Monday, March 21, 2016

Wondering Toward Center

Idgie Says:
This is an interesting "thought memoir" that contains Kathy's experiences from 2011 to 2014.  Some thoughts are simple paragraphs, others run for a page or two.  What these thoughts contain are everyday events that make Kathy pause for a moment in life and ponder the meaning of the event.  Some are simple observances on life, and others make Kathy dig deep into herself to find a purpose for the event.  An interesting book, one that may help create some pausing and pondering in your daily life after reading. 

These pages originally came about in a newspaper column that she wrote. 


Kathy A. Bradley (b. 1956) lives and writes in Bulloch County, Georgia, on a farm which, she is quick to point out, "is two miles from the nearest paved road." She is an alumna of Wesleyan College and the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University, both in Macon, Georgia. She currently serves as an assistant district attorney for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit. She is a regular columnist for the Statesboro Herald newspaper and her work as appeared in numerous regional publications. Her first book,"Breathing and Walking Around: Meditations on a Life," received the 2010 Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Mercer University Press
March 4, 2016

Book Description:

In her second book of essays, Kathy Bradley continues her examination of the natural world as a prism through which to understand the human experience. With her family farm in the coastal plains of South Georgia serving as the anchor, Bradley uses her observations of animal life, agriculture, and the seasons to create what others have called parables, but what she calls "a map key or decoder ring" for some of the dilemmas of twenty-first-century life. Bradley shares the story of how, through wandering, she came to know the land that became her home and how that knowledge worked as ransom to gain her release from societal expectations. "Like numbness beginning to thaw," she writes, "I felt the pinpricks of pain. I rambled with no purpose beyond looking in order to see, listening so that I might hear." 

The chronological stories, four years' worth of tales that began life as newspaper columns, are inhabited by wild and unpredictable animals, civilized and unpredictable people, moons and cornfields, tides and floods and droughts-each described in sensory detail, each a metaphor rich in meaning. Bradley invites readers along on her wanderings in order that they might find their own meaning in the recounting of commonplace events and the lives of ordinary people. Along the way, Bradley decides to build a labyrinth at the farm, a decision that brings a new perspective to her exploration of the world. "The deliberate and contemplative act of walking an actual labyrinth, the physical movements that I... imagined would mesh body and spirit and leave me enlightened, the slow and purposeful wandering toward a literal center and back out again has become, instead, a slow and purposeful wondering."