An intelligent, deep, experienced, and articulate author can take us outside of ourselves, and give us context. More and more, it is only poets who can reach deep enough to pull me out of my self.
Patrick Lane is a Canadian poet and writer. What the Stones Remember: A Life Rediscovered is his exquisite account of the year after he gives up alcohol. His renewal and recovery take place in his garden, which he shares with the weather, with spiders, flowers, birds, pebbles – with life at every level. He picks up one pebble and licks it clean of earth, seeing in it the sun which shined ten thousand years ago. His heartfelt voice and humility are moving beyond description.
As I read, I felt ocean waves gathering as he puttered in his garden. The waves would take an edge as he remembered, and crash when weighted with the terror and panic of his past. Then another one gathered. The crashing waves became comforting and rhythmic. The violence they bore became energy which dissipated as they hit the shore..
The message at the end of this tale of suffering, heartbreak, true love, and renewal is “Thank you.”