An often lyrical work that offers more meditation than instruction.

White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky


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. 

Pub Date: July 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-69197-7

Page Count: 78

Publisher: Indie House Pres

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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