Stunning photographs paired with brief prose vignettes from 52 talented writers explore the theme of healing in this vibrant, gorgeous collection.
The introduction sets up the premise, prompted by the photographer’s experience of fibromyalgia: Each writer is given a photograph, the theme of “healing visions,” and a 100-word limit. The prose pieces vary widely in tone, style, and impact, but each is well crafted, vivid, and precise.
Some directly address the image, like Tara Campbell’s “Saguaro Future,” which turns the cactus into a lovely metaphor of humans “on our own unique paths, thriving, divided yet balanced on one common stalk” or Tara Laskowski’s “Yet All Awake,” which imagines that the tufted heads of flowers are ghosts. Other writers riff on the title of the photograph, like Mare Chapman’s “Ease and Peace.”
The most beautiful do all three: begin with Boscov’s incredibly versatile and beguiling images, take her title as a cue, and tunnel toward a burst of healing insight, as in Jo-Ann Mapson’s “The Moment Before,” which lands on the gentle advice to Self: “Gather up, and do let’s continue,” or Patricia McConnell’s reflection in “Beach Day:” “the tiniest things have the power to heal us. ”
The images are equally vivid and carefully crafted. The prevailing theme is floral, although there are also appearances by cacti, trees, and the occasional cloudy blue sky. In all but one instance, the landscapes are devoid of people as the lens instead looks to inspiration and healing from natural growth. A small few are fanciful, like a tiny red door in a tree, and some are manipulated with visual effects. All coax forth a moment of reflection, meditation, prayer.
In all, this is a stirring volume to be savored and returned to, kept close at hand. Profits benefit groups supporting women’s rights, making this coffee-table showpiece an even wiser investment.