Nov 21 2016
I have a surprise announcement to make: The Poetry Chaikhana will be publishing two books in the near future. Yes, I said two books.
The first will be available in just a few days — Gathering Silence, a book of meditations, sayings, and breathtaking art. (The second book, which will be available by the spring, will be a new Poetry Chaikhana anthology. More about that in the next couple of months.)
About the sayings
I inherited my love of short, insightful statements from my grandfather. As a child, spending Christmas at my grandparents’ house, I remember playing with their roll-top desk, fascinated by the way the wooden slats rolled up and down along their grooved curving path. That’s when I discovered a small box tucked away in the desk containing dozens of index cards. Each card had just a sentence or two written in my grandfather’s neat hand. My grandfather had been collecting favorite quotes, jokes, even overheard snippets of conversation. This felt like a magical window into the private thoughts of a man I both loved and idolized.
I began to keep index cards with me, usually half-bent in my pocket, at the ready anytime I wanted to write down a random thought, lines from a novel, an uplifting quote, a half-remembered dream. I still do it today. I keep little stacks of index cards strategically placed throughout the house. Sometimes in meditation a thought or insight will pop into my head, fully formed in the silence, and I’ll write it down.
And that’s the interesting thing about my relationship to the short meditations and sayings in Gathering Silence. I wrote them, but sometimes I feel that I found them rather than formulated them. Am I their author or simply a transcriber? In my most lucid moments, they are my words in my voice. But they are also the guidance I turn to when life’s burdens weigh heavily and the spiritual path seems unclear. It is as if a larger self that is me is leaving helpful notes to a smaller, sometimes struggling self that is also me.
So I offer these sayings as both author and audience. I hope you find that they guide and illuminate, prod and awaken, as they continue to do for me. And, in your quiet moments, perhaps they will even speak to you in your own voice.
For the Holidays
We have the book’s artist, Rashani Réa, to thank for making this book available in time for the holidays. I imagined I would be publishing Gathering Silence early next year. But as I started sending these sayings to Rashani, she was inspired and spent several late nights creating her amazing collages for the book. Each morning I would wake up to find new works of stunning, colorful art waiting in my email In box. As the artwork poured out of her, I realized that I had better pick up my own pace in preparing Gathering Silence for publication.
And I couldn’t be happier that it is ready in time, because Gathering Silence makes a wonderful gift book. It is compact and filled with celebratory color. It is uplifting, inspiring, occasionally challenging, without promoting any particular system of belief. It will bring a smile to your favorite Christian contemplative, Sufi, yogic practitioner, painter, or poet.
At $18.95, Gathering Silence is a bit pricier than previous books published by the Poetry Chaikhana, but that is necessary to cover the costs of the full-color artwork throughout its pages. When you hold it in your hands and look through page after page of Rashani Réa’s stunning artwork, I think you’ll agree that it is worth a few extra dollars.
For those of you willing to place a pre-order, the Poetry Chaikhana is offering a special deal: Purchase a copy before December 5th to receive a discounted price of $17.95.
Pre-ordering is also a great way to show your support for new publications from the Poetry Chaikhana.
- To purchase a special pre-order copy of Gathering Silence click here or the ‘Purchase’ link above for payment through PayPal.
A Note About Shipping: Pre-order copies will ship directly from the printer. Since the printer is in the US, overseas customers may need to request priority shipping, if you wish to receive your order before the end of the year.
If you look forward to purchasing a copy of Gathering Silence, but not as a pre-order, it will be available for general purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble in December.
I guess you can tell that I am enthusiastic about this latest publication. I hope this book brings a smile and acts as a soothing balm during this tumultuous time.
Sending love to everyone during this time of renewal and reawakening light that we variously call Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, and the New Year.