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A life in light : meditations on impermanence  Cover Image Book Book

A life in light : meditations on impermanence / Mary Pipher.

Pipher, Mary Bray, (author.).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781635577587
  • ISBN: 1635577586
  • Physical Description: 302 pages ; 22 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
I. Attachment and loss: The fountain ; A motherless child ; Golden light ; My father's shirt -- II. Becoming: Light filtered through water ; A best friend ; Animal companions ; The library ; House calls ; Storytelling ; Girl Scout cookies -- III. In another light: Shelling peas ; The coffin and the chenille bedspread ; Harbor lights ; Prairie dog villages ; Ozark summers ; Shafts of light ; Heart light -- IV. Identity: The burning tree ; Summer solstice ; The light from ideas ; The A&W on Highway 81 ; San Francisco -- V. Leaving home: The fiery furnace ; Campfire lights ; Dock of the bay ; Pregnancy and exile ; Sunrise ; Fireplace light ; My father's death -- VI. Settling down: The Fourth of July ; Butterscotch light ; Daughter light ; My mother's death ; Writing ; Fame ; Okinawa ; Teardrops in the snow ; Equatorial light ; Chinook salmon ; The Fabtones' last night at the Zoo Bar ; Snowfields ; January ice -- VII. Reslience: Helicopter lights ; Buddha light ; Morel hunting ; Sunset ; The Perseids ; Strawberry moon ; Prairie grasses ; Musical light ; Rescue -- VIII. Wisdom light: Will they remember? ; Winter moon ; Wisdom light ; My son's kitchen ; The cranebow ; The light we can always find.
Summary, etc.:
From the bestselling author of Women Rowing North and Reviving Ophelia-a memoir in essays reflecting on radiance, resilience, and the constantly changing nature of reality. In her luminous new memoir in essays, Mary Pipher-as she did in her New York Times bestseller Women Rowing North-taps into a cultural moment, to offer wisdom, hope, and insight into loss and change. Drawing from her own experiences and expertise as a psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effect of our culture on our mental health, she looks inward in A Life in Light to what shaped her as a woman, one who has experienced darkness throughout her life but was always drawn to the light. Her plainspoken depictions of her hard childhood and life's difficulties are dappled with moments of joy and revelation, tragedies and ordinary miseries, glimmers and shadow. As a child, she was separated from her parents for long periods. Those separations affected her deeply, but in A Life in Light she explores what she's learned about how to balance despair with joy, utilizing and sharing with readers every coping skill she has honed during her lifetime to remind us that there is a silver thread of resilience that flows through all of life, and that despite our despair, the light will return. In this book, she points us toward that light.
Subject: Pipher, Mary Bray.
Psychologists > United States > Biography.
Resilience (Personality trait)
Mental health.
Self-actualization (Psychology) in women.
Genre: Essays.
Autobiographies.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Plainfield Libraries.

Holds

  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Philip Read Memorial Library BIO PIP 34443000343618 # New Books Available -

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9781635577587
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
by Pipher, Mary
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BookList Review

A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

For psychologist Pipher (Women Rowing North, 2019), the light found in nature, caring relationships, work, and books has always been the key to happiness. In this beautifully written memoir, her memories of childhood in Nebraska are vivid and poignant. Her mother was a doctor who had a successful practice but not a lot of time for her children; her father served in WWII and came home angry and haunted. But Pipher was a resilient child who found warmth in her encounters with relatives and neighbors. Her tales of shelling peas with her grandmother and the kindness of a neighbor who listened patiently to her fears are heart-warming. As she entered high school, Pipher realized that she loved working and observing others. The 1960s find her leaving college for life in San Francisco, where she celebrated the counterculture. But memories of home and her sometimes dysfunctional family pull her back. Her own marriage and children bring more light. Life is a series of changes, and Pipher eventually comes to terms with children growing older, moving out on their own, and having their own families. The pandemic adds other lessons on impermanence. This lovely book teaches gentle lessons on gratitude and celebrating life.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9781635577587
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
by Pipher, Mary
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Publishers Weekly Review

