Author Lynn M. Dixon has compiled a collection of poems, essays, correspondence and short fiction in Traveling Streams with themes that include travel, the value of steadfast faith in God and mindfulness of the beauty in our midst.
The book is an eclectic mix. A letter to a friend describes a trip to Paris. Short pieces extol the work of skyscraper window-washers, an Isley Brothers concert and the memory of Michael Jackson. Several “free writes” from a creative writing class also are included.
Dixon is a competent writer, and when she sticks to the theme of finding beauty in the everyday world her work is enjoyable. However, numerous times she raises an interesting issue but doesn’t follow through. On the plane to Paris, for example, she “fidgeted quite a while” because her seatmate was reading a Terry McMillan novel “and she was not a woman of color,” but she doesn’t explain why this upset her. Would Dixon prefer that the book be read only by people of her own race? A reminiscence of grade school includes receiving the news that President Kennedy had been shot; she allows that it was a “topsy-turvy day” but doesn’t tell us much more about it, focusing instead on a friend she met during the school year. The inclusion of free writes, which are to writing what scale repetition is to musicians, feels like unnecessary padding. And the work overall needs editing for spelling and grammar.
Despite these uneven patches, Dixon’s curiosity about the world around her, her adherence to her Christian faith and her gentle sense of humor provide consistency. It’s a diverse blend, but Traveling Streams does have heart and soul, as well as some powerful reminders to stop, look and listen to your surroundings.
Also available as an ebook.