Evidence of Flossing: A Book Review

Evidence of Flossing Cover

 

Jennifer A. Payne’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
“Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”

Book Summary:

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Find the answers to these questions in more in this new book by Connecticut writer Jen Payne. Her poems in EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND investigate the human condition and its folly, the beauty of our natural world, and the possibility of divine connection. 80 original and vintage photographs include a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the book’s title.
ALA Notable Book author Dale Carlson calls the book “a brilliantly incisive commentary on our simultaneous human sense of beauty and waste and loss.”
EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING speaks to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It asks us all to consider the effects of our actions and how they influence everything else in the Universe.

My Review:

Jen Payne’s book, Evidence of Flossing: What we leave Behind, carries prophetic power in the spaces between its words. It is truth and beauty delivered to us in wide-eyed wonder by a child’s heart passionately in love with nature.

The prophet shows up in bold statements like,”This watch around my neck doesn’t work,” (Time Peace) and “My fingers touch its teeth like rosary beads, penance for our collective apathy,” and “Numbed and dumbed by these machines,” (Now Trending>)

Other times we encounter a mystic drawing us into the essence of the universe, “Everything is flowing, god whispers. How foolish am I to resist?” (Resistance is Futile.)

In each poem Jen crawls inside a subject and settles in for a leisurely lie-in until she understands, then becomes her subject. The integrity of the process gifts readers with fresh insight and renewed commitment to be mindful of what they leave behind. As in this verse from “Sanctified without Assistance,” ‘Jen’s writing is sometimes spare, creating space for soulful birthing: “Come winter, bare-branch whispers of hope promised, stored.”

Evidence of Flossing: What we leave Behind should not be missed. You will come away with both righteous anger and with hope. You will be blessed with insight into the nature of spirituality and rekindled with the joy of nature.

Jen Payne Head Shot

 

About the Author:

Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. Her writing serves as witness to these in the form of poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and essay. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, her writing is accompanied by her own photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, Jen believes that partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of her work, and makes the communication more palpable.

In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is her second book.

Jen is the owner of Three Chairs Publishing and Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, the Guilford Poets Guild, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Installations of her poetry were featured in Inauguration Nation an exhibition at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven (2017), and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (2016). Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

You can read more of her writing on her blog Random Acts of Writing, http://www.randomactsofwriting.net.

 

Jennifer can also be found online at:

Website: https://3chairspublishing.com/

Blog: https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threechairspub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThreeChairsPub

Be sure to visit!

 

 

 

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A Posture For The Holidays

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So we have arrived once again on the cusp of celebration, when expectations run high and nerves fray at the edges.  In this lovely poem, For The Senses, John O’ Donohue offers us a way through, a way to be for the holidays.

This way demands that we slow down, watch, listen, wait.

May the touch of your skin

Register the beauty
Of the otherness
That surrounds you.

May your listening be attuned
To the deeper silence
Where sound is honed
To bring distance home.

 

May the fragrance
Of a breathing meadow
Refresh your heart
And remind you you are
A child of the earth.

 

And when you partake
Of food and drink,
May your taste quicken
To the gift and sweetness
That flows from the earth.

 

May your inner eye
See through the surfaces
And glean the real presence
Of everything that meets you.

 

May your soul beautify
The desire of your eyes
That you might glimpse
The infinity that hides
In the simple sights
That seem worn
To your usual eyes.
For the Senses by John O’Donohue in To Bless the Space Between Us
Photo Credit: Rhonda Beck

The Butterfly Effect

 

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“This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened.”

http://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-is-chaos-theory/

 

Down Here
Wispy tendrils of hazy smoke
from Canada’s forest fires
Lasso branches of not-so-evergreens
And the aberrant heat drapes
its humid blanket over this bed
We now must lie in.

Over There
Adam lies drowning
In a pool of lethal despair
While in Bahrain more mundane matters
Press on Ahmad and the butterfly spirals down
To The Boneyard of Indifference.

©Rita H Kowats August 3, 2017

 

Photo Credit: photo credit: judygva <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/52450054@N04/34052621551″>Juniper Hairstreak – Callophrys gryneus, Phelps Wildlife Management Area, Sumerduck, Virginia</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

Divine Magnetosphere: A Love Poem

Auroras continue to intrigue…what a lovely afternoon I had meandering around Jupiter and my own soulscape….enjoy.

Divine Magnetosphere A Love Poem

 

Photo Credit:

Jupiter’s powerful magnetosphere extends up to two million miles into the space around the planet (illustrated) and is thought to be responsible for sending charged particles in the space around it hurtling at high speeds towards the poles

Here is how our spirits look when we make the connections to the divine:

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/07/17/photos-solar-storm-spurs-dazzling-northern-lights/?utm_term=.b6c8141f03d6

 

The Phoenix

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The Phoenix

Last night the Longest Night
Hunkered down into the comforting folds
Of darkness, holding light at bay
For just a few more seconds of incubation.

Today she commences
The season of sloughing
When her dark cocoon opens to light
Second by second until Daylight
Dazzles with sparks of the divine
Drawing her into soothing warmth
And the blast of the refiner’s fire.

© Rita H. Kowats 12-22-16

Photo Credit: Daniel Tran Cathedral of Light Sydney’s festival, Vivid Sydney

The Thaw

frozen-spider-web

 

The Thaw

 

Lifelines, once malleable networks of grace
Have become static tendrils stretched
In a circuitous highway to nowhere
No more kicks on route 66.

Lifelines freeze up without
Time, solitude and silence
To stoke the fire of grace
Waiting to thaw
The once intimate connections
Gone rigid with neglect.

Do you hear their call?

 

© Rita H Kowats 12-19-16

Spiritual Spelunking

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I woke up at 2:00 a.m. with the Spirit knocking on the door of my unconscious.   I am unaware of having been dreaming, but a clear and precise message boomed out: “I can see water swimming in a cave.”

Here is how I have worked with it:

Spiritual Spelunking

Our bodies make their first journey out
Of the cave with reluctance to leave
The safe solitude of buoyant waters

Life moves on and away
From the startling solitude of caves
Yet our souls yearn to return
Not to be carried aloft by gentle waters
But to dive deep
Commingling
With the first drop.

© Rita H Kowats 12-14-16

 

photo credit: BlakeLewisPhotography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7838598@N06/27327710701″>Ruby Falls</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

One in our reading community suggested this article…fascinating connection!

http://thescienceexplorer.com/nature/oldest-water-earth-found-deep-within-canadian-shield

Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock Portrait 3-22-16

My boy is huuuuge and as sweet as can be.  This morning he taught me for the hundredth time to be brave and patient and take myself less seriously.

 

Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock sits somnolently in the spotlight
Of brilliant morning sun-
Until an orange fur fluff catches his eye
And he leaps head over heals to bring it down.
Such a vigilant sleuth, in sooth.

When last did I leap head over heels?
I will wait for a spiritbeam to burst
Through this hungry chink in my soul
Then spring into action like a gangly tween
Desperately tumbling toward her one true BFF.
Such a rollercoaster, this thing we call the Spiritual Path.

© Rita h kowats November 25, 2016