Category: <span>A Book Review</span>

I have recently finished reading, The Way of Silence: The Prose and Poetry of Basho by Richard Lewis, a book given to me by one of my yoga students. Basho was a seventeen century Japanese haiku master.

What seems timely for me, at this time, is that he embarked on a solitary journey, gradually withdrawing from the world as personified in the final observation of this book: ….”it has been customary to leave behind a death poem….But every moment of life is the last….”

This reminds me of the yogic teachings that every breath is both a birth and a death—a beginning and an end. That is something to contemplate during this dangerous Covid pandemic era. I ask myself: Is it not crucial to value the present moment, however it appears and however difficult that might be?

March 14, 2021
Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Book Review

Reading President Obama’s 701 page book, I found it helpful to have speed reading skills through the (often quite necessary) details of policy information. In spite of that, the heartfelt, excellent writing, honesty, willingness to consider opposing views and intelligence steeped with compassion all bring me back to that memorable day after the 2008 election.

I was filled with joy. On my 2 mile hike in a nearby CA State Park down a fire road, I saw a young man walking towards me. I yearned to share my happiness, but as we passed each other, his eyes were closed. His face was blissful. I wondered; maybe he doesn’t want to interrupt his bliss. Maybe he fears I had voted for the opposition. Maybe there is a racial element, because I am white, and he is black. Whatever the reason, we were shy and/or too afraid to break through our imaginary separation.

Reading this book makes me better informed and also more appreciative of President Barack Obama’s behind-the-scenes process. This is an invaluable, historical masterpiece sprinkled with endearing personal insights. I am most moved by what I perceive to be President Obama’s continuing quest for self awareness.

Gudrun Mouw
January 5, 2021

A Book Review