Dargis (Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa, 2013) explores the concepts of healing energy, quantum theory, and the higher self through memoir, prose, and poetry.
When the author began studying integral health at the California Institute for Human Science in Encinitas, she struggled to keep up. With no background in science, she realized that only through poetry could she understand the material. She synthesized the information through the process of writing sonnets, which informs the poetry in this primer. It will be hard for readers who are new to quantum theory to see the science in Dargis’ ruminations. Still, there’s plenty of lyricism for the layman to appreciate. She structures her observations into three sections, mimicking the three-card spread she uses during an oracle-card reading. The first section covers the subject of trauma and Dargis’ humanitarian work with African refugees. In a prose piece, “Bound by my Footsteps,” she describes walking past a war memorial at night, sharing a moment with a man “presumably from a different place and a different time, our expressions seemed eerily the same.” Much is made of unspoken bonds between people, and this section is the most firmly grounded in everyday reality. In the second section, however, Dargis explores the infinite possibilities of the present moment. Poems here run the gamut, discussing meditative feelings during yoga or musing on the power of the mind to transform things. The third section highlights intuitive communication with the spirit world; in the titular poem, a woman crosses an intersection and observes the moon hanging in a sunlit sky, joyous to have worked a half-day. In Dargis’ descriptions, fleeting feelings loom large, as does the importance of being in the present moment. In “Fun with Physics,” for example, she describes a truck arriving at her doorstep; the driver opens the hatch and “Inside lay millions / Of multicolored puzzle pieces. None / Were boxed.” Much like the woman who receives this mysterious trove, readers will find much beauty in this book, but little guidance. As a whole, though, she presents a meditative but fast-moving snapshot of her spiritual journey, creating an effect like skipping stones in water.
An often lyrical work that offers more meditation than instruction.