In the 75 poems that reflect on life transitions and moments of keen awareness, found in Out of the Kiln: Vessels of Hope, accomplished poet Wendi Romero writes so that words no longer remain on the page but merge with the “tissues and bones” of the reader. Romero captures texture and substance of a spiritually conscious or aware life–of a feeling life, and uses her skillful craft to richly embroider the imagery and meaning of each poem in this exquisite offering. The book is separated into three parts: Part 1 is dedicated to Wholeness — “All I am was there all along;” Part 2 is dedicated to Brokenness — “Though fractured, I’m still complete;” and Part 3 is dedicated to Openness — “Empty can only be filled.”
The author has a profound way of addressing spirituality, the truth of painful experiences, the joy of renewal and reinventing the self, and the often ignored specialness of everyday moments that cause us to look at life, ourselves, and others through a new and brighter lens. The writings are uplifting, enlightening, inspiring, deeply moving… “Sometimes, it’s moments of profound beauty and other times, the excruciating pain of deep loss, that brings us to a threshold. In varying stages, life is moving us in a new direction; calling us to cross over from the life we’ve known to the life that waits for our openness to change.”
Romero’s writings remind you to ease up, to slow down and embrace life, yourself, and your moments, whatever they may be. You feel you walk with Romero through instances and experiences in her own life, ones you share in some measure, but can now see or interpret differently–through her eyes and filter, yes, but through your own, as well. Or perhaps you feel it is she who puts words to your own experiences in a manner that lets you translate them in a way you may not have previously done, because it isn’t always easy to put such depth of feeling into words-unless you are a wordsmith, such as this poet is.
There were many times that Romero got a feeling or experience so right that I had goosebumps, though I did resonate with the concept and message of each poem. These are poems you can read alone when you need to contemplate or feel your life in meaningful ways, or read aloud at special gatherings or celebrations, whether ones of joy or to infuse sorrowful ones with grace and deeper meaning. Her words re-Mind us of who we really are under all the debris and clutter life sometimes sends our way; that we have greater strength and wholeness than we at times remember as our truth. I highly recommend this book, even for those who don’t usually lean toward poetry. These are more than poems: they are us.
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