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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is to read […]
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From her home territory in Wyoming's Northern Rockies, artist-naturalist Hannah Hinchman leads us through fields and canyons, exploring the details of "a world of events" we usually overlook, and helping us to reclaim our senses through the creative disciplines of writing and drawing.
"Start with a smell, like a crushed marigold leaf, the sea, coal smoke", she advises, and from such raw materials she teaches us to "decant the stuff of life" into journal form, where "it remains fresh, still tasting of its source". In her reflections on the journals of Thoreau, Hinchman shares his vision that science and the arts are both matters of attention, asking questions, taking nothing for granted. She shows too how in the pages of a journal a budding artist fashions a sense of self, lives more fully in the present, and discovers what in the world she wants to make her own; for ultimately "the act of recording a life, in healthy solitude and active connection to loved terrain, is also the act of creating a life". This is a rich, beautiful resource, full of ways to come alive to the world.
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