most of the book is written in verse, while some stories are in prose. I didn’t have a problem with it, but people who don’t like books in verse should probably stay away from this one. Concerning religion, the book mentions God, but mostly it refers to Him as ‘Divinity’ or ‘Creator’, which shows religion neutrality and makes this book appropriate for all religions.
As this was my first book about spirituality, I think that the reader could benefit from knowing some notions before going into it, for example, the meaning of reiki, which unfortunately is not explained in the book. For that reason, I don’t recommend it as an introductory book to spirituality. However, since I was able to enjoy it, I think the book is great for people who seek calmness in their lives. The author uses simple language and a soothing writing style, which makes the book perfect after a hard day at work. It’s better not to rush through this book but rather to savor it, taking enough time between pages.
Unfortunately, I found more than ten grammar errors in this short number of pages, which means it’s up for another round of editing. The errors were barely noticeable, as they consist mostly of missing commas or added full stops. The book contains absolutely no profanity or violence, rendering it safe for all ages. The number of errors forced me to take a star away from this wonderful book, thus giving it 3 out of 4 stars.
Exploring Spirituality in Photo and Verse
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