Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Counsel for daily life

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Glenville Ashby
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Book: Poetry from the Rose of Sharon: Divine Thoughts and Inspirations for Living Well

Author: Sharon Parris-Chambers

Publisher: Temple of Inner Peace, Jamaica

The thirst for inspiration is inexhaustible and the literary world has shouldered the responsibility to guide and heal our wounds. But not every writer is believable. Words, we know, carry feelings, stoking the embers of readers when used intuitively. The inspirational writer is never deliberate and calculated, but delivers with an incorrigible gusto that gushes from the subtle influence of spirit. Sharon Parris-Chambers comfortably sits in this class.

Poetry from the Rose of Sharon peels through layers of clutter that suffocate and obfuscate a light, a spark of divinity lodged in our bosom. If only we know.

We discover this light - the I AM principle that speaks to us - if only we could hear; that consoles - if only we open our hearts; that instructs - if only we listen. Such is the nature of our divinity - sparks of the indefinable, immutable God, some argue.

Chambers' collection serves as counsel for daily living, nudging us to be steadfast, patient, as challenges mount. It can be relentlessly assertive, evoking the legionnaire within, but speaks ever so softly when it matters.

The Rose conjures the inexorable spirit of Victor Frankl and the transcendentalism of Neo-Platonists. Chambers shifts between the worlds of spirit and matter, drawing energy from the former as she navigates the muddied waters of the latter. "Ye are gods, we are reminded," in the vein of Psalm 82:6.

She presses home this theme in 'I am a Divine Being': "I AM here to lead by example: to love, to heal, to teach. I AM LOVE, I AM THAT I AM. I AM ONE WITH DIVINE SPIRIT." In 'Spirit Purify Me', she intones: "Purify my mind and soul. Work in and through me, so that all people may know the god or goddess within."

And the metaphysician in her surfaces, unbridled, in 'Eye AM all that''. Her passion is never more evident; it pours forth: "You are a Divine Spirit having an earthly experience. Spirit. Morphing into full consciousness as the Eye. Manifesting in the flesh, to live, to learn, to grow. I AM the constitution of the Universe. Consciousness. I AM all that. Infinity, Spirit, Consciousness."

 

WIDE SUBJECT MATTER

 

With wit and poignancy, Chambers explores a range of subjects: environment, business, prayer, metaphysics, medical bioethics, and ontology. Her poems shine with nuggets of inspiration that characterise this transformative work.

"When we are like water, nothing stops our flow," she writes with Taoist sensitivity.

"Take yourself, your personality out of the way," she exhorts. "Trust your inner self to lead you," "Surrender the ego, Gone will be the pride, gone will be the need to be right." And in like vein, she continues, "Your eyes reflect images that are transmitted by your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change your vision."

Chambers' strength and appeal are carved in her authenticity. She speaks to our ubiquitous impulses to self-destruct. She rallies our beaten spirits and quiets the dark, poisonous whispers of the Negative One. We can do better, for we are infinitely resourceful, she iterates. And she is convincing because she, too, has experienced the weighty side of Providence. She now lives to tell an instructive tale, to lead a resistance rooted in spirituality. Surely there are more aesthetically defined works, but for raw pedagogy, The Rose of Sharon is monumental.

Rate: Recommended

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