The theme is paradox (again that word) of what is positive and negative in the act of being and how the parts of life we don't like are instructive and won't be ignored regardless of trying. The author, Robert A. Johnson, who also wrote He and She (all from 20 years ago), suggests we find meaning in the hard space inbetween.
What stuck with me, besides most of it, which I'll be rereading, is what Johnson wrote about writing:
Every verb makes holy ground. "I will go home" or "I will play music now" imply a special identity to "I" and "home" or "I" and "music." To make any well formed sentence is to make unity out of duality. This is immensely healing and restorative. We are all poets and healers when we use language correctly. One makes a mandorla* every time one says something that is true.
The mandorla is the place of poetry. It is the duty of a true poet to take the fragmented world that we find ourselves in and to make unity of it. ... All poetry is based upon the assertion that this is that. When the images overlap, we have a mystical statement of unity. We feel there is safety and sureness in our fractured world, and the poet has given us the gift of synthesis.
Great poetry makes these leaps and unites the beauty and the terror of existence. It has the ability to surprise and shock -- to remind us that there are links between the things we have always thought of as opposites.
*A holy circle or bounded place that is a representation of wholeness.
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