Here: In the Undertow of Wonder
Dusty Road Press, Dec 19, 2019
Elizabeth Gardner's "Here." is a hardcover book of 144 pages featuring her full color photographs and prose. The book's 8" x 8" size and soft touch cover invites readers to take the book in hand for intimate and comfortable reading sessions; the traditional Smythsewn construction enables the book to open fully, ensuring an unhurried experience - and a book that will last for generations. The book's endpapers feature hand-drawn maps of Gill, Massachusetts, stretching out along the banks of the Connecticut River, where Gardner's daily explorations and ruminations capture the ever-shifting landscapes outside and in. The interior of the book contains 128 photographs, beautifully printed in full color on acid-free paper by one of New England's premier printers. Gardner's written observations range from the dry and witty to the deeply philosophical, and serve as perfect counterpoint to the rich and varied color photographs. Finding echoes of herself and a generous wisdom in the natural world, Gardner connects landscape to heart through her lyrical reflections and photographs.A central "character" in her local landscape is a small, sturdy barn, to which Gardner returns again and again in all seasons and in all qualities of light and weather. The artist invites the reader to accompany her on a meditative walk through a constantly changing but ever-beautiful landscape that pulls us inward for a shared but deeply personal experience.In this unusual and heart-stirring book, Elizabeth Gardner "underscores the Emersonian notion that nature holds the key to apprehending one's true self - an experience fostered in solitude and mirrored in the shifting dynamics of color, of shadow and light, of seasonal death and rebirth." In her devotion to her daily walkabouts through her rural neighborhood, recording and sharing the bits of beauty she finds along the way, Gardner reminds us that nature - in all its brilliance - is literally at everyone's backdoor. This book will inspire many readers to enter the same practice of walking, seeing, discovering, and reflecting - and to find solace and comfort there. A balm for a weary world, "Here." offers a way through.
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Beautiful. The book to make it all come down to the leaves, and the sky and our breathing in the now. What a gift this writer has.