Romancing the Ordinary
A Year of Simple Splendor
Sarah Ban Breathnach
The Simple Abundance Press, an Imprint of Scribner, 2002
From the back cover: “…author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes readers to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life. . . . Organized as a saunter through the year, Romancing the Ordinary celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seasonally and monthly. . . . encouraging [women] to delight in the often overlooked gifts of every day—from the aroma of simmering homemade spaghetti sauce to the sensation of freshly laundered linen against the bare skin. . ..”
This book offers a reading for each day of the year – and like many other books of its type the writings are grouped together by month. She includes seasonal poems, rituals, and ideas for learning to become aware of who the reader truly is. The author focuses on the here and now, the physical plane of existence, and only touches on the spiritual. Ms Breathnach’s writing style is effortless and beautiful, which really reflects all the love and devotion she put into writing it. She borrows liberally from other writer’s thoughts, including insightful quotes from obscure sources; because of those quotes or mentions in the meditations, I have read several other books on spirituality.
I picked up this copy up at a thrift store based solely on the author’s name – I’ve read her spiritual writings before and they have always brought a great deal of inspiration. But because I have little time to read I always want to make the most of what I do read. Unfortunately this book didn’t live up to my expectations or needs. My spirit craves inspirational writings and my spirit was not satisfied with this book. I guess because I’ve read the author’s Simple Abundance three times, I expected to find more spiritual nourishment – but at the end I find I am just as hungry (spiritually) as I was when I started it. That’s not necessarily the author’s fault. Maybe I’m not in the emotional place to indulge in the sensual pleasures of a physical existence. Maybe in another lifetime I was a cloistered monk and find catering to physical/sensual desires a bit too self-indulgent and self-absorbing. Maybe that’s the point of the book. Maybe it’s just simply not the book for me. I can only provide my feelings toward the book and I do not come away anywhere near feeling satisfied or better for having read it.
Rating: Were I rating based solely on the content, the writing style, and the author’s knowledge of her subject, it would rate out as a 4 out of 5 paws. But because this rating system is entirely personal and subjective, I have no choice but to rate it a 2 out of 5 paws. But don’t let that deter you from reading it. You may well enjoy it!!
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2016!
Topic: Read a Romance (this is stretching the topic a bit because we don’t read romances and after all, this book is about romancing yourself!)
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