September 26, 2017

This Holy Day

        News flash!  Great glad tidings!  My book of hours is now published and available on amazon!
        This Holy Day is just a little book, something that could be slipped in a purse or a desk drawer, or left in the car for some calm and beauty in times of rush and irritation.  (But do not read while driving!)    It includes a selection of short verses for each of my “canonical hours” through the day, although unlike a traditional book of hours, I expect these short devotional pieces will be dipped into and sampled a little more casually, rather than being assigned to a specific rule.  (Previous post on medieval books of hours here.)  The verses I chose range from bits of psalms and hymns to excerpts from secular poetry that seem to me to celebrate that same joy in the awesome beauty around us.  I’ve also included a number of pieces I wrote myself over the years.  Although of course the psalms come from the Hebrew Bible and the hymns are Christian, it is my hope that these words will resonate with people from a wide range of religious backgrounds and spiritual experiences.  I believe that we’re all capable of connecting with that Spirit that is so much greater than any human understanding of it.
        For the illuminations, the primary pieces are my series of rubber block prints representing the “hours” of the day.  (Previous posts on the block prints here and here.)  In addition to these I created a different border pattern for each hour, and a final double page scene inspired by the metaphor of being held by Love, or “the whole world in God’s hands.”  I also used lots of my previous prints to illustrate and illuminate the pages throughout.  I think it’s turned out really pleasing!
        And so now it’s freshly available on amazon.   (I must say, I never imagined that I would be responsible for creating a book labelled “Self Help,” but that’s where amazon files it, since it’s the same category as “Personal Inspiration”.  It kind of cracks me up.)  As of now, the “Look Inside” feature is not active, but I hope it will be available before too long, and in the meantime, here are a couple of sample spreads so you can see how the pages are laid out.
        Finally, when you rush off to purchase copies for all your friends and family, please do so through Amazon Smile, to make sure that a fraction of your purchase price goes to the worthy cause of your choice (at no additional cost to you).  After all, although my book focusses primarily on the natural world for inspiration, it is in human interactions that our inspiration should be playing out.

[Pictures: cover and two interior spreads from This Holy Day, by AEGN, 2017.]