Books, Books, Books

 Reading my blog of late, it may appear that I hold a passion for politics in my bosom. I don't.

So I offer a peek at my bookshelves, my interests are varied. But don't be deceived, I never read Fat Flush, I bought it not because I could not stand to lose weight, but because I believe I ought to know the latest on an issue that concerns most of my female clients. I do have an interest in health and do believe that diet plays a major role and periodic cleanses are beneficial. Now Pattern Of Language is a book I truly love. I was pleased to discover that many of the suggestions on making a comfortable and practical home I had already implemented naturally. I would recommend this book to anyone that seeks to create a home of their own, either by building from scratch or by redesign.

On the left here are books more then 30 years old, dating back to my studies in massage therapy at the Swedish Institute in New York. I took great pride in my meticulous coloring inside the anatomy book and no doubt spent more time with crayons then with the analytical study of anatomy. Learning all those Latin names in an English speaking school, a language I then barely knew how to pronounce, much less write in, was a serious challenge.

Moving on to the study of structural bodywork and essential books to my trade such as Postural Integeration by Jack Painter, a variation of Rolfing, a method of structural integration by Ida Rolf. Listen To Your Body is a great resource for athletes and therapists alike.

Arny Mindell's books were a revelation more than two decades ago. I found the first one in a bookstore right across my street and soon found myself back in my home town in Zuerich for an intensive with an international body of students and teachers. It was a fantastic experience that changed my approach from a somewhat goal oriented approach in massage therapy to a process oriented approach in bodywork. The study of Hakomi mind/body therapy gave me the additional skills and confidence needed for a unique approach I named Uomi Bodywork.

My process (of Jungian individuation if you will) really got its start with engaging in the expressive arts while still a teen. I discovered painting from within, painting in colors and shapes that expressed my inner states rather than attempts at imitation of an outer reality, so very similar to what Cassou described in Life, Paint and Passion. Given permission and tools to express feelings, I would sit and cry and cry, not knowing why, but I felt a deep and liberating effect.

Julia Cameron, the famous author of The Artist Way, has moved back to Santa Fe. A local now she currently teaches her method of creativity within my walking distance. I love her generous spirit, her availability, and her principled approach to process.

Astrology has held a fascination for me since I am 17. Liz Green's book of Saturn was maybe the first truly psychologically oriented book on Astrology I got introduced to when I lived in Amsterdam and studied astrology with Richard Lamm, an English astrologer and painter at the meditation center "Het Cosmos". There this smiling, gray-bearded man sat on the floor with his blackboard where he discussed charts in great depth with anyone that happened to walk into the room. He helped me to understand and accept my trouble in fitting in as an Aquarian tinged personality into a Virgo type Swiss society, epitomized in Zurich. I am forever grateful to Richard for having opened my eyes to the rightness of things, above as below, and their processes.

My interest has always been in a psychological rather then predictive approach to astrology. In the last ten years though I felt a need to step back. It is so easy to spin astrological or political material in to a desired message. How to separate the seed from the chaff?

On to Literature, where Shantaram has been by far the most gripping book I have read in years. I opened it at Borders and never stopped reading, right from the middle, to the end and back to my beginning. Will it ever be made into a movie with Johny Depp as promised?

Ahab's Wife surprised me, was a style of book I would not usually read, but it's rich language absolutely enchanted me. Ursula Hegi resurrected my Mom for me in her masterly crafted writing that depicts Germanic culture in style of speaking, thinking and being. I discovered her by chance, house sitting in California where "In The Palm Of My Hand" (still my favorite) caught my attention. I have since read most of her novels. I loved Poitier's The Measure Of A Man, what a beautiful spirit. The expression of kindness is irresistible in a man.

An invisible layer of old pocket books in the back, stacked against the wall, funky, are classics worth holding on to. I used to love Gogol, got introduced to the Russian writer by my New York buddy, a writer and waiter at my favorite coffee shop. We had a trade going where I would work his body and he would work my mind. Nathan introduced me to literature in an effort to improve my English language skills and grasp of culture. I have it in mind to read Gogol again as his humorous insights of the characters of everyday working people and their bureaucratic minds were something to behold.

Finally an illustration out of my Mom's book, Don Camillo and Peppone by Guareshi, a book I must have first opened 6 years old while alone at home I peered through my Mom's small library. This was one of a two of her books that contained illustrations. I vaguely remember how I peered, how I tried to make sense of all those letters. As an adult this book never fails to lift my spirits and to make me laugh, so funny the struggles between god's servant, the priest Don Camillo and Peppone, the major, a public servant, placed in northern Italy.

Impossible to talk about books and not bookstores. Santa Fe is blessed with quite a few independent ones of which Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse is my favorite as regards ambiance and events of interest such as book signings, poetry readings, but also meetings of progressive groups such as the Coffee Party, or homely ones such as a small group of knitting women and not to forget the occasional musical performance. 

Ever since Collected Works moved into their larger space that allowed for comfortable sofas situated around a fireplace, good espresso along with tempting treats in the company of canine companions (yes, the owner Dorothee welcomes well-behaved dogs - heaven) I harbored a desire to manage their coffeeshop. I would like to contribute to the friendly atmosphere, to welcome tourists and locals alike,  to be sociable and helpful while I would enjoy once again a regular job. I would be a punctual, honest and dedicated employee that would go the extra length to be accommodating - if appreciated.

Spotted outside Collected Works Bookstore.
I must say that in the last decade I have not read very much. Too often literature leaves me at a loss, stories seem too removed from my life to hold my interest, authors would not convince me why I should care. I would love to discover more contemporary writing that really would resonate with my life experience. So my question to you, what books do you love and what would you recommend for me? Your answers will be appreciated, thanks for reading and considering.

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