Weathering the Storms of Our Spiritual Lives
Review posted February 14, 2012.
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, 2009. 221 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2011: #1 Other Nonfiction
A big huge thank you to my sister Becky for giving me this book. It was kind of funny: I had already checked it out and was posting quotations from it in Sonderquotes when she gave me a copy. It was good to own a copy, because I think I have pulled more quotations from it than any other book I've read since I started posting Sonderquotes. So I've taken a very long time reading it, with all the time it's spent in my Sonderquotes queue, and it's good the library copies were available to others during that time.
Julia Cameron begins the book this way:
I would like to begin at the beginning, but I do not know what the beginning is anymore. I am a person at midlife. I am a believer who is trying one more time to believe. That is to say I am caught off guard by life and by feelings of emptiness.
I want there to be more reassurance than I currently feel that we are on the right path. By 'we' I mean God and me. I have been trying consciously to work with God for twenty-five years now, and a great deal has been made of my life that I think has a lot of value -- but I am one more time asking for something to be made of me and it that I myself can hold on to. Me. Personally. Not as some abstract but as a genuine comfort.
I am a writer and a teacher -- "worthy" things, but I am not feeling my worth in them right now. I must again come to some relationship to God that will enable me to pursue my career as an outward manifestation of inwardly held values. In other words, what needs mending here is probably not the outward form -- I suspect that after a great deal of soul-searching I would still come back to being a writer and a teacher -- but the inward connection. I must feel I am doing what God would have me do.
What follows is a book of musings and meditations, talking about faith, guidance, and choices. There are no chapter divisions, so the book rambles a bit, but I found the rambling tracked well with my own thinking. She reassured me and encouraged me that God is good and God's will for us is good, creative, and joyful.
I pulled lots (and am still pulling) and lots and lots of quotations from the book that resonated for me. Read through some of these on Sonderquotes, and you will get a good sense of whether this book would delight you as it has delighted me.