A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

"Resilience is the ability to find light in dark times," writes psychologist Pipher (Reviving Ophelia) in these radiant essays about how joy and loss often coexist. In lyrical vignettes, she traces the bright spots in her life, from her earliest memories--"dancing in the leaves of a tall tree in my grandmother's front yard"--to finding in adulthood a "renewed appreciation for life as it is, not as I wish it to be." But, invoking komorebi--a Japanese word that describes the ethereal "interplay of light and leaves" in trees--Pipher reveals her "sunlight" danced with shadows. In "A Motherless Child," for instance, she describes how she found refuge from her difficult 1950s childhood--neglected by a veteran father who struggled with PTSD--in books, nature, and the "shiny yellow leatherette booth" in her aunt's kitchen. "Pregnancy and Exile," meanwhile, revisits Piper's fraught pregnancy at age 21 "by a man I didn't want to marry" in 1971, and the supportive friends that helped her through it. To nudge readers toward building their own "transcendent narratives," she braids in insights from her 25 years as a therapist, citing how acknowledging "evidence of growth" in one's story, regardless of how big or small, can open up pathways toward healing. Those struggling to overcome darkness will find a guiding light in this incandescent work. (June)

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9781635577587
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
by Pipher, Mary
Rate this title:
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Kirkus Review

A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A writer discovers herself in a new light. Psychologist Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North, reflects on aging, loneliness, and happiness in a serene, gently told memoir. Since childhood, the author has been drawn to light--"my intoxicant of choice," she writes--which has lifted her out of fear and depression. Her childhood was troubled by her father's unpredictable anger and her mother's inability to offer the close nurturing Pipher yearned for. Others did, however: her grandmother, "one of the first people," Pipher writes, "who did the hard work of loving me into existence"; and a kind woman who taught her ceramics. "There were two kinds of light in that studio--the shafts coming through the western windows in late afternoons and the love beaming from my teacher's heart," she writes. Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, Pipher's world opened up when she attended the University of Kansas during the rebellious 1960s. The author recounts the trajectory of her life after graduating from Berkeley in 1969, becoming pregnant, and, when her son was a toddler, beginning a doctoral program in clinical psychology, which led to careers as a therapist and writer. Writing, she says, has afforded her "the light of living life twice, once in real time and once in reflective time." Now long married, with middle-aged children and grandchildren off to college, Pipher has "found it difficult to accept a cycle of life in which children grow up and leave their parents, and in which we parents become more and more peripheral." Loneliness has been intensified by the pandemic. "If the first part of my life was about building attachments," writes the author, "the last two years have been about learning to detach. I am making an effort to find the love and warmth I need in my own heart." Even during the enforced isolation of lockdown, she continues to find solace in the light. Sensitive meditations from a "solar-powered" writer. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9781635577587
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence
by Pipher, Mary
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Library Journal Review

A Life in Light : Meditations on Impermanence

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

This memoir by clinical psychologist Pipher (Reviving Ophelia) is a life story but also a homage to light. Her first memory, before she could even talk, is of light dancing in the leaves as she lay on a blanket under a tree. Gifted with a prodigious memory, she taught herself the skill of storing moments of joy, of light -- a skill that has proved useful her lifetime. Pipher's childhood was tough, with a physician mother who was often emotionally and physically absent (a working mother in the 1950s was unusual enough, but a woman doctor was even rarer) and a father given to bouts of drinking with a chip on his shoulder about his wife's success. Pipher spent many hours alone as a child, and these memories are the book's most compelling. Chapters are brief, resembling short stories, and each ends with a memory of light--be it dappled winter light through the trees, a stunning sunset, or evening lamplight signaling the end of a day. VERDICT A beautifully written, quiet, contemplative memoir that many will enjoy.--Jane Keenan


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