First of the Month Review

Slightly late, but here it comes:

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle is one of the books I return to on occasion, especially when I need a respite.

The book is small, about four by six inches, and short (256 pages, but I consistently read books in the 350-600 page length, so yes, it is short). All in all, it's the perfect size to slip into a purse or coat pocket. The size makes it ideal for gift-giving to the artist or recent graduate. While the book focuses on art and faith, it is not necessarily exclusive to artists and faith.

Originally written back in the early Eighties, the current book is an updated version containing twelve essays focusing on different topics. Scattered throughout the book are quotes from L'Engle's writer's journals (for those who don't know, a writer's journal is a place where writers store ideas and inspirations).

The copy I read was from my library, but it is on my "to purchase" list as soon as I get around to it. I see the book, for me at any rate, as a moment to relax and enjoy what I read. It's a chance to learn from someone else who has traveled the artistic path, but has incorporated her faith seamlessly into her art. Do not expect it to be a list of rules to keep faith and art together, for it is not. The book is reflections on how she has lived. At the end of the day, isn't it simply to live with the choices we made without regret?

I recommend artists, aspiring or established, to read the book; it's also a good book to give to recent graduates whether high school or college. It matters little if the graduate is an artist or not, for art is at its root, creation, and we all create to some extent or another. The book is one artist's reflection on her life; art being her means of income for family, as well as how she communicated with the world. Some books are written to a particular occupation or group: how to be a better mom, pastor or teacher; Walking on Water is written to whomever wants to read it.


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