“Despite a crushing loss…here we have a warmth of spirit, understanding and compassion in a distancing world.” (Madeline Sharples – from cover)
I believe that there is a need within each of us to read this book. Yes, it is a well written memoir with lovely poetic sentences and descriptions, it is a poignant telling of a son’s life, it is a sociologic study of our society and culture, and most of all it is an amazing tribute to a mother’s grief and the deepening of a spiritual journey into an awakening. THE SILENCE OF MORNING is a book we need.
Suicide is a difficult end to a life and even with a note; there is rarely a possibility of verifiable understanding. What was the truth of this life or this moment, which made the decision possible? What enabled suicide’s success? How will a Mother/ Parents and family create the mythology to answer all the questions or create the story that will bring release to the grief and sorrow? Dare I intimate that there might be a letting go of the life and only memory left?
We are also drawn into a study with all the pomp and considerations of a master research paper. We are invited to take a look at schools now and then. We can observe the role of teachers and philosophy of schools and how the child will react or would have been received differently now. Hickman catches the restlessness of a generation and the incredible work an educational system must engage in to meet the needs of children and get the “job done” for a future of usefulness and output with reward. The study looks at the War on Drugs and how the need for entertainment grows and grows along with the lure of the “high” and the demands of addiction. How does a society remedy this dis-ease and free the individual caught within its seductive nets? Have we learned and do we know how to stop the progression? Are we as a people all addicted to something?
There are nearly perfect descriptions in this telling of landscape and interactions and just beautiful memories of family – breathtaking. There is a poetry of words and pivotal theological quotes and explanations. Reading can free tears.
This is memoir which asks the tough questions, puts words to grief and opens the heart to an exploration of the depth and width of personal growth and spiritual path-finding and it is “Holy and beautiful and heartbreaking.” (Cover quote)
In the author’s own words: “How do we better understand the human condition, the quest for inner peace? How do we tap into the deeper mysteries, embracing challenge and loss as we go? How do we distance ourselves from a malcontent culture focused on excitement, escape, and excess? And despite it all, how do we deepen our perspective…commit to sustained personal growth?”
“I will always be a dedicated student of society looking for the essential story, the universal message: a path with less suffering, deeper awareness. Everything we experience is a reflection of the human struggle to somehow right itself against the rocky waves of time. So on and on we walk…always into a deeper version of ourselves.”
THE SILENCE OF MORNING is a part of my personal library and I am delighted to be sharing it with you. I think we all need to read this memoir.