Discover more from Ordinary Collisions: Intersections of Nature & Culture
It's Publication Day!
for Collisions of Earth and Sky
Yesterday I was skiing around the lake, suited up in my “it’s below zero but I need to nordic ski” outfit (downhill ski goggles highly recommended for this if you want to try it), when I glanced up from my track and saw a red fox hightailing it into the woods after running full tilt across the frozen waters. I’ve seen a fox almost every time I’ve ventured out on the lake in the last week, and I enjoy her company, even if fleeting, very much. Her presence reminds me to pay attention to wildness, both outside and within. She reminds me to to keep working on aligning my actions with what truly matters to me.
My newest book, the one that inspired “Ordinary Collisions” in the first place, comes out officially today. In May of 2021, as I was starting to dive into organizing my writing into something that resembled a book, I wrote the question: What do I want this book to be?
I answered my own question with: I want it to be a safe place to dive into personal reflection—a non-judgmental journey into what it means for a person to be fully themselves. A perspective on living in a way that is attuned to nature and wildness. A self-inquiry tool. A book that might leave people with more questions than answers, but also leave them with hopeful inspiration to continue their own path of self-discovery. A collection of reflections and questions and prompts that does no harm (especially important as a white person bringing up race as part of her own story). A celebration of what it can mean to embrace wildness as an integral part of one’s humanity.
I’m hoping the resulting work proves true to the intention I set going in. I’m excited, and pretty nervous, about hearing what you think.
In an interview recently I was asked what I want people to gain from reading, and this portion of the introduction sums it up pretty well:
I hope you, my fellow traveler on this journey of living, will move a few more steps toward more fully embracing your own creatureliness, your own place in this great web we all share, and let that be a foundation even when there are more questions than answers.
Perhaps you’ll even discover a few things you didn’t know were missing by hiking with me through these pages. I hope, through truth telling and having compassion for yourself and your fellow beings, that you’ll find your own way to live the questions—with nature as your guide. Because when we let nature inform that self-inquiry and reflect on what comes up when we do, little by little, we uncover the parts of ourselves that can best contribute to the healing of the world.
Sometimes life does this pendulum swing between really hard and really great, and it can be disorienting. When I hit these periods, of the really hard sitting right next to the really great, (like this past week, when several of my close colleagues and dear friends were laid off the same day I figured out a new location for the book launch) what keeps me grounded and continuing to do the work I need to do is tuning in to the part of myself that is kin to rivers and lakes and rocks and trees.
Here’s to doing what we can to contribute to the healing of the world.
P.S. Who wants a discussion guide for their book club? Or a handy worksheet for personal reflection as you read? Never fear...I have one for you.You can find it on my website and view it from your device or take a screenshot and print if you so choose: https://heidibarr.com/resources/
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I mess up on this all the time. The important part of the messing up continuing to try. In the trying is the doing.
Publishing takes a very long time.
The book launch event will be at the Wilberg Memorial Library of Osceola, WI — 6:30 to 8pm on Friday, Feb. 3. Some book proceeds will go toward the fire relief fund for Natural Heritage Art Centre.
Do I know how to put a downloadable PDF on my website? Nope, sure don't, and my energy is spent better elsewhere than trying to figure it out. Then again, maybe people don't actually print things anymore.